The Love for Wine Spread Over The Andes – Vina Montes and Kaiken
A Passion for Wine Through Biodynamics
At Kaiken, the philosophy is different from most wineries in Argentina because its vineyard viticulture is biodynamic. Kaiken also utilizes organic principles and sustainable practices. As Aurelio describes it, “We are coming back to our roots. It is the way my grandparents worked in the vineyard.”
The winery’s philosophy and use of biodynamics are to give to the soil. At the same time, Kaiken is receiving the bounties its grapes have to offer. They are establishing natural ecosystems.
In addition to the grapes, Kaiken grows their fruits and vegetables and raises chickens, sheep, geese and horses, which are all part of the program. Aurelio has found that since introducing sustainability practices, the vineyard has become healthier, and the quality of the grapes is better. Not only are the people who work at Kaiken happy, they’re excited about the work they are doing to make this winery a sustainable community.
The Caiquen also symbolizes Aurelio Jr.’s cosmopolitan interpretations of his wines. He loves cooking and combining various spices to enhance the cuisine. His concept for producing quality wines follows this same pattern – blending different areas and flavors together from good grapes, thereby creating unique, wonderful wines.
Highlights of the Wine Tasting
A tasting in Los Angeles at District by Hannah An brought this father and son team together to showcase both the wineries and their passion for wines. It was an opportunity to compare Chilean wine to Argentinean wine and see the differences between the countries via terroir and climate.
The Sparkling Angel, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, was the perfect aperitif with its soft, well-balanced, citrusy demeanor.
Montes Alpha Chardonnay appeared to be more rounded and buttery, while the Kaiken Ultra Chardonnay was more acidic and crisp.
Chilean and Argentine Red Wines
The Cabernet Sauvignon from Montes Alpha was fuller bodied and rich, whereas the Kaiken Argentinean counterpart Ultra was fresher and softer in the tannins.
Comparing Malbecs, the Montes Alpha from Chile was leaner, rounder and fruitier, while the Kaiken Ultra was more restrained, yet vibrant and spicier.
The Montes Alpha M is the winery’s tribute to Bordeaux’s left bank. It’s big, well-balanced, and earthy.
Kaiken pays tribute to Argentinean Malbec with Mai.
The word Mai means “first,” and it represents Kaiken’s first iconic wine. The grapes come from a 125-year-old vineyard in Vistabla. The grapes are hand selected berry by berry, and the wine is silky and velvety with ripe fruits. Mai is the ultimate statement of what Kaiken and Argentinean wines are about.
For Vina Montes, the wine that is classified above all others is the Taita Cabernet Sauvignon. Taita means “father” or “grandfather” and represents the wisdom one gains over the years. In this case, it signifies the best of his Chilean wine. It also symbolizes the wisdom that Aurelio Sr. has given to his son, Aurelio Jr. It’s this knowledge that intensifies their relationship.
The contrasts might seem like the relationship is one of father versus son, Chile versus Argentina, rather than like father like son. After meeting the two, it’s quite obvious this is not the case. The love and passion that the two Aurelios have for each other and for wine make them a team. Their wines show their quest to make the very best of what Chile and Argentina have to offer.
If you go
- In Santa Cruz, Chile, visit Vina Montes.
- In Mendoza, Argentina, visit Kaiken.