Vina Ventisquero, located in the gorgeous Maipo Valley is 25 miles from the Chilean coast and 100 miles from Santiago. According to our guide, the climate changes every 40 miles (I was there in early 2011). It reminds me of where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it can be 50°F in northern San Francisco and 85°F at my home 22 miles north. This winery has several brands and grows grapes in Maipo Valley, Apalta, Colchagua Valley, Peralillo, Casablanca Valley, Lolol, Rapel Valley, and Leyda Valley.
Although their output is huge by American standards, their young staff is dedicated to making vintage specific, terroir-driven wines. Their brand Grey caught my fancy. Grey is the Andean word for glacier meaning purity, beauty, harmony, character and impressiveness. That same philosophy runs through the entire organization. They hire innovative, environmentally-sensitive, caring, gutsy youngish folks (the founder was only 35 when he started the winery) and on their website, they use the words, “positive energy” to describe their philosophy. I’d say that they “walk the talk” as I met a lot of talented, happy, friendly people there.
Gray is considered a premium Chilean brand. They are striving to create benchmark wines, ones that represent the terroir and the grape in Chile. I find them to be highly-competitive fine wines and I’m planning on buying different vintages to see how they age. The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is drinking especially fine. At only $25 USD ($270 a case) it’s a no-brainer for folks interested in collecting. It’s a wine that will hold up against $300 bottles of vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. My problem will be keeping it out of my sight so I don’t drink it.