Viña Montes began in 1987 as a partnership between Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray, two pillars of the Chliean wine industry. They were convinced that Chile has the capability to produce wine of a quality to match anywhere else in the world and they set out to put this into practice. Sadly Douglas Murray died in 2010 but Aurelio has continued to develop and grow the business.
Through the 1990's they focussed on the Apalta region of the Colchagua valley, where their winery is to be found near the town of Santa Cruz about 2 hours south of Chile's capital Santiago.
While much of their fame can be ascribed to their iconic wines, among them Montes Alpha 'M', Montes Folly and Purple Angel, they also produce many more wines ranging from excellent and good value entry level varietals right up to some of the most expensive and highly regarded wines Chile has to offer.
So how do they do it? Not surprisingly, in the vineyard. They learned, when they started producing Montes Alpha in 1987, that they needed balanced yields and to harvest when the grapes were ripe. They adapted these practices to all their vineyards and the results are startling. Montes' own vineyards cover 75% of their requirements. The other 25% of fruit is produced on vineyards they have planted, cultivated and picked. In other words, they control everything except the ownership of the land. In addition to this control over the vineyard, they also sell in bulk what is not good enough to go into the bottles that carry their label. Having made the selection in the vineyard, they are able to make a further selection in the winery. The results speak for themselves.