Recommendations from Francisco Baettig, Head Winemaker, Viña Errazuriz
I am the Head Winemaker for Viña Errazuriz and I have been asked to share with you a little about my role, my favourite wine photography and to help you with some top tips this Christmas!
I am responsible for making a lot of technical decisions in the vineyard and winery, but I see my main role now as a bit like a conductor, to help my winemaking team to make the best wines possible.
My winemaking team comprises of strong people and skilled technicians. We meet frequently to discuss wine styles, winery practices, grape picking procedures and people. They challenge me – they are not “yes men”! – which I like, but uItimately we are all focussed on producing the highest quality wines – that have been recognised as among the best that Chile produces.
I also spend a big chunk of my time travelling to present and promote our wines in the different markets.
These are three of my favourite wine photographs that I wanted to share with you all.
Place: The Aconcagua Costa vineyard with all the rolling hills of beautiful vineyards.
Product: Don Maximiano
There is quite a lot happening at the vineyard at present. Our Aconcagua Costa vineyards, planted in 2005 and only 12 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean, are now fully productive, yielding very attractive wines from fresh Sauvignon Blanc to spicy Syrah, showing the cool climate characteristics and the minerality given by the schist soils.
In 2013 we will also have the first production of our Max VII vineyards, located in the interior part of the Aconcagua Valley, where thanks to the warm conditions we were able to plant Mediterranean varieties such Tempranillo, Grenache and Mourvedre. This allows us to produce very unique and distinctive wines which I am very much looking forward to produce.
My top tip? Enjoy Errazuriz wines with fine food and carefully selected company! For Christmas I will be with my family in France, eating some very French food for sure prepared by my mother in law, accompanied by a good bottle of Champagne and some very fine wines. For a ‘classic’ Christmas, I recommend:
Smoked Gravadlax or Ceviche with our Sauvignon Blanc Aconcagua Costa 2011 (£11.99, Waitrose, E.H. Booth, London Wine Company)
Roast Turkey with our Chardonnay Wild Ferment Aconcagua Costa 2011 (£15.99, Wimbledon Wines, Kingsgate Wines, Hailsham Cellars, Eagles Wines), but we may have duck or goose, in which case I would serve our Wild Ferment Pinot Noir Casablanca 2011 (£13.99, Majestic, Booths, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Wimbledon Wine Cellars)
Some rustic cheeses including Colston Bassett Stilton and Appleby’s Smoked Cheshire with our Don Maximiano Founders Reserve 2008 (£45, Hailsham Cellars, Farr Vintners, Waitrose, Laithwaites, slurp.co.uk, Partridges of Sloane Street).
With these pairings you will definitely have a fine Christmas!