Miguel Viu-García and his two sons, Agustín and Miguel Viu-Manent, formed “Bodegas Viu” in Santiago, Chile to bottle and market wine for the local market under the brand name Vinos Viu.
After working alongside his father and brother for many years, Miguel Viu-Manent made a decisive move to go independent and buy a winery in Santiago to bottle table wines for the domestic market. His decision consolidated the brand name and fixed in the memory of generations of Chileans, the slogan “¡Salud con vinos Viu!” (Cheers! with Viu Wines!).
Don Miguel Viu-Manent bought the Hacienda San Carlos de Cunaco, a traditional old estate and vineyard in the Colchagua Valley. The Hacienda included winery installations and 150 hectares of noble old vines brought over from France before the European phylloxera crisis.
Viu-Manent had had a long-term relationship with this estate owned by the Valdés family as it produced much of the wine he sold as Vinos Viu.
The purchase of the Hacienda marked the company’s start as a producer of estate wines, thus uniting the Hacienda San Carlos de Cunaco tradition of grape growing with the experience of two generations of the Viu family in wine vinification and sales.
With the aim of achieving a fully integrated company, Bodegas Viu grew steadily and established a chain of more than 32 liquor stores in Santiago and Valparaíso, as well as a wine transport company. The company was thus able to control all the processes, from production though sales and marketing.
This snapshot taken in Valparaíso in 1961 shows the poet and later Nobel Prize Winner, Pablo Neruda, passing by one of the stores.
In an effort to implement new technology and mechanize the winery, Miguel Viu traveled to Mendoza and Buenos Aires with a delegation from the Chilean wine industry to import the latest technology available for winemaking, processing, and bottling.
Following a trip to Spain, Miguel Viu-Manent became Chile’s first importer and distributor of Miguel Torres Brandy and wines. Miguel Torres later installed a winery in Chile in the 1980s and revolutionized the wine industry as it was then known. This trip to Spain and the subsequent contact proved crucial in beginning to understand global tendencies.
Highly qualified professional consultants were incorporated into the company at both the winery and vineyard levels. The company first brought on the agronomist and enologist Roberto Pizarro, followed shortly thereafter by the prestigious enologist Aurelio Montes. Both continue to consult for the winery on a permanent basis today.
Miguel Viu-Manent and his wife, Bruna Bottini-Galli, who has long been an essential part of the family business, brought the third generation of the Viu family into the company, as their oldest son José Miguel, their daughter Lorena, and their son-in-law Angel Gurtubay started to work with their father.
This new generation, led by José Miguel Viu-Bottini and guided by his father, Don Miguel, face the new challenge of growing with a Chilean winery producing high quality wines.
New world trends in wine consumption prompted Viu Manent to orient its production toward quality wines for demanding international markets.
The company’s modernization process included making major investments in vinification technology and vineyard management, expanding to new vineyards, and increasing the number of hectares and varieties planted.
Viu Manent was the first Chilean winery to bottle, label, and market the Malbec variety under that name. This landmark moment continues to mark our course toward making the finest Malbec in the world.
A new decree was passed in 1995 making the Colchagua Valley a Denomination of Origin. Colchagua thus gained a reputation in international markets as an excellent valley for the production of fine wines, especially in red varieties.
The company purchased a second property in the Peralillo sector of the Colchagua Valley, El Olivar estate.
This 325-hectare property includes hillside vineyards planted on poor soils with good drainage, and the grapes grown here produce wines with tremendous personality.
Following the death of Miguel Viu-Manent, the company became the property of his wife and four children Antonia, Ximena, Lorena and Jose Miguel. With the third generation of the family directing the company and a team of highly qualified professionals committed to quality, the winery continues to actively pursue the project that Miguel Viu-Manent began.
The winery released the first vintage of VIU 1.
This unique, limited-edition wine is produced from a rigorous selection of premium old-vine Malbec grapes from vines that average 100 years in age from the Block #4 of the San Carlos de Cunaco Estate
Although the vines are much older, the Viu Manent Winery has reached its seventieth birthday. The company has consolidated its position as a Chilean winery of excellence that is present in more than 30 countries on every continent.
Several months prior to the 2007 harvest, José Miguel Viu decided to make good on an invitation and extended it to the Viu Manent technical team. They traveled overland from Colchagua to Mendoza and crossed the impressive Andes Mountains to taste Argentina’s finest Malbecs, visit their wineries, and meet the people behind the wines.
El Incidente is Viu Manent’s first Carmenere icon wine. It was launched in 2010 in commemoration of the winery’s 75th anniversary. We have named this wine “El Indicente” (The Incident) in memory of a now-legendary hot air balloon ride that José Miguel Viu, 3rd generation of the family to manage the winery, took with a group of friends. They flew over the vineyards in Colchagua, until the adventure ended abruptly when the balloon unexpectedly dropped into an outdoor fresh market in the village of Santa Cruz, much to the surprise of the many onlookers.
Viña Viu Manent celebrated its 80 years of experience with friends and customers from Chile and abroad, including 45 importers from 15 countries for a week of activities in Colchagua and Matanzas, ending in a grand gala event in Santiago.