Vina Almaviva was founded in 1997 by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Chairman of the advisory board of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, and Eduardo Guilisati Tagle, chairman of Vina Concha y Toro. The 200-acre estate is in the Maipo Valley, in Central Chile, and the first vintage was in 1998. The flagship wine, Almaviva, is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The wine wins ratings in the 90s from international reviewers.
The Central Valley is Chile’s most productive wine region, and it includes four sub-regions. The Maipo Valley is one of those sub regions. The Maipo Valley has nearly 8,000 acres under vine. Grapes grown are, in order of acreage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Carménère, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Pinot Noir. Maipo is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chile has produced wine since the 16th century, when Spanish conquistadores brought grape vines and established vineyards. Sweet wines were favored until well into the 19th century, when French immigrants began making dry wines with a decidedly French character. Chile’s long, narrow, coastal geography has made the transportation of wines challenging over the centuries, though today it is a major exporter. To the west is the Pacific Ocean, to the east are the Andes. But the isolation has also meant that Chile vineyards have so far never been attacked by phylloxera, meaning that unlike viticulturalists in many other part of the world, Chilean vineyards can be planted with original rootstock, saving producers the laborious job of grafting vines onto phylloxera-resistant rootstocks. Chile started an appellation system in 1994, and there are five regions each with numerous sub-regions. Chile has attracted investment from European and American producers, including Robert Mondavi Winery, Kendall-Jackson, Lafite-Rothschild and Miguel Torres.