He who goes slow, stays healthy and goes further (chi va piano, va sano e va lontano). These are the words that, in our opinion, best describe the spirit of those who have chosen to live without much haste as a genuine lifestyle. Because it seems that only when we slow down we get to savor every minute and do things correctly instead of just speeding them up. To make them here and now, enjoying more the process than the goal. This, about which we are increasingly aware as individuals, is something the grapes that give life to Vistamar’s wines know well. They all have their origin in fresh areas, where the climate allows them to enjoy a long and slow ripening period. Whether on the coast or in the Andean piedmont, it is in this process that they gain their remarkable balance and those attractive flavors with which they have conquered the palates of wine lovers since our beginnings.
Vistamar was born in 1999 as part of Viña Morandé and it soon became Morandé Wine Group’s first adventure. Its name mirrors the genesis of the project: to offer wines that came from the cool, coastal Casablanca Valley. Literally, wines overlooking the ocean. The initial idea, quite ahead of its times, belonged to Pablo Morandé, the winemaker who found the winery and the person who discovered Casablanca’s huge potential. And he materialized his idea thinking especially of women, who, in his opinion, would prefer wines that are fresher, lighter and easier to drink.
Soon after, at Vistamar we started looking for other properties that would allow us to rely on a qualitative origin for more traditional red varieties. It is thus that 2007 turned out to be a crucial year for our winery since that year Morandé Wine Group acquired La Moralina, an estate situatied at the foothills of the Andes in the Cachapoal Valley, very close to Vistamar’s winery. This decision not only allowed us to validate our commitment to freshness as the main characteristic of our wines, but also to incorporate Cachapoal as a second DO. A mountainous origin this time, but with as fresh an identity as Casablanca. With the project gaining more strength, Cristián Carrasco joined the winery to start an important viticultural experience that has lead him to become the current winemaker for all of Vistamar’s wines.
Cristián Carrasco, the winemaker
Although Vistamar’s wine prodution was initially carried out by different acclaimed professionals, as of 2007 the renowned winemaker Irene Paiva took on the brand’s management. On the other hand, in February 2011, Cristián Carrasco, the winery’s current chief winemaker, joined Morandé Wine Group where he soon became part of the winemaking team as second in command. Having had the chance to share with Pablo Morandé the development of the wines he was responsible for at the winery, especially his award-winning sparkling wines, and with Ricardo Baettig, the current winemaking director at Viña Morandé allowed him to gain extensive experience. As of January 2016, in addition to the above mentioned tasks, Cristián took the first steps in making Vistamar’s wines. This process lasted about three years, always working side by side with Irene Paiva, until he finally assumed, in 2019, as Vistamar’s chief winemaker.
With the idea of searching for those cold-climate areas that would allow us obtaining slow-ripening grapes that convey an identity of freshness to our wines, at Vistamar we created initially a limited portfolio of only three ranges: Brisa, Sepia (ranked as Reserva) and Gran Reserva. The latter, which consisted initially of just one wine –a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from the Maipo Valley-, has grown strongly and with great identity. Each of the five wines we’ve added, remarkably express their origins and each of the varieties with which they are made: two reds from the Andean sector of Cachapoal (one Cabernet Sauvignon and one Carmenère) and three wines from Casablanca (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), all single-varieties.
Having acquired an estate like La Moralina, which is nestled on soft rolling hills of great viticultural prospects, also allowed us to show the huge potential that was possible to achieve with more traditional red varieties. This, not only due to its mountainous soils, of alluvial origin, but also because of the breezes that blow down the mountains every evening, creating a uniquely fresh micro-climate, especially in summer. The great quality of La Moralina’s grapes led us to create a new wine range named Corte de Campo. The first two wines were a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère from the Andean sector, and a white blend of Chardonnay and Viognier from the Coastal sector. But as of 2020, the range will offer another Corte de Campo Costa, this time a red blend of Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Merlot that also originates in Casablanca.