An exceptional Chilean winery setting new standards for quality.
To say that Andes Plateau and its founder Felipe Uribe is a pioneer in the field of high-altitude grape growing would not do the winery nor the man complete justice. Uribe is a self-styled innovator of the first magnitude who has followed his passion for growing quality fruit at extremely high altitudes and then transforming those grapes into award-winning wines.
“The cool climate that exists at high altitudes (above 2300 feet) along with the sunny terroirs allow a slow maturation of the grapes,” Uribe explained. “When you throw in the granite, colluvial and alluvial soils that are found at high altitudes, you have all the ingredients for making really fine wines with lower alcohol, vibrant acidity and an elegance that speaks for itself.”
Uribe also said that his wines are made only with natural yeast and that no corrections are made through the winemaking process that allows the wines to express the true terroir identity of where they were born.
The Andes Mountains seem to be a perfect host for such forward thinking. There exists a special conjunction of a warm Mediterranean climate with the geographic characteristics of Chile itself that provides an ideal environmental setting for a project such as Andes Plateau.
We hope our International Wine Club members enjoy this amazing selection!
Wine Regions of Chile
Of the country’s varied wine regions, the Central Valley Region must be considered as the premier growing area of the country. The Maipo Valley is an excellent sub-region as is the Rapel Valley and its two important sub-regions, the Calchagua Valley and the Cachapoal Valley. Grapes are grown as far north as the Elqui Valley and as far south as the Malleco Valley, all with varying soil and climate conditions that allow for a wide variety of Chilean wines. Numerous varietals are grown throughout the country, but Cabernet Sauvignon is the predominant red grape while Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay share the white grape mantel. With mountain ranges on both sides, the climate is generally consistent with cooler nights and warmer days.
Despite its political ups and downs, Chile's wine-producing industry continues to offer incredibly-crafted wines that have made it South America's foremost wine producer for the past decade.
The fact that Chile has become a major player in the international wine spectrum has been well documented and the narrow, elongated South American country has continued its ascension to the top rung of wine-producing countries. While Chile’s present-day political atmosphere reminds one of earlier turbulent radical times, the Chilean wine industry seems perfectly suited to endure such problematic incidents and continue its march toward South American wine supremacy.
The country has many notable aspects in its favor. First and foremost is the incredible weather and soil that exist throughout the country. First noted in the 16th Century by Catholic missionaries following the Spanish Conquistadors, excellent climate and loose, rocky soils provided a naturally perfect setting for grape varietals to prosper. The country’s natural borders of high mountains also protected the vines from the dreaded phylloxera outbreaks of the mid-nineteenth century that dominated Europe and led to an influx of French winemakers that bolstered the country’s then fledgling wine industry.
Some four decades ago, the modern Chilean wine industry began its emergence onto the world wine stage. Large amounts of capital were invested by Chilean and foreign interests and the country’s agriculture was modernized to be on par with other top rung wine producing countries. This “New Wave” wine movement included a large number of small entities intent on following in the footsteps of successful small producers in California and other emerging wine producing countries. New areas for growing grapes were established as the industry began its pivotal approach toward establishing terroir as the expression of a wine’s depth and pedigree.
Equally important was the world’s acceptance of Chilean wines, both in competitions and in the worldwide wine market. Restaurants and fine wine shops began carrying and featuring Chilean varietals while the demanding general public gloried in the fact that the price/value relationship of Chilean wines made them all the more attractive. The country did its part and tightened its wine laws to similar levels of other top wine producers. The overall affect was a win-win for both the Chilean wine industry and the rapidly developing legion of Chilean wine aficionados around the globe. This celebratory period has continued unabated and shows no signs of wearing thin. Exports have continued to increase over the past decade and new wineries and continuing investment have seen the Chilean wine business continue to expand.
Consumers have been the real beneficiaries of this continued progress and have responded by making a number of Chilean producers their favorites. It is our pleasure to feature Chile in our International Wine Club. Enjoy!
Felips Uribe - Winemaker
After completing his Master’s Degree in Viticulture and Enology at Madrid’s (Spain) Polytechnic University, Felipe Uribe returned to Chile where he became one of the country’s leading winemakers.
His working stints include a stop in Sonoma County’s well-respected La Crema Winery and Chile’s De Martino Vineyard and the top rung Miravalle Vineyard. In 2012, while serving as the head enologist at William Fevre Vineyard, he received the award for “the most innovative wine of 2012,” from Chile’s largest newspaper, El Mercurio. He founded Andres Plateau in an attempt to promote terroir-driven wines grown at high altitudes and today serves as a consultant to several other wineries based in the Cachapoal Valley.
Located closest to the Chilean Capitol of Santiago, the Maipo Valley is considered the birthplace of the modern Chilean wine industry. It contains more than 7,000 acres of vineyards of which half is dedicated to the growing of Chile’s most productive varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon. The Maipo Valley endures a great variation in day and nighttime temperatures producing an excellent combination of cold nights and warm, sunny afternoons the benefit grape growth. The area is filled with mostly porous and rocky soils that make the vines stress and produce characteristically bold and intense grapes that in turn become big, concentrated wines of great appeal.
The Maipo Valley contains three sub regions, Alto Maipo, Central Maipo and Pacific Maipo, each with individual characteristics. As you would expect, Alto Maipo is high in elevation, from 2,300 feet to just above 8,500 feet, with the latter being among the highest grape-growing areas in the world.