Gregorian Grapes

Courtesy of Viña Montes

It is easy to have a love affair with Chile – a country with every aspect of landscape, from the dinosaur sand dunes of the Atacama Desert to the rising peaks of Patagonia, the ocean to one flank and the Andes marching along the other.

The verdant Colchagua Valley is the heart of wine production in Chile, soothed by Pacific breezes, nourished by fine, loamy volcanic soil and basking in warm, dry weather.  For a grape…Colchagua must be the equivalent of dozing in a deck chair on a palm-fringed beach, drink readily to hand and the promise of more days of equal even pleasure.

As if the natural luxury were not enough, the maturing wines at Viña Montes in Apalta are nurtured by the mellow reverberations of Gregorian chants.  Played to the audience of barrels, the subtle vibration of the chants minutely agitates the contents and perhaps even penetrates the cellular structure of the wine.  At the very least, it is a most educated wine, but of course it is much more than that, as the many advocates of Chilean wine will agree.

Viña Montes is also a notable contribution to the vernacular of winery architecture.  It has been designed in close partnership with Feng Shui expert, Silvia Galleguillos, and resulted in a building that is at once dynamic and quiet in the landscape.  A long, low slice of wood, steel, glass and stone opening to channels of water and sweeping swards of grass.   Irresistible to both adults and children who immediately lie on the ground and roll down the slopes in imitation of tumbling oak barrels.  The winemaker Aurelio Montes has brought to the Colchagua Valley a notable contribution to contemporary architecture that marries purpose and tradition with a sensibility that clearly expresses his deep love for his home.

Architect:  Samuel Claro
Interior Design:  Paula Gutiérrez
Landscape Design:  Adriana Edwards

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