Just over 20 years ago Daniella Gillmore started out on a long journey, to create a family boutique winery with fruitful vineyards in the Loncomilla Valley, Maule. A place where people can come, discover their wines, and learn about the heritage and history of the valley. Where drinking wine is about nurturing the soul and connecting to the land and its people.
The first 10 years were spent caring for the vines and their granite soils, building beautiful accommodation and a dining room for guests to soak up the local flavours and have somewhere to stay. They cultivated 20 acres of vineyards, all dry farmed – just the rainwater giving the grapes their flavour. This region is perfect for vines to flourish with almost no intervention, the low-yielding vines are over 80 years old so bring out the distinct soulful flavours of the land.
The next 10 years were about perfecting their wines and to understand what they want to show the world about the Maule…Daniella is married to winemaker Andres Sanchez, so once she perfects the grapes in the vineyard he ensures the wines have the character and soul of the region. In their words this is ‘handcrafted work on a human scale’.
All was going well with their Cabernet Franc winning multiple awards and all their other wines rated very highly by critics around the world…however on 27th Feb 2010 03.34 AM the earth started shaking violently… It was the 5th largest earthquake ever recorded at 8.8 on the richter scale with the epicentre just 80km away from their farm. Thankfully everyone on the farm was ok but the wine cellar and many of the buildings were devastated. This was a real blow to a small family farm like the Gillmore’s, they had to rebuild a lot of what they had created just 10 years earlier and a lot of the wine was lost.
Daniella and Andres were not defeated, they love their family farm, the opportunity to make wines with soul and to share the wonderful quality of life the Maule Region offers. Their wines continue to win many more awards, they have their own beer called Kuhla beer, sold internationally and their wine is accessible globally through Naked Wines and other distribution channels. Daniella says the next 10 year is about sharing their joy of life with more people around the globe, so they invite you to come visit and experience this special place on earth, or you can buy a bottle to taste the soul. You can find out more about Gillmore winery here.