Ideally situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, Chilean vineyards are blessed with incredibly reliable weather, high levels of sunshine and no drought concerns, with year-round access to irrigated snow melt from the Andes. The Pacific also creates cool breezes and mists – slowing down the ripening of the grapes and helping create complex flavours.
Clos Apalta itself is home to remarkable old vines (with some over 100 years old), which are ungrafted and dry-farmed – the latter something that is very rare in the region. Dry-farming naturally reduces vigour and creates deep root systems as the vine searches for water, leading to more concentrated and complex flavours that are arguably more expressive of place.
The horseshoe-shaped vineyard is surrounded by the Cordillera mountain range, which shields the site from the sun at sunrise and – more importantly – in the late afternoon, when the sun is at its strongest. This allows the grapes to escape extreme heat, allowing for slower, more even ripening. Clos Apalta was an early adopter of biodynamics, converting the vineyards fully in 2006 and certified since 2011.