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Viña MontGras Expands Into New Areas of Chile

Winery starts projects in Maipo and Leyda, acquires more land in Colchagua

James Molesworth
Posted: February 18, 2005

Chile's MontGras winery, which unveiled its ambitious Ninquén mountain vineyard project, is once again branching out from its base on the floor of Colchagua Valley.

MontGras is starting a new project in the Maipo Valley, where it has acquired the Linderos winery and vineyards, from which it has been buying grapes over the past 12 years. The purchase includes 260 acres of 10- to 40-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines. MontGras plans to add Carmenère, Merlot and Syrah as well.

To oversee the yet-to-be-named project, the winery has rehired winemaker Santiago Margozzini, who spent the last year at Viña Tarapacá following an earlier four-year stint with MontGras. The first wines will come from the 2005 vintage.

In addition, MontGras has purchased 780 acres of undeveloped land in the coastal Leyda area. Leyda is drawing increased interest from Chilean wineries for its cool climate, which is suitable for Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir--all grapes that MontGras intends to plant.

MontGras has also purchased 156 acres of vineyards in Colchagua adjacent to its main winery and is close to finalizing the purchase of 260 acres in the western end of Colchagua, near Marchigue. Marchigue is another cool-climate coastal area that is being developed by several wineries, including Viña Montes.

Currently, MontGras produces 550,000 cases a year, of which 20,000 come to the United States. It has done best with its Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet-based blends, and also makes some good quality, value-priced Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay.

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