They say every star is a word:
Each one with its own encrypted message,
each one with its own chromatic complexities and textures, each one with its own xylophonic melody.
Constellations are sentences.
Galaxies are chapters,
and the universe is the complete manuscript: A never-ending tale told by time.
A celestial blueprint
through which divinity
Nestled between the cool Pacific Coast of Northern Chile and the towering Andean massif that divides the country from the rest of the American Continent, the Elqui Valley is a land of many mysteries. Regarded as one of the key energetic vortices of the planet, in recent years it has become the melting pot for spiritual awakening, stargazing and winemaking, summoning visitors from all around the world to travel its winding roads, gaze at its star studded skies and drink its award-winning wines. As a true visionary, don Alvaro Flaño saw the valley’s unique potential.
“Shaped in reverence of love,
irreverence of geography,
and conceived under the shimmering starlight
of the Milky Way.
Like beads from a rosary,
its vines descend from the mountains
shaping a constellation of its own.
All we had to do
was give it a name;
and so we called it
It takes both imagination as well as wisdom in order to trace constellations on a star-studded sky.
Why see a bear, a cross or a centaur when you could just as easily see a splash of random lights?
Land & Home
not meant for the outside world,
in this rugged pocket
of silent knowledge.”
At about 2.200 meters above sea level, where the mountains tickle the skies, vines deliver an
almost literal imprint of the extreme conditions in which they grow: The combination of extreme
day and night temperatures, highly mineral soils, perpetual sunshine and hardly any rain.
Here, in this territorial twilight, is where Viñedos de Alcohuaz was born and bred.
Up in the northern-south
there’s a threshold in the heavens.
A concave-convex bridge
in the universal membrane,
where divinity and humanity
and where information and comprehension
A cocoon in which,
one by one
the cardinal points
constellate the celestial blueprint
(Or so they say).
Viñedos de Alcohuaz is located on the Andes. Not the foothills, but on the mountains themselves, specifically latitude 30° south, 2.200mts above sea level. Each of our wines is therefore quintessentially Andean, with the significant influence of three key forces:
Sun, granite & altitude
Their conjugation results in unusually thick-skinned varieties, which is why at Viñedos de Alcohuaz we resource to stomping our grapes solely by foot in individual granite wine presses. This technique is vital in order to achieve the distinctive characteristics of our wines, for it delivers a delicate balance of tannins, only obtainable through the gentle nature of the human crush.
A particularly interesting vintage; no snow fell and rain only
reached half its usual level. Summer was sunny and dry.
Throughout the aging process the wine was consistently deep,
vertical and graphitic. Once it had been bottled, the vintage’s
characteristics started to slowly appear, particularly the black olive
notes and the summer’s sun stricken fruit.
A warm vintage, influenced by a particularly snowy and wet winter,
followed by an extremely dry and hot summer. Soaring temperatures
during January led to particularly mature fruits.
The wines are bigger, softer, more mature, with the area’s vertical
characteristics, which balances out each wine.
March 19th: end of harvest.
A warm year, similar to 2012 in heat. Practically no rain, no snow,
and high temperatures throughout the summer. The wine is soft,
deep and determined by Elqui’s acidity.
March 13th: end of harvest.
A special harvest, some frost during the winter, and abundant snow.
However, rain was almost non-existent, historically low.
Summer was particularly fresh, and wines showed verticality and
excellent acidity. After some time making wine in the area we
decided to move the harvest dates earlier. Increased verticality
and freshness. March 5th : end of harvest.
A particularly cold harvest. Snowy but dry winter. Summer was
unusually cool. The wines show the vintage’s freshness,
both for aging as well as for immediate consumption.
All in all an excellent year for Alcohuaz.
February 25th: end of vintage for Syrah.
March 20th: end of harvest for Cariñena.
A high quality/ low quantity vintage. This year was determined by
a 30cm snowfall on October 14th by which time most plants
had new sprouts on them. It hit us hard and delayed everything
by a month. Regardless of this, the quality of the wine
was outstanding. The delayed harvest resulted in only 18% of what
we had expected. These will most likely be an aging wine.
April 7th: end of harvest for Syrah and April 27th for Cariñena.
Harvested from the best Syrah found in Alcohuaz, our first wine was named after the threshold through which information transcends from divinity onto humanity, and catalyst for this entire project.Techsheet Rhu
100% Garnacha, Cuesta Chica is the Single Vineyard from which this wine is born. Its distinctive characteristics are product of the unique interaction between the variety and the valley itself.Techsheet Cuesta Chica
La Era is named after the single vineyard from where it is harvested, high within Alcohuaz. 100% Malbec, it perfectly depicts the way in which the variety interacts with the Elqui Valley, expressing itself with outstanding results.Techsheet La Era
Tococo isn’t just the name of this 100% Syrah wine’s single vineyard, but also of a unique bird that inhabits the Elqui Valley. Quick and unusually terrestrial, the Tococo is one of few species which prefers to run than to fly, which is why it can be seen darting from vineyard to vineyard all through Alcohuaz.Techsheet Tococo
Our second wine was named after the southern constellation of the Crane, the vessel of materialization between divinity and humanity. Grus owes its characteristics to grapes that come from single vineyards located at multiple altitudes throughout the Alcohuaz property.Techsheet Grus
Since its beginnings, Viñedos de Alcohuaz constellated a group of individuals that brought the project to life, all drawn together by the dream of creating wines that stood as a veracious tribute to their origin.
Once Alvaro Flaño found Alcohuaz, his son Patricio began shaping the project towards its current day self. As an artist, he not only shares his father’s love for the land itself, but furthermore understands the subtleties and infinite complexities behind winemaking. Both Alvaro and Patricio knew they needed to find someone who was well versed in every last remote corner of Elqui. This is how they came across Juan Luis Huerta and Helia Rojas, probably the most knowledgeable couple in northern Chile. Both born in the valley, they have dedicated their lives to the land on which they live. It is their belief that all communities can work in sustainable harmony through a respectful symbiosis with their surroundings, and Viñedos de Alcohuaz is a living proof of this notion.
“The true agronomer, the one who falls madly in love with his land, knows that -as with any true love one must first and foremost be humble, for in the end it is Earth herself who decides the outcome of all our endeavours” says Juan Luis, to which his wife Helia adds: “With each bottle of wine that leaves the winery, we see how a little piece of the valley itself travels to new shores, meets new people and, in some way, transcends. And I don’t just mean the grapes, or the winemaking process, but furthermore the lives of all of us who have dedicated our sweat and tears to this project and to all the people who call this place home.”
The next star in the Alcohuaz constellation is one of Chile’s leading winemakers, Marcelo Retamal.
Marcelo was drawn to the project due to its unique characteristics, which is why, true to his reputation in the wine industry; he jumped at the chance of participating in the making of a ground-breaking wine.
Having worked with over 350 vineyards throughout Chile, one thing Retamal is quick to say is that the success of a wine should be measured in how accurately it represents its origins and how fluently it speaks a language of its own. “In winemaking, we’ve heard the word ‘unique’ so many times, it seems to have lost all meaning. However, when speaking of Elqui, I’m afraid there is no other word, and in turn, the wines that we are making are also unique. This is not your average wine territory: the contrasts between the rugged, dry Andes, the sheer altitude of the vineyards and the relentless dry southern Sun spin each grape into something comparable only to Elqui itself.”
Where to find our wines
Our strategy worldwide is to sell our wines in a wide variety of channels of distribution.
You will find our wines principally in specialised wine shops, restaurants, hotels and wine bars.
We work with a growing network of importers, distributors and long-term partners around the world.
Please feel free to contact them directly to locate our wines.
If you are an importer looking to work with some new Chilean wines and one of Chile’s most exciting wineries, please feel free to reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fields, Morris & Verdin
Berry Bros. & Rudd
Tindal Wine Merchants
Decanter Importadora de Vinhos Finos
Our domestic market is very important to us, so we have decided to market our wines through the Distribuidora Grandes Terruños (Miguel Torres).
You may contact us at:
Fernando Vargas G.