The grapes to produce the Pinot Noir Aconcagua Montes Alpha were cold soaked at 8°C for 5 days to extract aroma and colour, especially important for thin-skinned Pinot Noir. After that, the must was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and then kept on the skins to give structure and colour for another seven days at temperatures of 23-24°C. After malolactic fermentation, the final blend was aged in French oak barrels (a third of which were new) for 10-12 months.
The Pinot Noir vineyards are planted on gently rolling hills with different aspects and are trained to vertical shoot position. The sites are irrigated via a ‘Sustainable Dry Farmed’ system, developed by Aurelio and his team, which allows for extremely precise and minimal irrigating, reducing their water footprint by 65%. The vines only require minimal work with the canopy, which enables the growers to obtain healthy grapes with good balance at harvest time. Yields vary between 7,000 and 8,000 kilograms per hectare. The proximity of the vineyards to the Pacific coast endows the wine with tremendous freshness, minerality, and cool climate typicity. The granitic soils of the Coastal Mountains have varying percentages of clay, which contributes elegance, creaminess and a unique sense of place.
Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. The Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, first produced in 1987, broke the mould for premium wines in Chile. Since then, Alpha has developed to become the core range in the Montes portfolio. The grapes and sites are carefully selected in order to ensure varietal integrity and complexity. Viticulture is hands on rather than mechanical or industrial.