Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Famed winemaker Mauro von Siebenthal, a Swiss lawyer who fell in love with Chile and opened a winery in the late 1990s, will move to Chile full-time in October.

For more than a decade, von Siebenthal, whose winery Viña von Siebenthal is responsible of producing Chile’s most expensive wine, has juggled working in Switzerland while producing wine in Panquehue, in Chile’s Aconcagua Valley. During that time has had to commute to Chile four or five times a year.

Von Siebenthal will be taking over from the current general manager, Swiss painter Ireneo Nicora, the man responsible for first showing von Siebenthal Chile’s beauty through his paintings.

Viña von Siebenthal produces roughly 150,000 bottles per year – mostly Syrah, Carmenére and Cabernet Sauvignon – which is mostly exported. Tatay de Cristóbal, of which only 1,492 bottles were produced, retails for roughly CH$125,000 (US$230). This makes it the only Chilean wine valued over US$200 overseas.

Von Siebenthal’s wines have been lauded by wine experts internationally. His 2007 Tatay de Cristóbal won a score of 97 from wine critic Robert Parker in Wine Advocate, the highest score ever granted to a Chilean wine. Parker also rated his 2006 Toknar, Von Siebenthal’s petit verdot, with a score of 95, the best score for any wine of that type from Chile.

With his change from president to general manger, von Siebenthal promises to continue making only the finest wine. He sees no reason to increase production or expand to include white wine.


By Daniel Zarchy (

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