Seña – literally meaning “signal” – was Chile’s first icon wine. In the early 1990s, the country had a reputation mainly for lower-end, high-volume wines, but Eduardo Chadwick, owner and president of Viña Errázuriz, set out to change that. He partnered with Robert Mondavi to craft a world-class Chilean wine. They spent four years finding the perfect site, eventually settling on the Aconcagua Valley. Here, 40km from the Pacific Ocean, they planted 42 hectares with Bordeaux varieties. The first vintage was 1995.
The reputation of Chilean fine wine, in particular Seña and Viñedo Chadwick, is tied to a tasting that Eduardo Chadwick arranged in 2004. The Berlin tasting was a tribute to the Judgement of Paris (the tasting that put Californian fine wine on the international map): the blind tasting pitched Eduardo Chadwick’s top wines against the world’s best Cabernet blends – including First Growth Bordeaux and Super Tuscans. Viñedo Chadwick and Seña came out on top, proving once and for all the quality of Chilean wine.
A Bordeaux-style blend, the wine is mainly Cabernet Sauvignon (normally over 50%), with Carménère playing a significant role and adding a distinctly Chilean imprint. The style of the wine has changed in recent years – with a move from the 2013 vintage to emphasise elegance and tension over oak and fruit.
Since 2005, Seña has been owned entirely by the Chadwick family.