Vinos Laberinto started with a winemaker who wanted to change the way a vineyard is traditionally planted: straight parallel rows with obvious order, convenient to maintain on a large scale. In theory, perfectly uniform rows ensure that each plant receives the same wind, soil, water, and sunlight. Vinos Laberinto’s Rafael Tirado acknowledged that even if rows of vines are uniform, nature is not. Since the random and the complex will find expression in even the most controlled setting, Rafael did not plant his vines in uniform rows. He planted them in circles.
The labyrinth vineyard (and the rows that were eventually planted around it) are planted on the cool shores of the Maule Valley’s Lake Colbún, 600 metres above sea level in the foothills of the Andes. The labyrinth at the heart of the vineyard replicates the design of a labyrinth constructed in the 13th century at Chartres Cathedral, southwest of Paris. In France and in Chile, the circle is universally recognized as a symbol of totality and unity. The vineyard on the lake and the labyrinth at Chartres are designed with eleven rings and no false roads. Every circuit leads to the centre, and there is no chance of getting lost.
The Tirado family had been visiting this land for years when Rafael and his father-in-law opted to plant. The first half-hectare was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in 1993. The birth of the winery is full of family and stories and a certain amount of experimentation, with generations of children and adults picking, pressing, and treading grapes side by side. Little by little, with freedom to experiment, more varieties have been introduced. The wines of place produced here have gained renown, and in 2010 Vinos Laberinto’s Sauvignon Blanc was named by the prestigious Descorchados Guide as the Best White Wine in Chile.