Beginning with the concept that it is possible to create world-class wines, within regions of great quality potential, brothers Jacques and François Lurton began several projects — first in France, then in Argentina, Chile, Spain and Portugal. In 1997, after years of investigation, they founded the JFL Chile partnership, Hacienda Araucano, just outside the small historic village of Lolol in the Lolol Valley, a sub-region of the famous Colchagua Valley. The estate is located in a high valley that runs from East to West, which funnels cold air from the Pacific Ocean. The large temperature differences between the sea and the land causes a white fog to develop, which can be seen most mornings just above the estate vineyard here. With hot, dry days and foggy, cool nights, the production of fine wine is ideal — particularly for Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noir.
The wines produced are vinified from grapes produced on two estate properties — the previously mentioned 26 hectare Lolol estate vineyard and the 15 hectare Chomedaue vineyard further down in the Colchagua Valley, where Carmenere and Cabernet excel. Some grapes are bought from viticulturists, who sign specific contracts for high quality production under strict vineyard management from the Lurton viticultural team. All of the red wines (with the exception of Araucano Pinot Noir) are produced from grapes from the Colchagua Valley, while some of the white wine is sourced from grapes from the Casablanca Valley, known for having a great microclimate for the production of white wine grapes.
Since their introduction to the United States markets, the Araucano, Gran Araucano and Alka wines have been an overnight success, garnering Best Buy accolades and top scores from such publications as the Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate, and Wine & Spirits. It is no surprise that the so-called “flying wine makers” would create excellent wines from Chile. Their concept of producing world-class wines in countries and areas of great potential still holds true and they are consistently bringing exceptional wines to the market. Today, the company operates in five countries as Domaines François Lurton.