AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 6
Name of wine estate: Clos Apalta Winery
Wine region: Colchagua Valley
Standout points: Spectacular winery and one of the world’s most iconic red wines
Winemaker: Jacques Begarie
Wine style: Chilean terroir and Bordeaux winemaking philosophy
A design masterpiece
Designed by renowned Chilean architect Roberto Benavente Riquelme, the stunning six-level, gravity-fed winery in the midst of century-old, biodynamically farmed vineyards was specially built to produce the iconic Clos Apalta Carmenere/Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. An architectural tour de force is, of course, entirely appropriate for one of the world’s most prestigious wines.
Chilean terroir, Bordeaux prestige
Clos Apalta Winery is located in the foothills of Apalta, about 170km south-west of the capital, Santiago. Imagine premier cru classe Bordeaux transplanted to the Colchagua Valley. When Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle (owner of the Grand Marnier liqueur brand) and her husband Cyril de Bournet arrived here in 1994, they discovered Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere vines based on pre-phylloxera rootstock and dating back to 1915. Closely guided by Bordeaux-based super-consultant Michel Rolland, they set about realising what they saw as the area’s clear potential for producing world-class wines. Several 100-point scores later, their hunch seems to have been proved right.
Every indulgence catered for
At the Clos Apalta Restaurant, a team of chefs uses organic vegetables from its own garden and top-quality seasonal products to create a special menu for the estate’s wines. If energy levels permit, you have the option of trekking, mountain biking or horseriding through the vineyards and the local native forests. Follow that with a tour and private tasting in the breathtaking winery, where you can sample three award-winning wines – Lapostolle Grand Selection, Cuvée Alexandre and the iconic Clos Apalta – in a spectacular setting.
For the full five-star luxury experience, a stay at the Lapostolle Residence is highly recommended. This stunning hotel complete with infinity pool comprises four airy, intimate suites surrounded by the Apalta hills and native forest. Each boasts a private terrace offering an uninterrupted view of the vines and mountains, and each is decorated with reference to the grape varieties that make up the Clos Apalta cuvée.