Wine From Coffee Country in Colombia

We were pleased recently to run across a new wine produced in the heart of Colombia’s coffee growing region. Reserva del Cielo is a medium dry red wine from Isbella grapes in the department of Caldas, one of the three departments making up the Colombian coffee growing axis. Coffee lovers will be pleased to know that among their offerings Reserva del Cielo has a wine that includes the flavor of coffee!

Growing Wine in Colombia

Although Colombians are largely coffee, beer, and rum drinkers, there is a wine market as well for local and imported wines, primarily from South America. Varieties grown here are generally those suited to the tropics like the Isabella grape which is a vinifera variety like Chardonay or Cabernet Sauvignon but adapted to the climate. These are generally grown at cooler and dryer altitudes like in the department of Caldas. Because Colombia does not have the sort of seasons seen in more temperate climates there is no natural dormant season. Thus it is common to pluck leaves from vines manually to allow plants to shut down and recuperate after each harvest of which there can be more than one a year! Commercial Colombian wine production only became viable when Colombia put high tariffs on all wines from outside of South America. The majority of Colombian wine production goes toward fortified wines like brandy but there remain some excellent ones like Reserva del Cielo for traditional wine consumption.

What Are Isabella Grapes?

The Reserva del Cielo wine is made from Isabella grapes. This variety comes from a rare French variety, the Meslier petit white grape. This variety came to the Americas hundreds of years ago and adapted to the climate via cross pollination with local wild species of grapes. Although the original variety is rare in Europe it has favored in the Americas because of its tolerance to tropical and semi-tropical climates. Thus, the Isabela grape is idea for growing in Colombia in the tropics. It should be noted that in the mountains of the Western Andes it is not especially humid nor hot at elevations of four thousand feet and higher where the Reserva del Cielo vineyards are.

Wine From Grapes Grown in Volcanic Soil

The rich volcanic soil in the Colombian coffee growing axis is ideal for growing not only coffee but other crops as well. Although volcanic soils do not retain water well this can result in plant roots having to go deeper. This can lead to the production of superior wines. The plentiful rainfall in the premier coffee growing region in the world tends to counterbalance any water retention issues with volcanic soil.

Reserva Del Cielo of Manizales, Colombia

Reserva Del Cielo is a one year old company headquartered in the heart of the Colombian Cafetero in Manizales. It was started by Sebastian and Laura, two local students studying international business who are also wine lovers. They currently offer two wines. One is a medium dry, medium sweet red and the other is a red wine infused with roasted coffee. They are planning to also provide a rose in the near future. All of their wines feature the Isabella grape. If you would like to try a bottle or two of Colombian wine from the heart of Colombian coffee country, contact us at

Wine From Coffee Country in Colombia Two Wines
Wine From Coffee Country in Colombia

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