Alta Cima, Lontué Valley
The Alta Cima winery projects a harmonic balance between its architecture and the landscape and integrates the most recent developments in the oenological and ecological worlds. The design allows a gentle handling of the grapes using gravity to preserve the integrity of the skins, which contain most of the characteristics of the future wine.
The southerly wind moderates the temperatures in this part of the valley, creating a very particular micro-terroir.
During the vegetative growing period the days are warm but not torrid, not exceeding 32°C and the nights are cold, generally between 12°C and 14°C . This 20°C temperature variation creates the perfect conditions to simultaneously obtain ripe fruit, conserve the alive and natural acidity with a moderate richness of alcohol and a round and silky evolution of the tannins.
Another characteristic of this valley is the lack of rain during the growing period, with an average relative humidity of 30-40 %, virtually eliminating the possibility of fungus.
The terroir of muddy and clayey soil, rich in volcanic ashes is located in the mouth of the transversal valley (from the Andes to the coast) of the Lontué river. 200 km south of Santiago, 110 km from the Pacific Ocean and 65 km from the Andes mountain range.
The red varieties were planted (in espalderas) between 1974 and 1980 "a pie franco" (without grafting), thereby preserving the pure characteristics of each variety. The vineyards with a density of 5000 plants/ha are trained to develop deep roots, preventing the need for irrigation.
The age of the plants and the absence of irrigation results in a well balanced vineyard, so that during the fruit ripening period the plants are not growing. Therefore, the grapes benefit from all the photosynthesis of the leaves and no energetic expenditure is lost in the generation of new buds.
Two months before the vintage the production of the vineyard is moderated (a green harvest) and the finest bunches are preserved, so that in the last 8 weeks the totality of the foliage concentrates in benefiting the remaining bunches.
After studying Oenology and Vineyard Management in Weinsberg and Geisenheim in Germany , Klaus Schröder arrived in Chile in 1965 to work for the Chilean wine industry.
He has worked as head oenologist at Viña San Pedro (1965 - 1980), Viña Errazuriz Panquehue (1982 - 1989) and Viña Santa Rita (1989 - 1996) and in 1996, he received the "Al Mérito Vitivinícola" award, the highest accolade possible for his contribution to the national industry.
Throughout his terms at these prestigious Chilean wineries, Klaus's ambition was to create his own wine with a unique and exclusive character as his contribution to Chilean Oenology. With the AltaCima winery, this is now a reality.
Currently, Klaus is an independent consultant to many local wineries, the President of the Chilean Oenologists/Winemakers Association (Associacion Nacional de Ingenieros Agronomos Enologos de Chile AG) and a Chilean representative of UIOe (Union Internationale des Onologues).