Bio-Bio Valley, Chile
A native of Concepción, Roberto – largely inspired by his Uncle – has always dreamed of making wine. He studied to be an Agronomist and Enologist, then worked for wineries in Chile, South Africa and Canada.
Returning to Chile, Roberto spent some time with local wine producers, and this experience – along with working with producers such as Mosse in France (Loire), was very important to him.
The Bio-Bio region (close to where Roberto was born) is, in his view, the most unspoilt place to make wine in Chile. The old farmers work traditionally, having never used chemicals. However, the Chilean culture doesn’t pay much importance to historic winemaking, and he felt he had to do something to try and keep tradition alive.
While also working as a wine growing consultant, in 2015 Roberto started his own project, working with traditional methods and old vines. He is now building his own winery. Roberto farms 7 ha which are close together in the mountains – Cordillera de Nahuelbuta.
In Bio-Bio, there is considerable soil diversity between plots. Vine-training height also varies – Riviera del Notro at 1m high, and the Santa Cruz de Coya vines lay very close to the ground. It’s a cool-climate region, with a cool spring, summers below 30 degrees with many cloudy days, and quick transition from Autumn to Winter. Southerly latitude plays a massive part, as does the mountain topography (lots of small hills, vines situated on inclines); maximum altitude is under 400m.
Roberto does the traditional winemaking style of Chile – manual destemming, gentle crushing of grapes and punch downs, only using Chilean wood (just when he bottles pipeño), and short macerations. Whites with skin, traditional method as well as the red wines.
Long life to País vines!