Founded in 1987 by four friends – originally by Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray, with Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand joining the team in 1988 — Viña Montes produces some of Chile’s finest wines. Among the award-winning bottlings is the Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, considered by many to be Chile’s first truly premium wine. Acquired in 2007, the lofty Apalta vineyards are comprised of rocky, granite soil blessed with abundant sun and cool nights. Interestingly, all of the Montes grapes are harvested at night, a practice believed to maintain a lower brix (sugar) level overal.
“From the first drawing board ideas, we were insistent that its design incorporated the principles of feng shui. With the help of Chilean expert Silvia Galleguillos, all the prime elements – water, metal and wood – were incorporated into the design in accordance with the principles of the Chinese system, ensuring harmony in a positive atmosphere. At the entrance of the winery, a wooden access bridge crosses a small lagoon, whose water flows towards the building in accordance with the fundamental principle of feng shui, that prosperity will only come if the water, representing energy, flows towards the center of the building, not away from it. At the center of the winery a fountain lies directly under a lily-shaped skylight, representing the sun and moon: the point from which energy is distributed, connecting the building to the outside universe.” – www.monteswines.com
Our small group’s private tasting included three Viña Montes iconic wines — Montes Alpha M (a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot), Montes Folly (the winery’s premier, 100% Syrah wine) and Purple Angel by Montes (regarded as one of Chile’s top wines, comprised of 92% Carmenere (which, until 20 years ago, was thought to be Merlot!) and 8% Petit Verdot).