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Re-Educating Vines to Confront a Changing Climate 


New York, NY, November 1, 2021 – The path to harvest is never easy, and as winemakers  confront a changing climate, they are faced with more obstacles. One increasingly prevalent  threat to vineyards has been the rising frequency, and severity, of droughts. The wine country  of Chile, home to the Ventisquero winery, is all too familiar with this unfortunate challenge.  

Ventisquero doesn’t shy away from such difficulties and rather embraces the idea of working in  harmony with the changing earth. Respect and care for the environment have been  fundamental values of Ventisquero since its inception in 1998, and this commitment to  sustainability places a great emphasis on seeking to minimize the use of water. This holds  especially true for their vineyards in the central northern zone of Chile, where water scarcity  has become evident in recent years.  

For the last 10 years, Ventisquero has been working to accustom its vineyards to a reduction in  water consumption. These efforts are aimed towards minimizing water usage and developing  so-called “dry-farmed vineyards”, where overtime vines can be re-educated to flourish without  irrigation. 

“The vine is amazing because it has in its DNA a capacity to adapt to drought,” said Sergio  Hormazábal, Head of Viticulture and Sustainability at Ventisquero, “this is achieved through the  gradual work of restricting water little by little over many years and performing much longer  irrigations that can last 20 to 24 hours. This method encourages the water to penetrate as much  as possible to the interior of the soil, and the roots of the plants to grow deeper, allowing to  diminish the frequency of irrigations.” 

Through these efforts, Ventisquero has achieved impressive, measurable results, reducing the  use of water for irrigation by more than 60% per hectare. One of the areas with the best  outcome has been the ‘Roblería de Apalta’ vineyard in Colchagua region, where the use of  water has been reduced by 80% in the last 10 years alone. 

In the Apalta Valley, Ventisquero has successfully established a 100% dry-farmed vineyard.  These 14 hectares of vines have been planted and grown meeting dry-farming standards of zero  irrigation, relying solely on rainfall. In this vineyard, the mountain’s clay and granite terroir act  as sponges. This initiative has translated to a saving of more than 450,000 m3 of water per year,  or about 180 Olympic swimming pools worth. 

Dry farming isn’t a new concept, but given our changing climate, it has taken on increased  significance in the last decade. Not only are dry-farmed vines environmentally responsible and  better conditioned to deal with drought, but proponents also suggest they stand up better to  disease and yield more intensely flavored grapes.

About Ventisquero 

The Ventisquero winery was first established in 1998 in the Maipo Valley in Chile, later expanding  to Casablanca, Colchagua, Leyda and Huasco Valleys. Ventisquero has taken on the challenge of  delivering quality wines that are unique and express the country’s passion for winemaking.  

Ventisquero is a brand that is passionate about the earth and its origins. Ventisquero’s  winemakers possess an innovative spirit that combines curiosity, creative freedom, a willingness  to take risks, and an intense exploration of the senses. Certain that passion and nonconformity  produce better wines, these winemakers experiment and challenge the established way of doing  things. As a result, Ventiquero wines are truly a step beyond. Visit www.ventisquero.com for  more information. 



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