THE BEGINNING OF OUR ADVENTURE
The history of Montes seems like a dream, and that’s truly how it began, gradually becoming reality. It was in 1987 that our two original founders, Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray, both highly experienced wine professionals, wanted to realize their dream of producing Chilean wines a quantum-leap higher in quality than the standards of the time. In 1988, they joined up with the other two founders, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, who brought their own complementary skills and expertise to the venture. And thus Montes was born, at first under the name Discover Wine. It was a dream come true for four great visionaries who succeeded in taking Montes wines from nowhere to more than 100 countries worldwide; by making ‘first growth’ wines respected and admired by the world’s critics and trade, and by drawing attention to what Chile was capable of producing. After we created the first Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon - through hard work and passion - it didn’t take long to achieve recognition. It was a mould-breaking wine that immediately raised the bar for other Chilean producers. Concentrated, complex and stylish, its success was
immediate, and it demonstrated that we had chosen the correct path, the one that we had hoped for from the beginning, focusing on the standards expected by international markets. The 1987 version of this Cabernet Sauvignon was the first ‘premium’ wine to be exported from Chile, and it very quickly opened up opportunities for us and others in Chile. Then followed our cherished Alphas Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. From the beginning, Montes Alpha was to be a brand synonymous with premium quality from Chile, aimed at the demanding tastes of the specialized wine stores, restaurants and hotels: a difficult-to-break-into niche that guarantees recognition around the world. Our obsession with making the best wines led Montes to become a pioneer in Apalta Valley, to plant vineyards on the hillsides, to being the first to plant Syrah in Colchagua, and to introduce innovative methods always aimed at quality production. Results came more quickly than expected: the first Chilean ‘Ultra-Premium’ (or ‘Super Chilean’ or ‘Icon’), Montes Alpha ‘M’ 1996 (in classic Bordeaux style); followed by another that has become a luxury wine:
Montes Folly 2000 (pure Syrah, with very limited production) and lastly, Purple Angel (92% Carmenère), launched in 2005. They all became instant successes thanks to great PR and our loyal consumers. Perhaps the most satisfying thing for us at Montes has been achieving all of this on our own, without having to seek out joint-ventures or consultancies with foreign companies, as the other top-rated Chilean wineries have done. We are proud that Montes is the incredibly successful result of a 100% Chilean effort; through our own ‘blood, sweat and tears’. Montes has been a great ambassador for Chile, and a benchmark for the many new Chilean wineries. Helping Chile refocus on quality wine has been our greatest contribution to the country’s wine industry. When Montes began there were only 14 exporting wineries in Chile. Now there are more than 200.We are happy to have among our importers and distributors some highly respected merchants in the premium wine market. Even though we continue to consider ourselves a medium-sized producer, we have the support of both large conglomerates
and some of the most prestigious small-scale merchants. With key markets in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region, we have a widespread international presence that is remarkable considering Montes wines are among the most expensive from Chile. With great sacrifice, hard work and a lot of care, we have been able to take our wines to all corners of the globe. Our goal is that in every good restaurant, hotel or wine store, Montes wines should be available for the most demanding wine lovers.