At less than 30 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean, the Marchigüe vineyard is one of the closest to the coast in the Colchagua Valley. It has deep granitic soils with high levels of superficial clay.
The cool ocean breezes reach the vineyard, which extends over the gentle rolling hills characteristic of this region. This effect allows to obtain fresher wines that are less alcoholic, and with a great aromatic and fruity expression that is perceived on the nose and palate.
In this area, Calcu has more than 100 hectares planted with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillón.
The Calcu vineyard project was conceived with the aim of making it the best vineyard in Chile. With this objective, a technical team led by the prestigious viticulturist Xavier Choné studied the terrain of the Calcu estate for two years to identify the best areas for planting vines.
During this time more than 400 trial pits of up to three meters deep were dug so that the soil could be studied in detail. Six weather stations were installed to monitor parameters including the temperature, air humidity, wind, sun radiation and rainfall, so that detailed information could be gathered about the various sectors of the estate. Nearly 4,500 native plants were planted to increase the biodiversity and prevent soil erosion, which could affect the soil composition. The soil contains a high clay content, giving an ideal base for grapes to mature well, with ripe and concentrated tannins.
With this information and over five years of work, 98 of the 1,000 hectares were planted, ensuring that variables such as density, soil characteristics and the wine variety were correctly taken care of.
It is now possible to find on these 98 hectares 240 blocks or “mini vineyards”, whose size varies from 600 square meters to a maximum of 15,000 square meters. Some of these blocks were planted with the gobelet system, and others using the vertical trellis system. The varieties planted include cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, carmenere, malbec, syrah, petit verdot, sauvignon blanc and semillón
“We wanted to design a vineyard architecture that would allow us to develop and produce top quality grapes for the next 80 to 100 years”, explained Ricardo Rivadeneira, General Manager and Winemaker at Viñedos Calcu.