Since 2012, Santa Carolina has been developing Bloque Herencia, an ambitious R&D aimed to recover one-of-a kind pre-phylloxera, virus-free DNA material from the rootstocks brought to Chile during colonial times and in the 19th century.
As explained by Andrés Caballero, Winemaker Director at Santa Carolina, Bloque Herencia seeks to enhance the diversity of the project components in order to make less monotonous wines. Our goal is to produce wines of multi-layered complexity. Ultimately, this will be the characteristic our consumers will recognize in and remember about our wines,” he added. We are pioneers in Chile, both in the way the project has been conducted and regarding the information and results we have obtained. “Not only are we bestowing a heritage for our country and wine industry because the grapevine material obtained through the project has helped broaden the genetic variability pool available in Chile, but we are also helping increase the dependability of nurseries' vine material supply. We have already shared the new material with Wines of Chile,” said Andrés.
Moreover, this project also focuses on climate change. At present, Santa Carolina’s winemaking team holds a partnership agreement with Chilean university Arturo Prat to develop the Wine in the Desert project to boost the grape varieties grown in the Atacama Desert: Tamarugal - Chile’s only native grape varietal-, País, and Gros Colman, and to refine winemaking techniques. In addition, trials with other traditional varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Malbec will be carried out next year to analyze how climate change affects the different varieties in extreme climate areas.