We firmly believe Maipo Andes
is one of the few places where world-class
Cabernet Sauvignon can be made.

Terroir

Terroir is the harmony of soil, climate and cultural factors that combine to create a wine with a sense of place.

D.O Maipo Andes

Denomination of origin (D.O.): the vineyards are located in the new and exclusive denomination of origin called Maipo Andes (~900 ha), within Maipo Valley (~11,000 ha) and Maipo Alto (~2,000 ha) at an altitude of 450 m.a.s.l. This D.O. extends across 3 districts south of Santiago city (Puente Alto, Buin and Pirque). We firmly believe this is one of a few places in the world, together with Haut-Médoc (France), Napa Valley (USA), Bolgheri (Italy) and Coonawarra (Australia), where world-class “Grand Cru” Cabernet Sauvignon can be made.

Climate

Climate in D.O. Maipo Andes is Mediterranean-dry. The following characteristics, each one highly favorable for the growth of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety, describe its climate:

  • Warm daytime temperature: Highs below 33º and an average of 31º C

  • Cool night-time temperature: below 15º C

  • High temperature amplitude (day / night): 18º C

  • Dry summers with intense sunlight

  • Heat Summation: Winkler II and III

  • Annual rainfall: 350 mm

  • Cool afternoon breezes coming off the Andes

Soils

D.O. Maipo Andes can be defined by the depth, age and complexity of its alluvial terraces. Here we find 4 terraces formed during the last 4 glacial periods, each one very different to the others. The quality of the wine depends on the age of the alluvial terrace.

Alluvial soils are formed by the action of running water coming off the melted ice of the Andes Mountain Range. Water dragged different types of rocks and materials in a violent manner, setting them on its path and creating the soils over time.

The last 4 glacial periods built the alluvial soil of Maipo Andes on different terraces. All the soils of Maipo Andes are formed by an overlay of different layers corresponding to the different eras when they were formed.

Gandolini Winery’s vineyards are located in the oldest alluvial terraces No. 3 and 4, the ones most distant from Maipo river and located at a higher altitude, comprising the terraces with the best quality for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Close to 40-60% of the volume of the soil is stones and 25% is clay around these stones, helping the vines retain water and nutrients.

Cultural Factors

Harvest: In order to maximize the potential of the varieties, it is important to harvest each block separately, during the right picking date and when the vinification process is done in batches.

Water management: Drip irrigation system

  • Root formation Deep roots, good drainage and porosity are the keys to controlling water stress and obtaining high quality tannins. Low subsoil fertility is key for vines with moderate vigor, small clusters and berries, more skin, high intensity of color, flavor and structure.

Harvest time: Selecting the right time for harvesting.

Knowing the vintage: The influence of the harvest and water stress to determine the right time for the harvest.

Berries: Very thick skin, intense color, flavor and structure. Cluster weight: 90-100 g. Production: 1 kg per vine.

High-density plantation: 7,000 vines per ha.

Vinification: Each batch uses a winemaking technique suited to the grape’s maturation.

Oak barrel selection: Gandolini uses only 6 cooperages from Bordeaux, France.  Each barrel is made of oak staves from the best forests, with very fine grains, that have been naturally dried for more than 36 months and have a light to medium toast. These features have been chosen in order to fix the primary flavors, build the structure and respect the soil, allowing the wine to have a strong sense of place.

Aging: 21-24 months in new French oak.

Bottle-aging: 12 months minimum before the wine can be opened.