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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
7 Feb 2007


Viña Leyda, along with Matetic and Casa Marin one of best-known exponents of the newish cool, coastal Chilean region San Antonio Valley, has been acquired by Viña Tabalí.

 

Viña Tabalí did particularly well in the first and second Chilean Wine Awards, winning the overall Chardonnay trophy in the first with a wine from young vines grown in Limarí, another very new wine region 400 miles north of Santiago, on the edge of the Atacama desert and just 12 miles inland from the Pacific which routinely cools the vineyards.

 

Viña Tabalí itself is now owned jointly by Chilean businessman Guillermo Luksic and the large Viña San Pedro operation based in Curicó, a much warmer wine region in the south of the country.

 

The Fernandez family invested in a five mile irrigation pipeline to the Viña Leyda site it established in time for the 2001 vintage, even closer to the ocean than Viña Tabalii that is so much further north. They now have over 200 ha of vineyard and with this deal must feel that their early gamble on Leyda/San Antonio has paid off.

In its short history however Viña Leyda has had somewhat fractured distribution in the UK. Initially represented by Armit Wines, the company then went to Great Western Wine and has also supplied some Marks & Spencer labels. The Leyda Pinot Noirs are some of Chile's interesting.