Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Sauvignon Gris vineyard planted in 1912; Viña Casa Silva is recognized as the oldest winery in the Colchagua Valley, Chile

Sauvignon Gris vineyard planted in 1912; Viña Casa Silva is recognized as the oldest winery in the Colchagua Valley, Chile

Viña Casa Silva is recognized as the oldest winery in the Colchagua Valley, Chile.  Founded in 1892 by French pioneer and ancestor Emilio Bouchon, Casa Silva is owned and operated by Mario Silva, the fifth generation of winemakers.  Many of the vines were planted over 100 years ago, brought over from pre-phylloxera Bordeaux vineyards.  Prior to 1997, the Silvas sold their grapes to larger wineries.  One of just three pioneering wineries to achieve 100% certification under the Wines of Chile Sustainability Code, Casa SIlva was deemed “Winery of the Year” by the WInes of Chile organization in 2013 and “Most Awarded Winery of the 21st Century” by VITIS Magazine (Chile’s only specialized wine magazine published in both English and Spanish and distributed locally and overseas).

Viña Casa Silva's vineyards were planted from pre-phylloxera cuttings from Bordeaux; Colchagua Valley, Chile

Viña Casa Silva’s vineyards were planted from pre-phylloxera cuttings from Bordeaux; Colchagua Valley, Chile

Facing the Andes Mountains, the property containing the Angostura vineyards is the origin of the Silva family in Chile and includes plantations dating back to 1912 with original varieties brought from France by the first generation of the family. The property also houses the family pride, the old wine cellar that is a pioneer in technology despite its years. The soils are of fine sand over old alluvial substrates composed of small and medium-sized stones and a large among of decomposing rock. Low to medium depth allows for good drainage, and the organic content is low-medium as well. The climate is temperate Mediterranean. Summers are dry with moderate maximum temperatures, and winters are cold and moderately rainy. The average summer temperature ranges from 54º to 81º F (12º to 27ºC), and the average annual rainfall is 27.5 inches (700 mm).

A conrete fermentation tank dating back to 1939 at the cellars of Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

A concrete fermentation tank dating back to 1939 at the cellars of Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Cabernet Sauvignon (2014) aging in barrels in the barrel aging room in the cellar of Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Cabernet Sauvignon (2014) aging in barrels in the barrel aging room in the cellar of Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Our visit to Viña Casa Silva began in the vineyards where we had a carriage ride around the property (see the second photograph in this blog post, above).  The cellar tour featured both historic equipment and concrete fermentation tanks from 1939 and very modern winemaking equipment.  A highlight was seeing the family’s library room (see photograph, below), located at the end of a long underground tunnel, beneath the winery.

 

The private library of old vintages in the oldest wine cellar in the Colchagua Valley at Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Chile

The private library of old vintages in the oldest wine cellar in the Colchagua Valley at Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Chile

“Viña Casa Silva has the oldest wine cellar in the Colchagua Valley. Beneath its traditional and historic facade, however, it is one of Chile’s most modern wine facilities. Located on a century-old estate in Angostura, it is equipped with the latest technology, barrel rooms with the perfect conditions for aging wines, and a specially outfitted sector for small vinifications. It also has historic tunnels below ground and a beautiful collection of antique cars.” – http://www.casasilva.cl

The reception hall (often rented out for private parties) in the century-old estate at Viña Casa Silva in Angostura, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

The reception hall (often rented out for private parties) in the century-old estate at Viña Casa Silva in Angostura, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

 

Old wine makiing equipment outside the historic winery and the Angostura vineyards at Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Old wine making equipment outside the historic winery and the Angostura vineyards at Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

 

Verandah at the historic winery at Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Verandah at the historic winery at Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

One of our favorite wines in the tasting (and on the four-day trip through the winelands of Chile) was the Viña Casa Silva Microterroir de Los Lingues Carménère.  The Silvas explain: “As part of [our] ongoing search for the maximum expression of quality, [we have] been a pioneer in the production of excellent Carménères from the Los Lingues Vineyard at the foot of the Andes Mountains.  Small sectors of this vineyard have been selected to produce this Carménère, the result of the first micro-terroir study conducted in Chile.”

Our private tasting in the winery at Viña Casa Silva included their top three red wines -- all outstanding; San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Our private tasting in the winery at Viña Casa Silva included their top three red wines — all outstanding; San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

 

One thought on “Viña Casa Silva, San Fernando, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s