Founded in 1880, Santa Rita has been one of the pioneers of the modernisation of Chilean viticulture – seeking out new regions to grow different varietals, with a focus on single vineyard plots and producing wines that express a sense of place. Today, Santa Rita is the number one selling winery in Chile with over 3,800ha of vineyards and 33 varieties.
Sustainability is at the core of their winemaking philosophy – they were the first wine group to be certified under Chile’s National Code in 2011. But more recently, they have embarked on a major project to replant 380ha of vines over five years. The project, called WiSe (Wine & Seeds), has been devised to combat diminishing yields after infestations of margarodes – tiny, subterranean insects that attack the roots of the vine. Adding to their sustainable efforts, the cellars, vineyards and offices were audited by Ecocert to achieve the title of Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile. The scores achieved in the different areas surpassed the maximum score requisite of the standard for this stage (95%), which is no small achievement.
Oscar Salas has hand-crafted an exclusive range of on-trade wines within the Santa Rita portfolio: Gran Hacienda, showing the huge varietal mix Chile can offer across the various valleys within Chile. Winemaker Sebastien Labbe creates the incredible Casa Real, a super premium Cabernet Sauvignon that is only produced in exceptional vintages. In 2014, Casa Real 1989 was given ‘Wine Legend’ status by Decanter Magazine – one of only two wines from South America to receive the accolade.