LES DOMAINES BARONS DE ROTHSCHILD (LAFITE)
Los Vascos wines blend Lafite tradition with the unique terroir of Chile to create elegant wines that bring exceptional to the everyday. The vision of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) to expand their estates took them to South America in 1988, becoming the first French viticultural investment in modern Chile. Since then, a comprehensive modernization and investment program has been undertaken, oriented towards the production of fine wine using and adapting the viticultural experiences of Bordeaux and other areas where Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) is present. Los Vascos is located in Valley de Caneten (Colchagua), a closed valley in the central zone of Chile, approximately 25 miles from the sea. The valley provides a perfect microclimate for high quality viticulture, with Northern exposure to lands uncontaminated by airborne or water-borne pollutants. Daily on-shore winds provide temperature changes between 68-77°F, for optimum maturation of the grapes. With 1581 acres, it is one of the largest vineyards in the central Colchagua valley, at the foot of Mount Cañeten.
In the mid-nineteenth century, two of the leading Chilean wine producers brought vines from Bordeaux to improve the quality of the original vineyard at Los Vascos. In the late nineteenth century Chile’s natural geographic frontiers protected it from the phylloxera epidemic. This has resulted in an unbroken line of wine stock at Los Vascos which now produces some of the finest wines in all of Chile.
The acquisition of Los Vascos by Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) in 1988 was the result of a careful search among more than one hundred Chilean wines for one that could meet the Rothschild criteria for excellence. Los Vascos was chosen after careful review of existing vineyards, soils and climates and was the first French viticultural investment in modern Chile. Since then, a comprehensive modernization and investment program has been undertaken, orientated towards the production of fine wine using and adapting the viticultural experiences of Bordeaux and other areas where the group is present.
Los Vascos is located in Valley de Caneten (Colchagua), a closed valley in the center of Chile. The valley provides a perfect microclimate for high quality viticulture; intense exposure to the sun, adequate water sources, semi-arid soils and little risk of frost and only about 25 miles from the sea. The estate is over 5,436 contiguous acres, with the majority planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (85%), Carmenère (5%), Syrah (4%), Malbec (1%) and Chardonnay (5%). Los Vascos is the largest vineyard in central Colchagua Valley at the foot of Mount Caneten and can easily maintain its “Estate Bottled” status regardless of production requirements.
Between 1989 and 1995 Winemaker Marcelo Gallardo studied at Universidad Austral de Chile graduating with a degree in Agronomy engineering. Marcelo continued his education studying and graduating from Universidad de Chile between 1998 and 1999 with a degree in Enology and Viticulture in Santiago. In 1999, Marcelo worked as an assistant winemaker at Viña Santa Rita in the Maipo Valley, and interned at Bodega Sandeman, Oporto-Duero in Portugal. After Portugal he performed a harvest at Domain Jandeau in Burgundy, France. Working for Viña Los Vascos since 2000, he became the Chief Winemaker and Production Manager in 2006. Marcelo routinely visits the other Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) properties to bring L’Esprit Lafite to Viña Los Vascos. In addition, he collaborates on the latest developments in technology from top Universities and vineyards.