You hear it all the time. Wine allows you to travel the world virtually. Wines are all about soil, climate and the vines. Their interaction is what makes each wine unique. When you pour your glass, you can taste the wine’s essence. Kalfu wines, are the Chilean coastal wines from Vina Ventisquero has staked their name on that concept.
Paying tribute to their history, they chose to use the term “blue” in the indigenous Chilean language of Mapuche, as their name. With history dating back to 600-500BC, the Mapuche people of southern Chile, played an active role in development of the farming and cattle trade.
Their history was not an easy one. As the Spanish Empire gained control, the Mapuche migrated eastward but between 1861 and 1883 the Republic of Chile, as well as Argentina actively sought them out and effectively eliminated their independence and killed thousands through combat and pillaging. According to historian Ward Churchill, the Mapuche population dropped from a total of half a million to 25,000 within a generation. Those who survived the onslaught were forced to live in poverty and work as laborers and peddlers.
Throughout the negative times, they remained true to their traditions. Thankfully, since the 1990s, the Mapuche population has increased. Many remain in the agricultural field, but others have taken advantage of what thee big cities can offer. It is documented that many are concentrated around Santiago. and the regions of Los Lagos, Bío-Bío, and Maule.
You may be familiar with Vina Ventisquero. In addition to Kalfu, other brands under their direction include Ramirana, Root 1, and Yali. Vina Ventisquero has been creating wine since 1998. They own vineyards in the Maipo, Casablanca, Colchagua, Leyda and Huasco wine regions of Chile.
Kalfu means “Blue” in Mapudungun, the language of the aboriginal Mapuche people of the region. It represents the color that provides a myriad of sensations: blue, like the Pacific Ocean’s intense blue; and blue, like the free sky, acting as an accomplice of and witness to the mysterious origins of life. Kalfu is an invitation to live the ocean from its spirit, to enjoy the adventure that its movement brings: the body and soul of its indomitable nature, and the feelings created by its passion.
Kalfu’s beautiful label dons a seahorse. The wine represents how “sea horses are delicate and unique, so they need to be cherished.” The 97 hectare vineyard is located in the Leyda region and is drip-irrigated using water from the River Maipo. The vines, planted on average, 200 meters (656 ft) above sea level see a moderate to warm climate. The season is long and dry and is often under clouds during the winter and summer seasons. The temperature is rather consistent with the average temperatures of 8°C – 14°C in winter and 12°C and 25°C in summer. Soils are alluvial with granitic deposits in the highest altitudes. The middle terraces’ soils are mixed clay and gravel, while the lowest terraces range from loam to loamy clay.
2017 Kalfu Kuda Pinot Noir
👀 pale ruby with translucent edges
👃 pronounced aromas of anise, spice, red cherry
👄dry, high acidity, medium tannin, low alcohol. medium body, pronounced flavors vanilla, baking spice, tart cherry, medium finish
💭100% Pinot Noir from the Las Terrazas Vineyard in Leyda Valley Chile. hand harvested. Seven days of cold-soak followed by 10 days to complete fermentation with “pisoneos” (punch downs) to extract color. 14% ABV (SRP:$19) drink now or within 3-5 years
2018 Kalfu Kuda Sauvignon Blanc
👀 pale lemon- green
👃 medium aromas of green herbs, grapefruit, lime
👄dry, high acidity, low alcohol. medium body, pronounced flavors lemon, lime, minerals and saline, long finish
💭100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Las Terrazas Vineyard in Leyda Valley Chile. hand harvested. Cold soak for 12-14 hours in anaerobic conditions. Fermented in stainless steel and aged for 3 months on lees. 12.5% ABV (SRP:$19) drink now