While I was all the way over in Chile, their chief winemaker Adolfo Hurtado was in Dublin. Luckily, I did get to meet one of their winemakers, Guillermo Sánchez who took us around the vineyards on bikes, the same bikes you’ll see on their bottle labels.
Cono Sur has a vast area of vineyards in the Curico valley, their HQ. They also have plots in all the main growing areas, from up north in Limari all the way down to Bio Bio in the south.
Organics at Cono Sur
What’s interesting about Cono Sur is that it’s organic (or on the way to organic) on a vast scale. One example of organic or biodynamic practice is the geese you’ll see waddling between the rows of vines. Apart from looking cute, and making a racket, they serve a real purpose. One of the main pests on vines in the “Burrito”, a weevil, not a Mexican meal, crawls up the trunk of the vine and chews on the new shoots.
One way to combat this would be spraying the little mites with pesticide, but in Cono Sur (and other vineyards) they use a mixture of garlic and a glue on a strap. The Burrito makes it up this far, is trapped by the glue or repelled by the smell of garlic, then in come the geese for a feed on these tasty burritos.
There’s quite a range of wines in Cono Sur, mainly single varietal. The quality is excellent and you’ll get many of their wines here in Ireland, from independents through to supermarkets. Pinot Noir is a big focus here, from their entry level, the Reserva (a favourite of mine), through to the premium “20 barrels select” and Ocio. Martin Preiur, a Burgundian Pinot maker is involved and you can see glimpses of the Burgundian style coming through in their Pinot Noir from the Reserva up.