Pinot Noir has the reputation of being a hard to grow vine. It requires a special weather and a particular kind of terroir where to grow, as well as a very carefull manipulation at the wineries. Therefore, is not easy to find it in any place around the world.
But, where does the Pinot reputation come from? According to the experts, the best wine of this variety comes from Burgundy, in France. This region, known as well as Cotê d’Or (Gold Cost), has a lot of qualities that help the growth and good development of the vines. For example, it has calcareous soils (it means, they have calcium carbonate in it), which ease the drainage, and this in turn helps the ripening process by keeping a higher temperature on the ground. Then, the variety travelled to Oregon, in United States, where it started spreading around other temperate regions of America, where it is produced today.
Cono Sur’s Pinot Noir
Cono Sur was born around the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in Chile, and since then has been deeply committed to this variety. Along with the famous French winemaker Martin Prieur, who advised the vineyard in the search and selection of the best terroirs and optimal management of the vineyards, Cono Sur’s winemaking team led by Adolfo Hurtado and Matías Ríos has worked for implementing at the wineries and vineyards all the necessary conditions to produce a premium wine under the same traditions of Burgundy. Cono Sur begun working with this variety in 1993 and has been strengthening over the years. In 1999 the company started the "Pinot Noir Project”, an initiative created with the idea of producing the best Pinot Noir in Chile. This work led to become one of the first vineyards to produce premium Pinot Noir, and also the first to export it.
Today, Ocio and 20 Barrels Limited Edition Pinot Noir (both premium ranges) are two of the most awarded wines by the international and national press, as the English magazine Decanter, The Wine Guide of Chile and in the International Wine Challenge, among others. All this, because of its excellent quality, given by the delicate cultivation of their grapes and a meticulous elaboration process: the grapes are harvested by hand, and after passing along the selection table, the bunches are destemmed taking care not to crush the berries. The fruit is then placed in open top tanks where it undergoes carbonic maceration at low temperatures. Later the grapes are foot trodden and colour extraction is enhanced by means of manual cap immersion. After fermentation the wine is placed in new French oak barrels, where it ages for approximately 14 months.
Cono Sur also has this variety in Vision, Reserve, Organic and Cono Sur (Bicycle) ranges, which also have been honored numerous times in tournaments around the world. Thus, one of Cono Sur challenges is to stay as the main producer and exporter of Pinot Noir in Chile, as well as to keep improving quality standards that, until now, have given credit to this wine as one of the best in the world.