Clos Apalta | Colchagua Valley, Chile
The stunning Clos Apalta Winery is nestled on the slopes of the Apalta Hills located in Chiles Colchagua Valley wine region. In the midst of old vineyards that are managed in a totally organic and biodynamic way, this gravitational wine cellar - with six levels below ground and approximately 25 meters deep - was built especially to produce Lapostolle's iconic wine "Clos Apalta" and its new sibling "Le Petit Clos de Clos Apalta".
The unique design concept of the Clos Apalta winery, developed by renowned Chilean architect, Roberto Benavente Riquelme, places emphasis on core values and commitment to the terroir and nature in relation to wine making. It all started with the excavation during the initial building process: instead of discarding the large rocks that were found at this time, they were instead converted into floor slabs and placed throughout the winery maintaining a harmonious relationship with nature.
The surrounding beams on the face of the building, of which there are exactly 24, represent the number of months it takes to produce the extraordinary wine, Clos Apalta, while the sundial on the roof of the winery is comprised of 5 granite stones. The stones are an allegory of the yearly biological cycle of the vine.
The construction of the winery was conceptualised so that the wine making process also naturally flowed downwards with the aid of gravity only. These small, but exact details create an organic space for the production and appreciation of the iconic Clos Apalta and Le Petit Clos.