Chocalan is a family winery located in the coastal area of the Maipo Valley, approximately 15 miles from the Pacific ocean. Chocalan means “yellow blossoms,” reflecting the landscape of the Maipo Valley hills that are closer to the coast.
History of Chocalan
Guillermo Toro Gonzalez, a Chilean businessman with a vast experience in the wine-making business, proposed in 1996 to develop a new project of producing high-quality wines.
In 1998, an area of the Maipo Valley in Melipilla, Chile, was chosen due to its privileged microclimate, its soils and human factors that make it a unique place.
The first harvest was completed in 2001. The same year, the Toro Harnecker family, after an arduous search of the land looking to produce high-quality and elegant-type wines, found the perfect terroir to expand the project and thus opened the Malvilla wine range.
In 2008, with the harvesting of the first Malvilla white wines, the portfolio of the vineyard was completed, obtaining a wine with a unique and distinguished personality, recognized both at a domestic level and in the most important markets of the world.
Geography, Climate, Soils
Viña Chocalan’s close promixmity to the Pacific, in conjunction with the alluvial soils of the region, help produce grapes with a refreshing natural acidity.
The vines are located between 590 feet and 1,250 feet (180~380m) above the sea level, on a topography molded by the Coastal Cordillera which, in this area, reaches maximum heights of 820 feet (250m) where part of the vines are exposed to the influences of the sea breezes and to the proximity of to the Maipo River.
It is an area with moderate temperatures. There is a mist in the early hours of the day and low temperatures that later dissipate, opening to higher temperatures that are regulated by the breeze that begins to enter in the afternoons.
The soils belong to the “Lo Vasquez” series, which originate from broken up granite that is being decomposed from the mountainous formations of the Coastal Cordillera.
On the hillsides, the bed rock dominates; the soils are shallow with low fertility. Towards the foot of the mountain, broken up granite and quartz dominate, while at the depth clay and sand mix.
Vines and Harvest
The vines are between six and twelve years old. Given the characteristics of the area, mainly red stock dominates, where Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Carmènere are predominant; after that, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Malbec and Petit Verdot can also be found. The vineyard also grows Chardonnay and Viognier varieties.
The vines are led by a vertical trellis; on piedmont and hillside lands. The harvest is done manually, in 29 pound (13kg) baskets. It extends from the middle of March to the end of May.
The grapes are picked and taken directly to the winery, where a demanding selection process is conducted. After the de-stemming and milling, the grapes are submitted to a cold pre-fermenting maceration for a variable period of six to eight days.
The fermentation is done with selected yeast, under strict control and temperature management. Once the alcoholic fermentation is done, the post-fermentation maceration follows, with a finish that is defined by tasting. The wine is then placed in barrels where the aging and evolution period begins, a time determined by the characteristics of each wine.