The Casablanca Valley lies on the Pacific coast of Chile between Santiago and the port of Valparaíso. Once thought to be too cold for viticulture, it has been one of the regions at the forefront of the realigning of Chilean production towards refined, cool-climate wines, notably for whites but also for the early-ripening Pinot Noir grape. Proximity to the ocean gives reliable cool breezes that blow in through the vineyards in the afternoons, lowering temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Celsius. This, combined with the valley's mild winters, makes Casablanca's growing season up to a month longer than most vineyards in the Central Valley. Growing costs are higher here, but the conditions make it possible for Chile to find an extra level of finesse and elegance.
Montsecano is a small-scale, artisan Pinot Noir project from the cool-climate Casablanca region in Chile. It's the brainchild of four friends, all of whom live in or have lived in France. Brilliant Alsatian Andre Ostertag makes the wine, and is joined in the venture by Julio Donoso, a Chilean photographer who lived in exile in France. The quartet is rounded out by Álvaro Yáñez, another Chilean photographer living in France, and the entrepreneur Javier de la Fuente. Together planted 5.5 hectares of vines on the granitic hillsides of Secano Costero which they farm biodynamically and vinify in concrete eggs and stainless steel, with no additions save a pinch of sulphur.