The pre-eminence of the terroir – combining natural rarities
It’s a magical moment; when the clouds flow down from the mountain. The sun slowly rises. A halo settles over the cellar.Jacques Begarie, Technical Director of Clos Apalta
Clos Apalta has a micro-climate which is significantly distinct from the general climate of Chile. It could be called semi-Mediterranean, with winter rains and a long, dry summer; weather conditions that allow the grapes to reach optimum maturity. The extreme thermal oscillation favors the accumulation of anthocyanins which creates the deep, rich color of the wines.
The vineyard is located at the entrance of the Apalta Valley, with its 60 hectares laid amphitheatrically. It enjoys a mostly southeast exposure, quite rare in Colchagua, which limits the sunshine and protects the old vines planted in poor granite soils from extreme heat. The Tinguiririca River and the hills of the Andean precordillera, enclosing the vineyard, ensure that our vines receive a balanced exposure to the elements: at sunset, the foothills protect the grapes from the rays of the sun and prevent scalding and dehydration at the hottest time of the day.
A century-old vineyard
The oldest plots were planted between 1915 and 1920; the stocks were imported from France at the end of the 19th century. A unique, century-old vineyard with 40 hectares of pied franc, with vines averaging 80-years-old. The carménère and cabernet, with their high-quality phenols, give superb and succulent grapes.
A unique terroir where the 100-year-old vines blend harmoniously into the surrounding nature.
Charles-Henri de Bournet, President and CEO of Lapostolle Vineyards
From the beginning of this journey, we have striven for perfection. During project development, other stocks were planted beside the old vines, according to the best layout which was discovered first in Chile. This includes foothill plantations with a high density of 6600 plants per hectare and constrained yields with a production of 45hl/ha, equivalent to that of Bordeaux. Today, the carménère is the make-up of wines such as Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
The vineyard plantations form astonishing, almost abstract, landscapes of undulating lines.
Jacques Begarie, Technical Director of Clos Apalta
One feels that such a variety of soil is too good to be true. The Clos Apalta vineyard benefits from an unprecedented microclimate, with unparalleled exposure, perfect drainage and a mosaic of terroirs: more than we could ever have hoped for.Michel Rolland, Consultant at Lapostolle Vineyards
The quality of the Apalta terroir is largely linked to the clay and structural quality of the soil, which is enhanced by the presence of both a weathered and fragmented bedrock and the natural properties of the quartz granite soils. Soil variation within the valley is important: from deep, organic, brown granitic soil to shallow, clay granitic soils on bedrock, to quartz granitic soils.
Because of the presence of weathering clays, Apalta benefits from a naturally created water reservoir that allows the vines to survive without human intervention.
In order to obtain as large a variety of wine as possible, some varietals are planted on the foothills, whilst others are on flat slopes, between 150 and 300 meters. These differences in altitude work together to offer beautiful, unique wines when assembled.
A mosaic of terroirs
Clos Apalta is an exceptionally composite terroir, with a myriad of plots, presenting an almost complete sample of the local rock make-up. The multitude of terroirs allows for contrasting flavors, thanks to the wide variety of soils, and gives the wines an aromatic complexity.