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Los Vascos

Los Vascos

Since 1988, this estate has been owned by the branch of the Rothschild family that owns Château Lafite, one of Bordeaux's first growths. Vines have been grown here since 1750, and when the family bought the property there were 220 hectares of vineyards, but they have since extended this to 640 hectares.

The vines lie in one plot, around 200km south-west of Santiago, at the foot of Mouth Cañeten in the Colchagua Valley. Lying 130m above sea level, the vines are just 40km from the ocean, and get little frost and plenty of sunshine. They are planted on sandy-clay and granitic volcanic soils.

The Rothschilds replanted much of the cabernet sauvignon when they arrived, and it now makes up 85% of the vineyard, with smaller quantities of carmenère, syrah, malbec and chardonnay also planted. Some sauvignon blanc and chardonnay are sourced from cooler regions on the Pacific coast - in the Casablanca and Leyda Valleys - or from the foothills of the Andes.

The vines now range in age from 15 to 70 years old. Grapes are harvested mainly by hand, and individual vineyard plots are then fermented separately in stainless-steel tanks, with rigorous tastings to decide which will go in the final blend of the best wines.

The two best reds (Le Dix and the Grande Réserve) age for 12 months in oak barrels, half of them new, which come from the Rothschilds' own cooperage in Pauillac.

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