Limarí Valley

Viña la Playa Winery produces its delicate Block Selection Reserve Pinot Noir and two of its white wines —Block Selection Reserve Chardonnay and Block Selection Reserve Sauvignon Blanc — from La Playa’s vineyards located in an extraordinarily promising new cool climate region – Limarí Valley, Chile.

A dry region in the mountainous north of Chile, the area was relatively unknown to winemakers until about 10 years ago. Today, the rapidly growing landscape is quickly gaining a reputation for producing excellent Pinot Noirs, Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays produced in the cool climate style.

    • Located 250 miles north of Santiago, Limarí Valley is Chile’s “hot” new “cool” climate viticultural region.
    • An up-and-coming region to watch: In 1995 there were just 230 acres of vineyards across Limarí; there are now over 4,000 acres planted, with more on the way.
    • The Valley lies along the south border of the Atacama desert, the driest place on earth. But it benefits from a strong coastal influence – even more so than Chile’s other coastal areas – because the mountain range which hugs the shoreline begins in the Valley. That means lower elevations, which allow ocean breezes to blow in all throughout the day. La Playa’s Limarí Valley Estate, in particular, with its prime location along the Limarí River, boasts hillside vineyards facing cool Pacific Ocean breezes.
    • Lower elevation also means less shade, for the brilliant sunlight and higher temperatures that promote vigorous grape growth. High daytime and low nighttime temperature variations contribute concentrated color, aroma and flavor to the grapes (dry days yield remarkably healthy fruit, while cool nights allow the vines to rest and use their sugars to synthesize aromatic substances).
    • Despite the morning mist and dense coastal fog – known as camanchaca – water is scarce. Drip irrigation is the rule, with the barest amount of water used to achieve perfect ripeness and greatly concentrated grapes.
    • This microclimate, combined with a unique limestone bed buried under Limarí Valley’s alluvial clay soils, is perfect for delicate skinned Pinot Noir and white grapes. Poor soils generate stressed vines and low yield, which allow the aromas and colors to concentrate in the fruit instead of feeding the leaves. Variations in soil composition and depth, along with an irregular landscape marked by slopes, creeks, and hillside planting facilitate optimum environments for individual varieties.
  • These natural conditions encourage grapes to ripen slowly, promoting crisp natural acidity and outstanding development of aromas. The wines show a very appealing flinty quality resulting from desert soil rich in minerals, calcium and salt.
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