AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 23
Name of wine estate: Viña Viu Manent
Wine region: Colchagua Valley
Standout points: Chile’s top Malbec, equestrianism
Winemaker: Patricio Celedón
Wine style: International, Bordeaux varieties
Welcome to Malbec heaven
Lovers of deep, satiny Malbecs will be very happy here. One of Viu Manent’s principle claims to fame is that it produced Chile’s first 100% Malbec, back in 1993, from one of the country’s oldest Malbec vineyards. Today, Viu Manent produces no fewer than eight wines from this old Bordeaux variety, from the Estate rosé right up to its ‘icon’, Viu 1.
Rooted in Colchagua
The Viu family has been making wine from the sunkissed Colchagua Valley for more than 80 years. Founded as a negociant business in 1935 by Catalan immigrant Miguel Viu García and his two sons, Agustín y Miguel Viu Manent, the estate now extends to 260 hectares over three locations in Colchagua: San Carlos estate in the sub-appellation of Santa Cruz, and the La Capilla and El Olivar estates, both in the sub-appellation of Peralillo.
These days Viu Manent receives just as many awards for its impeccable tourist offering as it does for its wines. Third-generation co-owner José Miguel Viu Bottini was actively involved in setting up the prestigious Colchagua Valley Wine Route, while the multi award-winning Viu Manent visitors’ centre attracts more than 40,000 visitors each year.
Saddle or secateurs?
There is an almost inexhaustible array of things to do. How about a horsedrawn vintage carriage tour through the immaculate vineyards? Or a horseback tour with the estate’s Equestrian Club? Visitors can also become a winemaker for a day, learning everything from blending to labelling to produce their very own wine. When the grapes are ready to pick (usually February to April), you can also join the Harvest Experience.
For the epicurious…
More sedate pleasures abound too. Enjoy a sumptuous wine pairing menu amid panoramic views of the vineyards and hills of Apalta at the winery’s Rayuela Wine & Grill Restaurant, or enjoy a more hands-on gastronomic experience at chef-guru Pilar Rodriguez’s Food & Wine Studio. Here you can pick edible flowers and herbs in the picture-perfect studio garden and create your own contemporary Chilean menus, finally enjoying your gastronomic creations alongside Viu Manent wines in an intimate dining setting overlooking the vineyards.
An unmissable destination for anyone visiting the red wine paradise of the Colchagua Valley. Just don’t forget your toothbrush.