“Ritual is a labor of love. It connects us to the land we farm, to healthy living soil, and to the daily rituals of artisanal winemaking.” – Ritual Wines
Rituals help guide us and give us a sense of balance and peace. We practice rituals so that it gives us a sense of rhythm that we can dance to. During the past year of the pandemic, I came up with rituals that nourished my body and soul; journaling, walking amongst nature, meditating, and working on my personal talents(I took up voice lessons). These daily practices or rituals provided me with a sense of control. It gave me a sense of order amongst the chaos of the pandemic.
Well by now you are probably thinking what does this all have to do with food or wine. When drinking wine, I try to make smart holistic choices when possible. I was impressed with Ritual Wines and their organic practices. The estate is situated in the extreme eastern end of Chile’s Casablanca Valley, set against the dramatic sweeping beauty of the coastal range that is heavily influenced by the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean and the Humboldt Current. These all provide ideal growing conditions for cool-climate wines. The vineyards are enclosed in a native forest, providing a balanced and biodiverse landscape. They believe in allowing the vines to connect with their surroundings, creating authentic wines, with a true sense of place.
Ritual Wines is a project founded by Agustin Huneeus(Quintessa, Flowers, Faust, Leviathan, Prisoner Wine Company). He has brought on world-class winemaker Paul Hobbs as consulting winemaker. Together, they are making some exceptional cool climate wines at an incredible value price point.
Winemaker Sofia Araya utilizes artisanal organic practices in the vineyards. Incorporating rituals in the vineyards, they use compost to feed the soil and regulate their ecosystem. Cover crops reinvigorate their soils, while sheep help tends the grass and act as natural fertilizers. Like their low-impact cultivation methods in vineyards, they believe in careful management and the resurgence of Old World winemaking techniques.
Ritual Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley 2019 – (Retail $20)
The grapes of this Sauvignon Blanc come from three different plots: Gloria and Marco, which are pure expressions of their native forest, and Terrazas, which showcases the minerality of the Coastal Mountain Range. Three parcels that show the best expression of this variety in Casablanca.
On the nose, the wine is very expressive, with notes of fresh citrus and tropical fruits that leap from the glass. On the palate, this is a pure Sauvignon Blanc with a distinct minerality. Nice length and finish with racy acidity.
Ritual Chardonnay Casablanca Valley 2019 – (Retail $20)
Ritual Chardonnay comes vineyards located at the feet of the native forest surrounding the Casablanca estate, at 345 meters altitude, with a 10% slope. These conditions give way to intense fruit flavors.
The nose brims with intense aromas of apricots, stonefruit and apples. A delicious and enticing Chardonnay on the palate with subtle notes of green apple, peach and orange blossom. A creamy texture leaves a long lingering finish. The wine has nice depth, complexity and elegance.
Ritual Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley 2017 – (Retail $21)
Ritual Pinot Noir is a meticulous selection of specific vineyard lots and barrel selections. 9 hectares of Pinot Noir are planted in the coolest sections of their Casablanca Valley property vineyard estate, at 310 meters altitude, with a 3-5% slope.
A nice bright ruby hue glistens in the glass. Notes of fresh cranberries, raspberries and violets exude from the glass. Sleek and clean with a touch of minerality. Smooth tannins, nice structure and a great finish.
**Photo Credits Ritual Wines**