Clos de Luz

Clos de Luz is a small family winery located in Almahue Valley, currently run by Gabriel Edwards. The estate, bought by his great-grandfather in 1892, now spreads over 33 hectares of vineyards, planted in 1945 by Gabriel’s grandmother, Luz. The Carménère vineyards are some of the oldest in the world. The grapes were being sold for more than 20 years to Casa Lapostolle, until Gabriel decided to return to Chile and make his own wine. The Almahue Valley is located 70 miles southeast of Santiago and benefits from cool afternoon breezes that slow ripening allowing great flavour development and good natural acidity in the grapes. The domaine’s vineyards are 100% un-grafted and as Chile is isolated from phylloxera, they are planted “franc de pied”, giving a unique character to the wines. The vineyards are also 100% Massal selection from old vineyards, as opposed to a large majority of vineyards planted using clonal selection. This method preserves the natural diversity of the plants with each of them contributing a different characteristic to the final blend resulting in more complex wines. The vineyards are ploughed by horses, as the twisted trunks of the old vines make it impossible to use a tractor and the grass is removed by hand with shovels. During the winter, a combination of plants is grown between the rows; oats and mustard to de-compact the soil and vetches to fix the nitrogen. After the winter, this entire organic layer is integrated to the soil. Gabriel wants his wines to emphasize elegance, balance and freshness and to this end he harvests earlier than most local producers, yet despite this and perhaps because of the age of the vines and the small yields, the wines never show herbaceous notes that can often affect Carménère.