Viña EL Principal

Viña EL Principal

Viña EL Principal belongs to the absolute top from South America - Chile and that is not surprising because the house was founded in 1993 by partners Jorge Fontaine Aldunate, owner of the El Principal estate, and Jean Paul Valette, French winemaker and former owner of the famous Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Pavie in Saint-Émilion. Today, the owner is the Said Sandal Family and the winery is of Chile's most exclusive and premium with only 4 wines, but a range of the highest quality wines that reflect the spirit and typicity of Chilean terroir. The hand, tradition and experience of the Valette family of Château Pavie is reflected in every element and the style (and choice of grape variety) has an inextricable Bordelaises St Emillion twist but in the end that is not surprising given the background. The terroir of El Principal, located at the foot of the Andes mountain range in the Andean part of the Maipo Valley (DO Maipo Andes) was the perfect place for their project.

There are many factors that contribute to the uniqueness of Viña El Principal wines, but arguably one of the most important is the exceptional terroir. Today the estate is located in the Valle de Alto Maipo (Maipo Andes) on the slopes of
The oenology of Viña El Principal has been developed from the vineyard. These wines are produced with grapes grown exclusively on site where the vineyards are continuously studied and analyzed with regard to plant physiology and their relationship to the terroir in order to identify and perfect the best blocks and in this way the highest quality raw materials. All harvests are done manually, with controlled productions and careful selection of clusters, both in the field and in the warehouse. Later, we undergo a careful process of traditional Bordeaux fermentation and aging in oak barrels, resulting in a unique wine that reflects the elegance and identity of the terroir.

The wines are made exclusively with grapes grown in our own vineyards where we have full control over production, harvesting the grapes by hand and selecting them first in the vineyard and then again in the winery. The wines are carefully crafted using traditional techniques and aged in French oak. This results in wines with unique characteristics that reflect the elegance and identity of El Principal's terroir.

The wine company's name is named after Chief Picunche Andetelmo, "El Principal", the lord of the lands that make up the terroir, in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in the Maipo Andes Valley. His visionary and peaceful nature earned him the respect of the Spanish conquerors, initiating a history of openness and exchange that continues to this day. The spirit of Andetelmo lives on in the wines, which express all the nobility and quality of a unique terroir.

The winemaker of Viña EL Principal is Marco Puyo. Marco is a household name in international viticulture. He is an agricultural engineer and winemaker, a graduate of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, has worked in major Chilean wineries for 29 years, giving him a detailed knowledge of the different "terroirs" of Chile. At the international level, he harvested grapes in Bordeaux, Champagne and Burgundy in France, Napa in the United States and the Uco Valley in Argentina. Since December 2020 he is Executive Consultant and Winemaker of Viña El Principal.