Heritage and tradition are at the heart of Santa Rita, which boasts over 130 years of wine production and experience.
Founded in 1880, Santa Rita has been one of the pioneers of the modernisation of Chilean viticulture – seeking out new regions to grow different varietals, with a focus on single vineyard plots and producing wines that express a sense of place. Today, Santa Rita is the number one selling winery in Chile with over 3,200ha of vineyards and 33 varieties.
Sustainability is at the core of their winemaking philosophy – they were the first wine group to be certified under Chile’s National Code in 2011. But more recently, they have embarked on a major project to replant 380ha of vines over five years. The project, called WiSe (Wine & Seeds), has been devised to combat diminishing yields after infestations of margarodes – tiny, subterranean insects that attack the roots of the vine.
While this project will improve production, it is also intended to improve the sustainability of the vineyards. Working with US consultant Phil Freese, WiSe will re-examine Santa Rita’s entire viticultural approach. This includes going herbicide-free by 2020.
Santa Rita’s winemakers Sebastian Labbé and Oscar Salas craft two ranges for Bibendum – Gran Hacienda and Medalla Real – as well as the iconic Casa Real. Casa Real is a superpremium Cabernet Sauvignon that is only produced in exceptional vintages. In 2014, Casa Real 1989 was given ‘Wine Legend’ status by Decanter Magazine – one of only two wines from South America to receive the accolade.