With a commitment to innovation, the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA) consolidates Keóken in 2022 as the wine southernmost in the world, which has been produced since 2017 in the town of Chile Chico, Province of General Carrera, Region of Aysén, and which is produced thanks to research started in 2012.
This is how the Institute will present its latest generation of bottlings next Wednesday, January 12, in order to publicize the results of various stages of research and demonstrate submitting to a panel of experts the vintage 2021 of these. wines extreme climate, which become the new southern frontier of national viticulture.
Because it’s him wine southernmost in the world?
Keóken, a concept that comes from the Tehuelche language and which means “dawn”, was born with an innovation objective of INIA to promote the development of vineyards in Patagonia with a wine It stands out and is positioned as the southernmost in the world, as it is made and bottled at latitude 46 ° 32 ′ South.
“Its uniqueness is due to the fact that the geographical place where it is made presents an extreme climate, which implies great management challenges for researchers; the production season is very short, it is flanked by frosts and with intense wind permanently. Added to this is the pressure from the fauna of the region, which can generate great losses ”, comments Diego Arribillaga, INIA researcher and director of this project.
While the production of wines in Chile it is mainly located in the central south and north, INIA, in the hands of its researchers, opted for the elaboration of a specimen in less favorable climatic conditions than other latitudes of the country.
“The production of wines southernmost regions in the world is an input for future viticultural research in terms of vineyard management efficiency and the use of innovation technologies ”, adds Arribillaga.
The INIA Tamel Aike regional center work team is the first to produce wines in Chilean Patagonia, under conditions of high wind and low temperatures, but with the advantage of having cold nights and long sunny days in summer plus the moderation provided by the turquoise waters of Lake General Carrera, which has allowed to generate a product without equal and of high quality.
This has led to the development of wines of different strains, of which the most promising are presented: Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, which had been previously bottled, and to which today Chardonnay is added.
The origin of Keóken
During 2014, INIA began with research to extend the supply of national viticulture to the southern south. Later in 2016, the winemaker and researcher at INIA Marisol Reyes and together with other researchers from the entity, planted eight varieties in La Araucanía and Chile Chico, the latter being the location where Keóken was created, produced and bottled at origin by INIA Tamel Aike. .
“This vineyard has a great symbolic value, since it is the first production of wine in the Aysén region, Chilean Patagonia and which adds productive diversification to regional fruit growing. Keóken is a guide for local producers interested in innovation projects and we hope to continue contributing to the generation of the necessary technological package to produce quality grapes, which will allow culminating in wines and other quality oenological products ”, stated the INIA Oenologist.
In the future, INIA researchers hope to advance in the management of vineyards and the elaboration of wines, which each year present a new challenge. Together, it is budgeted to transfer the technologies generated and to support local producers who want to join this challenge of producing the wines southernmost in the world.