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O.Fournier (Chile)


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Our Wines: Please click here to view wines.

Location and Climate

In Chile, O. Fournier has selected the most exciting areas to develop vineyards and produce wines. The region of Lo Abarca, where their 35-hectare property is situated, is located in San Antonio Valley, five kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. The altitude is approximately 150-200 metres above sea level. The ocean’s influence produces cool temperatures with maximums and minimums of 25°C and 10°C respectively. These conditions allow the production of wines with excellent aromas, acidity, elegance and structure.

The continental climate is moderated by the Pacific influence. The average rainfall is moderate with 300-400 mm per year, mainly in the spring and autumn, which makes irrigation in the summer months necessary. The rigorous climate, with large temperature differences, and minimal rainfall, determines low yields and high-quality grapes.

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Generally, the soils that can be found in Lo Abarca are extremely varied given the extremely old geological age of region, with diverse layers of sand, gravel, clay, iron and granite. The vast majority of soils are poor in organic material, which also facilitates the production of outstanding grapes. 

The region of Maule, where the other red varietal vineyards are located, has an altitude of approximately of 300-400 meters above sea level. The latitude of these properties also produce a large temperature amplitude (maximum temperatures of 32°C and minimum of 9°C in the summer) which helps to produce wines of excellent colour, elegance, low alcohol, natural acidity, structure and suitability for long barrel ageing.

The rainfall is moderate, between 400-600 mm per year, mainly in the spring and the autumn with some sporadic storm precipitation during the summer. The rigorous climate, with large climate differences, and minimal rainfall determines low yields and produces high-quality grapes.

Generally, the soils that can be found in the vineyards of Maule are predominately composed of stone, limestone, sand and clay layers, very similar to those of the Ribera del Duero, in Spain. The great majority is also poor in organic material. It is also worth mentioning that it is extremely difficult to find these types of soils in Chile.

 

History

In 2007, after three-year search for the best vineyards and terroirs in Chile, O. Fournier group started its operations in that country. They acquired properties in Lo Abarca (San Antonio Valley) and Loncomilla (Maule Valley).

 

Winery 

At the present, O. Fournier has leased a winery for five years that was previously used by the North American winery, Kendall-Jackson. In the future, construction of two wineries is planned in each of the regions chosen by O. Fournier.

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In Lo Abarca, a boutique winery will be constructed with a capacity of 150,000 litres, together with a visitor’s centre and a restaurant. In the La Higuera vineyard in Maule, a winery will be built for the production of red wines with a capacity of 800,000 litres. Both wineries will be designed with gravity flow and will have a large architectural component.

 

Viticulture Information

High-quality grapes are the fundamental factor for O. Fournier and this begins with a rigorous selection and control of vineyards. The Maule region has one of the longest winemaking traditions in Chile. These old-vine, dry farming vineyards produce grapes with complexity and balance, allowing O. Fournier to produce wines with exceptional personality and characteristics. O. Fournier have set themselves the mission of recuperating these old vineyards, maintaining their original plant density, training systems and working on regulating yields on a per plant basis. All this care results in their vineyards producing 4,000 kg/Ha, thus producing exceptional wines.

Along with their estate vineyards, O. Fournier have also secured long-term agreements with old-vine vineyard owners where O. Fournier staff control all the viticultural aspects. They are also in the process of grafting old “Uva País” vines onto more international varieties best suited for high-quality wines.

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O. Fournier is one of the few terroir-focused winery groups. In Chile all their red grapes come exclusively from the Maule region and their best Sauvignon Blanc and, in the future, Pinot Noir from San Antonio (Leyda and Lo Abarca).

The winery works with leading international wineries, mainly from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, for many following winemaking processes:

  • Harvesting: The grapes are picked manually by their own workers, and placed in 18kg boxes, allowing the Bodega to control the quality of the grapes right from the vineyard. 
  • Grape selection: The best grape clusters are selected at a sorting table. 
  • Crushing: The winery uses a crushing-destemming machine, with adjustable stainless steel rolls. Only half of the grapes are crushed. The grapes fall inside the vats via gravity, avoiding the use of pumps. 
  • Fermentation: The stainless steel vats are equipped with a hot and cold-water device. Most fermentation is done with cold maceration with dry-ice.
  • Pressing: The winery uses a pneumatic press with electronic pressure control for pressing the marc. 
  • Ageing: The ageing process takes place in 225 litre barrels of 100% French oak. The barrels are stored in cellars, where the temperature and humidity are strictly controlled. The winery purchases barrels from prestigious coopers from France.

 

People

O. Fournier Group CEO: Jose Manuel Ortega

O. Fournier Group Head Winemaker: José Spisso

Chile Winemaker: Claudia Apablaza

Chile Vineyard Manager: Hugo Donoso

Chile General Manager/Exports: Mariana Herlin

 

Website: www.ofournier.com