Clos Apalta

Wine Style

Bordeaux-style red blends dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère.

Worlds collide

The curved wooden staves of Clos Apalta jut out of the rolling hillside like a barrel, merely hinting at the flurry of activity going on in the seven-floor gravity fed winery carved 35 metres down into the rock below. Finished in 2005, it is the pièce de résistance of an ambitious project by Grand Marnier heiress Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet: to make Old World Bordeaux blends that would put this New World region on the map.

Dreamt up in 1994, that mission was officially accomplished in 2018, when Apalta was awarded its own Denomination of Origin to recognize the microclimate setting it apart from the surrounding Colchagua Valley. But the Clos Apalta wines have even longer won accolades, seamlessly combining French finesse with the fruits of this exceptional terroir. The vines are some of the oldest in the area, imported from Bordeaux before the Phylloxera crisis and planted as far back as 1915, and they sit within a horseshoe-shaped valley that encases Clos Apalta in a natural amphitheatre of native forest, providing a total immersion for the estate’s guests.

Your visit

Four private villas (or ‘casitas’) offer a sumptuous base from which to explore the 650-hectare estate. Named after grape varieties, each has its own balcony and is decorated with natural silk, leather and indigenous wood. An infinity pool and wellness program featuring massages and yoga classes offset the more adventurous activities utilizing the landscape, including vineyards tours on horseback, bike or foot. The estate can either provide a gourmet picnic to take with you, or you can enjoy some gastronomic refinement in the dining room upon your return, with ingredients sourced from the garden and local farmers.

The wines

Dubbed as Chilean Grand Crus, Clos Apalta owns 160 hectares of organic and biodynamic vineyards and focuses on promoting the natural potential of the ancient Cretaceous soils. The climate in this pocket is semi-dry Mediterranean, the vines largely protected from extreme heat by hills to one side and the cooling Tinguiririca River below, elongating the ripening period for fully developed flavours and tannins. A patchwork of soil compositions, altitudes and aspects among Clos Apalta’s vines enables it to produce complex and well-balanced blends.