La Causa embodies the essence of Chile's winemaking tradition and history. It marks the resurgence of the first grapes planted in the Itata Valley more than 500 years ago.
The Itata Valley is the largest wine-producing region in southern Chile. The valley is where the mild north gives way to the rainy south. It is a vast watershed surrounded by several rivers.
The valley's characteristics are excellent for winemaking. The seasons are clearly defined and distinct from one another. The area receives most of its rainfall between April and August.
It has reddish grey-brown soils developed over bedrock and metamorphic slate. They are rich in granite, clay loam textured, very deep and low in fertility. Certain areas display a large amount of quartz.
Historical records show that grapevines were introduced to the Itata Valley during the early days of the Spanish Conquest, which soon led to a well-established system of wine production and trade. During the 16th and 17th centuries, wine became the main product of the Itata Valley settlements.
At the turn of the 18th century, wine production in the Itata region surpassed that of cattle and wheat. Later that century, Itata wines expanded their market, moving beyond the province and neighboring region to reach Santiago and then Lima.
The 20th century saw an overproduction of wine and a growing interest in the French varieties and new technology being brought to the Central Valley. This meant that the ancestral varieties and the Itata Valley gradually faded into oblivion.
During the 1990s, wine production and exports rose dramatically in Chile. The zoning of winemaking areas, primarily in the Central Valley, contributed to the quality of the vineyards. This boom, however, did not reach the Itata Valley, and its glory days were relegated to the past along with its wines and traditions.
Viña La Causa represents a search for the origins of Chilean viticulture and the resurgence of the Itata Valley's ancestral varieties.