Don Maximiano

The Wine

Viña Errázuriz founder Don Maximiano believed in terroir and often said “From the best land, the best wine”—so what better way to pay tribute to him than to name the winery’s finest wine after him.

Although the varietal composition of Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve varies from year to year, the goal has always been the same: to craft the finest and most elegant Cabernet-based wine possible while showcasing the terroir of the Aconcagua Valley.

Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve, the flagship Icon wine from Viña Errázuriz, is the only wine that has been named the Best Wine of Chile in two consecutive Annual Wines of Chile Awards (AWoCA), the country’s foremost wine competition, for its 2010 and 2011 vintages.

The Vineyard

The Don Maximiano Estate is located in Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley, and consists of 238 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah vines that average 30 years in age. The ungrafted vines thrive on hillsides up to 600 metres above sea level, 60 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean on the southern bank of the Aconcagua River.

The area’s Mediterranean climate features a long, warm and dry growing season with limited precipitation. Low rainfall also means clear skies, abundant sunshine and warm temperatures, which are moderated by the cool air that blows in from the sea.
The region’s two key geographical influences, Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the western hemisphere at 6,966 metres above sea level, and the Aconcagua River that flows from it, have generated a diversity of soil types that allow each grape variety to reach its finest expression.


The greatest progress is often made by daring to do things differently. Don Maximiano Errázuriz was a man prone to doing just that. He was born in Santiago de Chile in 1832 to a prosperous family of Basque decent that played a key role in Chilean political and social history.

While his peers were planting vineyards and constructing cellars on the outskirts of Santiago, he decided to head north of the capital in search of a valley with an exceptional terroir. After 100 kilometres and two days horseback, he came upon a viticultural paradise, the Aconcagua Valley, a unique place beneath the towering rocky giant, Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the western world that shaped and gave name to the valley.

He often said, “from the best land, the best wine”, thus with tenacity and perseverance, he transformed this land into world-class vineyards. The first proud vintage of Viña Errázuriz was produced in 1873. These vines gave birth in time to the winery’s finest wine, which was named after him as a tribute, Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve.

Five generations later, this family winery continues with Don Maximiano’s descendants.


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  • Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve, the flagship Icon wine from Viña Errázuriz, is the only wine that has been named the Best Wine of Chile in two consecutive Annual Wines of Chile Awards (AWoCA), the country’s foremost wine competition, for its 2010 and 2011 vintages.

  • “Grape vines should be carefully tended and treated like a work of art since their life span runs parallel to that of humans. A vine should be educated, cared for, and trained like a man; it should not be allowed to grow unoriented, because to bear proper fruits, it must not extend its branches in vain.” DON MAXIMIANO ERRÁZURIZ, 1870.

  • Painting of Viña Errázuriz in the Aconcagua Valley by Thomas Somerscales, 1890.

  • The Don Maximiano Estate in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in the Aconcagua Valley, Chile’s first hillside vineyard.

  • The original cellar was an emblem of modern oenology when it was built in 1870.

  • Designed by architect Samuel Claro, the new Don Maximiano Icon Winery inaugurated in 2010 incorporates the latest technology and most advanced sustainable practices, such as gravity flow, geothermal temperature stabilization system, thermopane windows, and solar panels.

  • Using a gravity-flow design, grapes are received on the top floor, vinified one floor down, and the new wine is aged below ground on the bottom floor. Temperatures are controlled naturally through an air duct 4 metres underground that helps maintain a temperature of 14°–18°C year round.

  • I don’t think he was expecting at all to do as well as he did, but I think having done it, it was an educational experience further than he had planned, because instead of just educating the 40 or 50 people in the room, he educated the entire world.

    Steven Spurrier, Consultant Editor to Decanter & Chairman of Decanter World Wine Awards, United Kingdom, October 2013
  • When Eduardo and I first discussed the concept of this blind tasting format, I told him to brace himself for disappointment, especially given the popularity of Bordeaux reds in this part of the world. I was completely wrong in my warning and I am truly surprised by the results…

    Jeannie Cho Lee MW, First Asian Master of Wine, Contributing Editor Decanter Asia, Co-Chair of DAWA, Author, Wine Consultant & Educator, November 2011
  • Until that point only Eduardo knew what he had in his hands. Today the whole world knows… By reaching indisputable recognition in the world wine scene, Eduardo Chadwick’s wines have clearly demonstrated Chile’s tremendous vitivinicultural potential and have helped Chilean wines earn greater space and credibility in the international market.

    Jorge Lucki, Brazilian Wine Journalist and Columnist for Valor Econômico de Sao Paulo, October 2013
  • These tastings definitely have had an impact on how many influential members of the American wine trade view Chile today. So I see them as invaluable to promoting Chile’s well- deserved image as a source for world-class wine that can sit alongside the best that the rest of the world has to offer.

    Josh Raynolds, Wine Critic to Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, USA, December 2013
  • One enterprising Chilean wine producer, Eduardo Chadwick of Viña Errázuriz, has managed to organise a similar evolutionary milestone for the Chilean wine industry—or at least of his own wines… at what will doubtless come to be known in the history of Chilean wine as the “Berlin Tasting”

    Jancis Robinson MW, “Chilean Wine Grows Up” Financial Times UK, ft Weekend Magazine, February 14, 2004