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Baettig

For followers and fans of South American wines, Francisco Baettig will be quite familiar. After graduation from the University of […]

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Baettig

For followers and fans of South American wines, Francisco Baettig will be quite familiar. After graduation from the University of Bordeaux in 2002, he began working at Viña Errázuriz, where is instituted various changes in the vineyards and cellar to make it one of the premier estates in Chile. The range from this estate is remarkably diverse, and many of the projects he created there and at Viñedos Chadwick were groundbreaking for their time, most notably the Las Pizzaras Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Now no summary of the best of South American wine or most talented winemakers is published that doesn’t include the name Francisco Baettig.

If the name Baettig doesn’t sound typically Spanish, then you would be correct as Francisco’s ancestors are, in fact, Swiss. In the late 19th century, the Baettigs settled in Malleco, a province in Chile 600 km south of Santiago. While Francisco has spent much of his career further north, his pursuit of balance, freshness, and elegance with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made him wonder if his birthplace might be better suited for these varieties. So, he returned home, rather than simply moving close to the ocean like so many others. In 2013, along with the assistance of his cousin Carlos de Carlos, Francisco Baettig began planting Viñedo Los Suizos, and Vinos Baettig was born.

As with much of Chile, the geology of Malleco is strongly influenced by plate tectonics and Andean volcanoes. As a result, much of the bedrock and gravels are volcanic in origin, while the red clay and loamy topsoils originated in the rich biodiversity that greeted the first Baettigs when they settled here. Located so far south in Chile, Malleco also benefits from lower UV radiation and cooler temperatures, making it the ideal location for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Chile with unrivaled purity and freshness.

Today there are 9 hectares of Pinot Noir and 6.4 hectares of Chardonnay planted as Viñedo Los Suizos. Farming is manual and without any chemical inputs, and the harvest is conducted by hand. Despite the size, production remains limited as Francisco sells a portion of his fruit to some of the top names in Chile. Fermentations are all indigenous, and the wines are aged entirely in French oak barrels.

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“The wines are produced in an artisanal and manual way: hand harvesting, native fermentations, soft extraction, and judicious use of oak and sulfur are all destined to achieve the expression of the place rather than the hand of the winemaker. I think the wines feel very Chilean, and even if they are produced in a fresh and elegant style, they do not resemble European wines.”

– Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate
Malleco, Chile
  • Location
    Malleco, Chile
  • Primary Appellation
    Traiguén
  • Proprietor
    Francisco Baettig & Carlos de Carlos
  • Winemaker
    Francisco Baettig
  • Size / Elevation
    15.4 hectares / 250 meters
  • Age of Vines
    7 years
  • Farming
    Sustainable
  • Varieties
    Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
  • Cellar
    Hand harvested, natural yeast fermentation in French oak barrels
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