Hacienda Araucano, a natural style in Chile

Chile is a very narrow country between the Andes Cordillera and the Pacific Ocean, with a series of hills near the coast, which give it a unique climate that is well-suited to growing vines, and is a paradise for viticulture due to the absence of disease.

After lengthy research in several regions of Chile, François Lurton planted his vineyard in 2000 on virgin terroir, “Hacienda Araucano” lies near the historic town of Lolol. Today the estate has 28 hectares of vines and Lolol has been given “protected designation of origin” status.

The climate here is hot and very dry during the day, but the Oceanic breeze and the morning mists from the Pacific (just 40km away), cool the vineyard and temper the heat. Most of the rainfall (650 mm per year) falls during the winter months, so an irrigation system is needed. Temperatures can drop to -2°C in the winter and rise to 35°C in the summer. The nights are always temperate or even cool.

Chile araucano

François Lurton continues to explore other possibilities, including planting grape vines that require cooler temperatures at higher altitudes, such as Cabernet or Pinot Noir. The goal is to produce distinguished, authentic and original wines.

Hacienda Araucano lies in an east-west valley that receives cold air from the Pacific Ocean. The temperature difference between the sea and the land causes a white mist, the “Humo Blanco”, which is visible every morning just above the vines, and marks the border of the vineyard.

The choice of the Lolol Valley proved to be judicious. Different varieties were chosen to grow depending on the orientation of the plots and the type of soil. The resulting wines have a unique personality.

Seven different family of wines are produced: Alka, Gran Araucano, Une, Clos de lolol, Humo blanco, Araucano reserva and Kawin.

Clos de lolol

Single vineyard red blend, Clos de Lolol 2014

This wine represents the essence of the cool climate of Lolol. It is made up of the best plots of five grape varieties. All grapes are organic and comes from the state of Hacienda Araucano. Planted with no rootstock, the vines, are among the last vines of the world not to have known phylloxera. 

Organic wine: Syrah 35%, Carmenere 25%, Cabernet Franc 20%, Cabernet Sauvignon 15%, Petit Verdot 5%

Tasting notes

 Deep and brillant red colour with glints of crimson

 Fresh and elegant with hints of black fruit jam and tobacco. It’s a wine that reveals itself in stages, bringing to light the complexity of this blend, with background hints of leather, white pepper and liquorice.

 Dry, full-bodied and fruity red featuring refreshing acidity. On the palate, it showcases fleshy tannins and a broad mouthfeel that leads into a long finish.

The vintage: Due to the higher than usual rainfall and long ripening periods, the 2014 vintage was harvested one to two weeks later than in a normal year.

After a very dry winter due to the natural phenomenon of La Niña, spring was influenced by its corollary, El Niño. The latter had the effect of bringing rain during the vines’ growth period, an occurrence rarely seen in Chile. This complexity was confirmed at the end of fermentation.

Suggestions: This is a well rounded wine that can be enjoyed now or in up to six years time, accompanied by substantial dishes, game and wine sauce or barbecued red meat.

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