Magui Chadwick, Viñedo Chadwick and Seña

Magui Chadwick

Chilean Fine Wines

Editors’ Note

Magui Chadwick grew up among the Cabernet Sauvignon vines of Puente Alto, where some of the finest wines of Chile are sourced. She graduated with a degree in design from Universidad Católica de Chile and then specialized in fashion and luxury brand management at the London School of Arts. Following a brief stint in fashion, she returned to her roots and joined her father, Eduardo, in steering the family wine business, which comprises Seña and Viñedo Chadwick, to new heights. Her roles have grown quickly at both estates, starting as the brands’ chief marketer, and recently becoming executive director, where she travels to various markets, leads global communications strategies with her marketing teams, and reaffirms Seña and Viñedo Chadwick’s position as not only one of Chile’s finest wines, but among the world’s best. Chadwick has become a strong symbol of female leadership in South American fine wine, and is part of the wave of female leaders taking wine brands into the future.

Company Briefs

Seña (sena.cl) is the product of a revolutionary collaboration between globally-recognized winemaking icons Eduardo Chadwick and Robert Mondavi. Established in 1995, Seña is Chile’s first icon wine because it serves as a pioneer within its terroir. In 2017, world-renowned wine critic James Suckling awarded a perfect 100 score to the Seña 2015 Vintage. This incredible global feat solidified Seña as a formidable top-tier wine of not only Chile, but the world. Last September, Seña released its 2020 Vintage. Seña is the latest entity of the Chadwick Errázuriz portfolio of wines from a historic family that continues to evolve the wine industry.

Viñedo Chadwick (vinedochadwick.cl) is a tribute to Don Alfonso Chadwick that showcases the tradition and expertise of the Chadwick family in producing fine wines. The vineyard, originally his personal polo field, is considered the cradle of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile. Located in Puente Alto D.O. Maipo Valley, Viñedo Chadwick made history at the legendary Berlin Tasting in January 2004, in which Viñedo Chadwick 2000 was placed first, above the Super Tuscans from Italy, and the First Growth wines from Bordeaux of that vintage.

Seña celebrated its 25th anniversary with the 2019 vintage

Will you discuss the history and heritage of Viñedo Chadwick and Seña and how these brands have evolved?

Each of these wines has its own origin and character. Viñedo Chadwick was born as a tribute to my grandfather, Alfonso Chadwick. In his honor and memory, we converted his beloved polo field at our home estate in Puente Alto, Maipo Valley, into a vineyard back in 1992. The small appellation of Puente Alto, located at the foothill of the Andes Mountains with gravel alluvial soils, had historically been considered the cradle of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, and my family wanted to create a wine to showcase the greatest expression of this unique terroir in order to give the estate the destiny it deserved. For these reasons, Viñedo Chadwick is always going to be of great significance for us as it represents our family quest and desire to build a legacy for future generations of what can be achieved from our land with passion, perseverance, and pursuit of excellence.

On a different note, Seña became a reality in 1995 when Robert Mondavi and my father, Eduardo Chadwick, signed the first international joint venture in the history of Chilean wine. They embarked on a pioneering journey with the challenging goal of creating a truly great wine that would showcase the full potential of Chile in producing world-class wines. Seña’s beautiful property is located some 100 kilometers north of Santiago in the Aconcagua Valley, just 40 kilometers away from the cold Pacific Ocean. Modeled on a Bordeaux style, Seña’s hillside vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere, which gives the wine its “Chilean soul,” along with Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, all farmed under biodynamic practices.

What have been the keys to the strength and leadership of Viñedo Chadwick and Seña in the industry?

Throughout their history, both Seña and Viñedo Chadwick have played a leading role in obtaining global recognition for Chilean fine wines. This constantly implies breaking boundaries and setting their own paths with passion, persistence, and vision. Starting with the Berlin Tasting in 2004, which was inspired by the Judgment of Paris, the landmark event that took place in France in 1976, my father invited the legendary wine figure, Steven Spurrier, to conduct a blind tasting in Berlin in January 2004. Europe’s most respected wine experts came together and judged Seña and Viñedo Chadwick against the world’s finest Bordeaux and Super Tuscan wines from the millennium vintage, some of which had received 100 points from wine critic Robert Parker.

The results of this now-historic tasting surprised everyone and proved to be a true eye-opener. Of the 16 wines tasted, two Chileans topped the expert’s lists of preferences – the 2000 vintage of Viñedo Chadwick was first, and the 2001 Seña was second and ahead of the best wines of the world. The Berlin Tasting became a milestone event for the Chilean wine industry and also helped elevate the image of Chile and positioned it in the global map of fine wines.

Some years later, Viñedo Chadwick 2014 received Chile’s first 100 point score, which proved our family commitment to produce the best wine with meticulous attention to detail and utmost respect for the land.

Will you highlight your role with Viñedo Chadwick and Seña and how you focus your efforts?

Today, my role as Executive Director for Seña and Viñedo Chadwick focuses mostly on the marketing strategies for both brands, defining the objectives and plans to strengthen their positioning among the best wines of the world, and consolidating their distribution globally. I also participate in key market visits and consumer activities abroad related to image building.

I help lead the sustainability initiatives at both wineries and work together with our great teams to keep all parts aligned and reach our goals successfully. Additionally, I represent the family at Viñedo Chadwick, which plays a key role in every aspect of this wine from the viticulture, winemaking, the family house, the promotion in the markets, as it is a very special project for the family and holds the legacy we want to transmit to the future generations.

Do you feel that South American fine wine is well-understood and what do you want people to know about the region?

The most renowned critics and people in the wine industry understand and validate South American fine wine, but we need to strengthen the understanding of Chilean fine wines within the wine lover and wine collector communities of the world. There is also a great need to educate people on wine appreciation, empower wine enthusiasts, and get the younger generations interested in wine.

Chile has proved that there is great diversity of sites for producing quality wines from specific site appellations, from the foothills of the Andes Mountains to the coast of the cold Pacific Ocean. We have the challenge of getting the consumer familiar with these terroir-driven wines and I want people to refer to these as world-class wines of origin.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women in leadership positions in the wine industry?

I think there have been improvements over the years when it comes to leadership opportunities for women, and the industry will keep moving toward a more equal space as it is happening globally. Now, you can see some female wine personalities that are very relevant in the industry, especially in the areas of wine writing, reviews and producers. In Chile alone, we have many talented women winemakers that are contributing and marking the difference in the Chilean wine scene.

Other examples include more women becoming Masters of Wine, or the “SAKURA” Japan Women’s Wine Awards, where a contest is judged only by women. It will be interesting to watch how the trade sector in the wine industry will evolve in this matter, but the future is bright for women leaders.

What has made the family business work so well and how special is it to work with your father?

Something that has always caught my attention is the vision, persistence, and dedication of the leaders in my family. When there is a strong commitment to the long-term vision, every process works in an eloquent way as the goal is clear. This process shapes how the family business is run by making authentic, quality wines that stem from deep respect for tradition, land, and nature that is inherent in the wine’s origin. My father played an important role in my interest in the wine industry and has given me great opportunities to develop and explore from a young age. I learned, and continue to learn, so much from him. Thankfully, we complement each other in a very good way that benefits the whole team.

What are your priorities for Viñedo Chadwick and Seña as you look to the future?

Our top priority, commercially speaking, is to continue strengthening Seña and Viñedo Chadwick’s position among the leading fine wines of the New World. To achieve this, one of our strategies is to continue growing in our global distribution, maintaining our constant growth in the secondary market and maximizing our presence in the top, high-end on-premise accounts. Although we have a balanced international distribution, during the last few years we’ve been focusing on the U.S. market as it is very dynamic.

For consumers, we are developing more events to reach the fine wine collectors directly, such as auctions in the top houses, wine dinners showcasing historical vintages, and even some exclusive opportunities to visit our estates in Chile to understand and experience the origin of our wines. Also, we are increasing our digital presence in the different social channels and taking advantage of all the emergent technologies for tailor-made promotions of our wines.

In addition to our organic and biodynamic practices in viticulture, our most important efforts are focused on sustainability which comprises a wider approach from all angles, including the community and all processes involved in the business. We are also putting utmost care to reduce water consumption and look for better management solutions, as the availability of this resource is becoming one of Chile’s biggest challenges.