Wine to help us through a chilly month: Richard Esling January 19

Its January, and it can be chilly in more ways than one! Cold, grey, damp days, locked down at home.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 2:54 pm
Wines from Vina Ventisquero, Chile SUS-210118-143930001

It’s not surprising that research shows that 75 per cent of those opting for Dry January at the beginning of the month, had given up the idea after just one week! We all need a little joy and comfort, especially this year, and a little glass of wine can be a help, so long as it is in moderation. So, in a chilly month, why not opt for some wines from Chile?

January is traditionally a time for renewal, a time of new resolutions, new projects or doing things differently.

Everyone’s focus is understandably on the pandemic – how to avoid transmission of the virus and how to combat it. Thankfully, there is hope in sight in terms of the rapid rollout of the vaccine. But we must also not lose sight of the other crucial issues affecting our planet, such as preserving the environment and reducing pollution.

Vina Ventisquero is a producer of characterful, authentic wines in Chile, owning vineyards in several different regions. The company is committed to respecting and caring for the environment and has achieved Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile status in 100 per cent of its vineyard estates - the first producer to achieve such recognition. In fact, Ventisquero Wine Estates have demonstrated sustainable management in every area involved in the winemaking process: vineyard, winery and social responsibility. True to their strap line ‘a step beyond’.

The company recognises that native woodland surrounding their vineyards, is a natural resource that should not disappear. Great care is taken to maintain as much woodland as possible and to conserve the ecosystem of the vineyards. A sustainable management plan operates in their vineyards, so as to mitigate erosion, favour organic products to control pests and diseases and use controlled watering systems to save water.

Root 1 is a range of wines from Vina Ventisquero, produced from un-grafted vines. Due to the geographical position and climate, Chile is one of the few grape growing regions of the world that is untouched by the devastating root disease Phylloxera, meaning that the original rootstocks have remained.

According to the producer, these ungrafted rootstocks allow a better flow of nutrients to the leaves, giving wines with strong varietal character and expression of terroir. Root 1 Sauvignon Blanc 2019 from the Casablanca Valley has crisp acidity, with lemon, lime and tropical aromas. The palate is fresh with pear, pineapple and lime flavours and a refreshing, mineral finish. £7.75 from Morrisons, currently on offer at an unmissable £6.

Another of the Ventisquero brands is the Kalfu range. Kalfu Molu Pinot Noir 2018 is a pure, aromatic expression of fruit sourced from their Tapihue vineyard in the Casablanca Valley, one of Chile’s premium regions for cool climate varieties.

The grapes were harvested during the cool of the night to avoid oxidation and maintain the high quality of the fruit. This is a classic cool climate Pinot Noir, with aromas and flavours of red berry fruit, with hints of black cherry. Enhanced by delicate ageing in French oak, flavours of cinnamon and vanilla carry through to a long, satisfying finish. £11.95 from South Downs Cellars.