Vina Maquis Lien is a blend of Syrah, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec grapes, resulting in a disinctive wine that reflects the special plot of land the Hurtado Vicuna family owns in the Colchagua Valley in Chile.
The vineyards and winery are located at the confluence of two historic rivers, the Chimbarongo and the Tinguiririca, which brought down from the Andes sediments that established teh vineyard's alluvial soils, and channel cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean, contributing to the richness and fruitiness of the wines.
Ricardo Rivadeneira Hurtado and his team pride themselves in creating such a generous red wine full of character and a sense of place.
In Chile's native Mapuche language, lien means "silver metal"—a reference to colonial Spanish coins that were once melted to make fine jewelry, like the lizard on the Maquis label.
The Hurtado family has owned the Vina Maquis vineyard for more than a century, but it wasn't until ten years ago that the family decided to make their own wine out of the terrific grapes in their own backyard. They built a gorgeous, state-of-the-art gravity flow winery and set out to make a "Super Chilean" blend using the vineyard's best red grapes.
Located in Valle de Colchagua, Vina Maquis's terroir is deeply influenced by its geographic position, as it is surrounded by the Tinguiririca River and the Chimbarongo Creek—two large waterways that once brought alluvial sediments from the Andes. Today, they act as pathways for cool
coastal breezes that help moderate the warm Colchagua summers, contributing to the intensity and fruitiness of the wines.
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Photo of the sun break following morning fog over the vineyards of Veramonte Winery (located in the Casablanca Valley)
Long and thin, Chile has a lot of land north to south. The wine region here is a series of districts based near Santiago. The vineyards are protected by the Pacific on the west and the Andes mountains on the east. This could help explain why the climate changes more from east to west than north to south – also why the country has remained phylloxera free. Quite a few wineries in Chile were founded by large French wine companies. Seeing the potential of the country, vineyards were bought and planted by these French folks and the results tell of a smart investment. Some of these wineries include: Los Vascos, Casa Lapostolle and Cousino Macul.
And while the inspiration may have been French, but the wines here are quite Chilean.
The main regions of Chile include Maipo (pronounced MY-poh), known for reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere; Casablanca Valley, a region producing delicious Sauvignon Blanc, as well as other whites & some
reds; Colchaugua, an inland district creating amazing red wines from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly in the Apalta sub-region; and Rapel Valley, settled right under Maipo and producing the same red varietals. A couple of smaller regions to watch include Limari and Elqui, two valleys further north, producing some delicious cool-climate Chardonnay and Bio Bio, an area further south, which is also focused on cool-climate varieties. Chilean wines are growing in exports and more consumers are enjoying the delicious values coming from the country. Red wines of the region, though they cannot be generalized, make the whole gamut of wine quality – quaffable to collectible. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Carmenere are the main players, though Syrah is also making a splash. Some of the best reds are blends of the above varieties. As for whites, Sauvignon Blanc is typically crisp, herbal and racy, while Chardonnay is richer in style with full-bodied texture and tropical fruit flavors.
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
Chile & Argentina are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.