Casa Lapostolle owns two wineries, with extensive vineyard holdings in three different appellations.
The principal winery is in Cunaco in the Colchagua Valley, by the Apalta vineyard. About 100 kilometres to the north, in the Cachapoal Valley, is the Las Kuras vineyard. And more northerly still, near the west coast, is the Atalayas vineyard in Casablanca.
A second winery is dedicated to the production of Casa Lapostolle’s premium Bordeaux blend, Clos Apalta. This wine is produced under the management of Charles-Henri de Bournet Marnier Lapostolle, son of founders Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and Cyril de Bournet. Michel Rolland has been personally involved in Clos Apalta production since the first vintage in ’97.
Clos Apalta is a blend in which the largest share is Carmenère, the region’s signature grape. This is supported by Bordeaux varieties Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. As a further parallel with its Bordeaux heritage, Clos Apalta has a second wine called Le Petit Clos. It was first produced in 2014 using fruit from younger vines, principally Cabernet Sauvignon.
The three vineyard sites owned by Casa Lapostolle provide ideal conditions, not only for Bordeaux varieties but also for Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Casablanca is acknowledged to be Chile’s most successful region for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, thanks to its cooler climate and longer growing season.
Casa Lapostolle planted their Atalayas vineyard there in 1997, so vines have reached an age to provide good flavour intensity which will only improve.
Vines in Las Kuras in the Cachapoal Valley were planted from ’92 to 2000, consisting largely of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. The Apalta vineyard provides most of the Bordeaux varieties and boasts the oldest vines, some of which were planted in the 1920s. It benefits from a southerly exposure, which in the southern hemisphere reduces exposure to sunlight and heat. This allows the grapes to mature over a longer period and preserving freshness as the fruit reaches full maturity.
Yields are generally kept to 45 hectolitres per hectare, equivalent to that of Bordeaux, and viticulture is organic.
Grapes are sorted twice: once when they are hand-harvested, and again on arrival in the winery. Vinification is in stainless steel or wood, depending on the cuvée. Basic reds and whites are fermented in 100% stainless steel; reds aged about five months in wood; and whites may be aged in stainless steel, or briefly in wood.
Borobo is fermented with natural yeasts in 10% new French oak barrels, the rest in stainless steel tanks or older wooden cask. Clos Apalta is aged in oak (about 85% of which is new) for 26 months. Neither Borobo nor Clos Apalta are fined, cold stabilised or filtered.
The Apalta vineyard was certified organic in 2009, and some biodynamic practices have been introduced.