Behind the label: Matetic

Behind the label: Matetic

The history of Matetic starts a long way from Chile, where the family now makes wine that we are delighted to have on our list.

The first chapter of this tale is set in 1892 when Jorge Matetic-Celtinja, a sheep and dairy farmer, set sail from Fiume in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – now known as Rijeka in Croatia – for Punta Arenas in southern Chile.

Agriculture provided a living for more than a century until, in 1999, Jorge Matetic Hartard – the fourth generation of the family – was the driving force behind the decision to plant vines in the Rosario Valley, 15 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. Since then, the focus has been on growing Syrah grapes to create high quality cool-climate wines.

Being close to the ocean means the vineyards experience cool nights and morning fog, which combine with coastal afternoon breezes to allow the grapes to ripen slowly. The result is healthy fruit that makes wines with fresh acidity and intense flavours.

The climate creates well-drained, quartz-sandy soil that requires vines to dig their roots deep into the ground (up to four metres) to find water and nutrients, making for low yields and high-quality fruit.

Under the guidance of head winemaker Julio Bastias (pictured) the Matetic team all focus their work on producing wines in a manner that improves the health of the ecosystem, with no chemicals or pesticides used in the process. They operate alongside a variety of animals including alpacas, sheep, and cows, as well as geese and chickens, and subscribe to the biodynamic principles founded by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. All aspects of the process are guided by four key values – respect, innovation, excellence and sustainability.

In 2004, Matetic created its winery using modern architecture, gravitational flow, and natural materials including local wood and stone. It was designed to bring together the vineyard’s organic and biodynamic agriculture and merge with its surroundings. The structure is a stunning piece of work and the ideal place to create wines that enjoy balance and elegance.

A boutique hotel opened the following year now welcomes tourists who want to enjoy the environment, and perhaps sample the excellent local red and white wines. We are certainly impressed.

Among our preferred reds from Matetic is Carmenere Corralillo 2019 which is deep violet in colour and intense on the nose with a combination of black fruits, chocolate and spices. This is a big wine that balances power and freshness.

We also like EQ Syrah Cool Climate 2015 which is a little lighter. The nose boasts violet-floral scents, black pepper and hints of wet earth, and its taste is fresh and acidic, with some tannins.

The EQ Quartz Chardonnay 2017 is a ripe, elegant white that has notes of tropical and citrus fruit on the nose and flavours of hazelnut, lemon and peach.

The care and attention the Matetic team apply is a perfect match for what we seek in an ethical, biodynamic vineyard. We believe the wines are an excellent outcome. We hope you’ll agree.