«If I were a vine, I would choose to be planted in Chile» François Lurton
This long country stretching down alongside the Andes Cordillera mountains seems to be a true paradise for vines, with its particularly stable climate and, therefore, a very low risk of disease for the plants. It is notably thanks to these geographical factors that our Chilean vineyard was one of the first to be converted to a biodynamic culture.
François and Jacques Lurton found this “dream land” whilst working as consultants for the San Pedro vineyards. The first bottles of Araucano, the name of the last of Chile’s indigenous people, saw the light in 1997. In 2000, François bought 200 hectares of land in the valley of Colchagua. Although he had never before owned vines in this area, the acquisition was no accident: the influence of the oceanic climate moderates the heat that comes from the valley. The difference of the temperature during the day and during the night allows the grapes to reach exceptional levels of maturity. The valley is divided into particularly varied microclimates, which, in turn, and thanks to blending, allows for the production of incredibly complex wines.
Today François Lurton continues to explore different possibilities, notably by planting grape varieties that need cooler climates, such as Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, in higher altitude areas. In 2012, wines issued from Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Syrah obtained their organic certification. In 2013, Hacienda Araucano is set to obtain the official « biodynamic » certificate (Demeter). Continuing in this approach of making wines that are as natural as possible, we made our first sulphur-free wine in 2012, a Humo Blanco Carménère.
Maintaining a policy of decreasing energy consumption and securing our irrigation capacity, we have invested in a reservoir with a volume of 45,000 m3. This water storage facility will enable us to collect some of the abundant rain that is concentrated in the winter period from the drainage basin of our property. The volume of this reservoir covers 30% of the annual requirements of the 30 Ha of vines. This investment will give us a degree of security in the face of climate changes and possible variations in the groundwater supply, with a view to preserving the quality of the wines at the «Clos de Lolol». This project means that the Viña Hacienda Araucano is the first vineyard on the American continent to be powered with 100% solar energy.
Hacienda Araucano is located just outside the small historic village of Lolol in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, just over two hours’ drive south of Santiago down the Route 5. It lies 30 km west of Santa Cruz, its closest town.
The estate is located in a valley that runs from East to West which funnels cold air from the Pacific Ocean. The difference in temperature between the sea and the land causes a white fog to develop, the ‘Humo Blanco’, which can be seen most mornings just above the vineyards of our estate. It marks the limit of how far the fog reaches inland.
The climate is hot during the day and very dry but the oceanic breezes and morning fogs from the Pacific (only 40km away), cool the temperatures and make the area more temperate. Most of the rain (650mm per year) falls in winter months (so irrigation is needed). Temperatures fall to -2°C in the winter and rise no higher than 28°C in the summer months. Nights are always cool.
VINEYARDS de Lolol SIZE : 28 hectares Vineyard Chomedaue: Size 15 hectaresOur vineyard at Chomedaue lies on flat land behind Santa Cruz. It is trained in pergola with the bunches of grapes hanging down below the foliage. This protects the grapes from sun scorch. The viticulture here is organic. EXPOSITION : North-facing slopes (equivalent to the northern hemisphere’s south-facing)
The terroir here is very much adapted to Pinot Noir and Syrah. Depending on the exposition of the vineyard plots; we have chosen to grow these varieties to benefit from the variety of soils and the exposition of our vineyards. Sauvignon also excels here. Picking is done early to benefit from the aromatic peak of the grapes.