New: chardonnay with old-world charm from Chile

We’re rolling out the red carpet to expand our selection with this characterful white wine. A full-bodied, wood-aged chardonnay full of old-world Burgundian charm – except it’s from a small-scale vineyard in Chile. The producers at Red del Vino developed the Campesino Chardonnay Gran Reserva exclusively for Oxfam.

Full-bodied wine aged in French oak barrels

This intensely golden-tinted wine, suitable for enjoying with a meal, offers a nose abundant with tropical fruit, such as mango and ripe pineapple. Malolactic fermentation affords the wine a rich, creamy quality, which matches perfectly with the subtle vanilla and woody notes from the wine’s eight months in French oak barrels.

The outstanding structure and attack of this remarkable chardonnay is down to the careful craft of its producers. Their work in the vineyard yields grapes with a richly concentrated juice. In this wine’s long finish you will taste a beautiful minerality and freshness.

This premium chardonnay is the perfect accompaniment to creamy dishes, such as a rich vegetable tagine or curries with a base of coconut milk. Those who eat fish will find it pairs excellently with breaded scallops or sole ‘à la meunière’. Best served chilled at 10 to 12 °C.

Perfect terroir in Chile

Oxfam’s partner Red del Vino is the only cooperative of small-scale winegrowers in the prestigious wine region of Colchagua. The sandy clay soil of this valley is unsuitable for growing most crops, yet lends itself perfectly to the cultivation of grapes for wine. Because the roots of the vines must extend deeper into the soil, they absorb a more complex range of minerals, aromas and flavours. What’s more, thanks to the low coastal mountains and cool sea breeze, the grapes ripen slowly, which gives rise to strong flavours and a refreshing crispness.

With the greatest respect for this terroir, Red del Vino has been producing chardonnay grapes for a number of years now. As well as the cabernet and carmenère grapes traditional for the region. The Campesino Chardonnay Gran Reserva is the fourth addition to the Campesino range. Like those that came before, this chardonnay is a vegan-friendly wine.

The Red del Vine wine cooperative

Curious to know more about Red del Vino? Watch the video we made in 2015 to mark the start of this partnership and the launch of the Campesino Carmenère.

Better chardonnay each year

The story of this outstanding new wine can be traced back to 2017. As coincidence would have it, Oxfam Fair Tade was on the lookout for a high-quality chardonnay and winegrower Gerardo Orellana Díaz of Red del Vino was already cultivating chardonnay grapes, but hadn’t yet made wine from them. Unfortunately the harvest from that year didn’t quite reach the level we were hoping for.

But the financial support from Oxfam and the cooperative, and in particular the training it facilitated, proved to be all that was needed to raise the bar. Red del Vino further honed operations at the vineyard and teamed up with a specialist winery. The harvest from 2018 resulted in the Campesino Chardonnay, which garnered praise from Test-Aankoop.

In 2019 Red del Vino raised the bar yet again to offer a Chilean wood-aged chardonnay. Winegrower Gerardo prepared his vines for a Gran Reserva. To obtain grapes, and thus wine, with a stronger concentration of flavours and aromas, he pruned the vines more intensively.

The cooperative invested in quality wine barrels of French oak in which to age the wine. They got a financial boost from Oxfam-Wereldwinkel Sint-Job-in-‘t-Goor, after volunteer Martine Baels returned from a visit to her Chilean friends.

To be sure of top-shelf results, the winegrowers from Red del Vino once again joined forces with their usual winemaker Luca Hodgkinson. The role of this expert cannot be underestimated. It is thanks to his craft that it was possible to create a Chilean chardonnay that is so rich you could be forgiven for thinking it was straight out of the Bourgogne.

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