Vina Errazuriz's Chief Winemaker Francisco Baettig is looking to create Burgundy-quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the winery's new Las Pizarras project on the Aconcagua Coast of Chile, focusing on small production from top-quality vines planted a decade ago.
Grapes from only about five hectares of the 50 hectares of Chardonnay and six to seven hectares of the 70 hectares of Pinot Noir went into making the 200 cases of white and 300 cases of red 2014s that sold out earlier this year from the first vintage, Baettig said during a visit to London.
The vineyards, about 10 kilometers from the coast, are cool climate with a slate soil leading to a "mineral, elegant style," he said. He has been working with Burgundy geologist Francoise Vannier-Petit to analyse soils and identify optimum parts of the Chilean vineyard which could correspond to the grand cru, premier cru and village designation familiar from Burgundy.
"I'm looking for a linear, dry finish" to the Chardonnay, he said, in contrast to the more classic New World style which can be redolent of tropical fruit and warmth in the vineyard.. "More restrained, more elegant and refined."
The 2015 vintage of Las Pizarras will become available to the market in May next year, Baettig said. Baettig, who has been at Errazuriz for 13 years and previously worked in Argentina and studied in Bordeaux, was in London to celebrate 30 years of Errazuriz's flagship wine, the Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve.