Chile gets new niche wine association

A group of Chilean winemakers have collaborated to launch a new association to promote small family-run operations that “live and breathe wine”.

Chile wine corkThe organisation is called Slow Vino Chile and comprises five winemakers and six wineries covering regions from Maule to Elquí in the far north of the country (see list of members below).

Slow Vino Chile is set to officially launch with a logo and website later this year, but the collection of winemakers have already started working together to promote themselves in Spain and the UK, with two members present at this week’s Mercado Andino tasting in London.

According to one member of the association, José Ignacio Maturana, former chief winemaker at Casa Silva who now runs his family’s Maturana Wines in Cachapoal, Slow Vino Chile was set up to unite “winemakers and viticulturists who live and breathe wine”, which, he added, “is different to when you work in wine as an industry.”

Another member, Ximena Pacheco from Pulso Wines similarly told the drinks business that the group was for people “who didn’t see wine just as a business”, while stressing that each member must be “focused on terroir and committed to a specific place.”

Member wineries must also produce less than 150,000 bottles annually and sell their wines for a minimum of US$25 on the shelf, according to Pacheco.

Slow Vino Chile is not the only winemaking association in Chile, but Pacheco stressed that it was different to anything else in the country.

For example, MOVI (the Movement of Independent Vintners) was set up in 2009 to bring together small-scale Chilean vintners, but Pacheco said that Slow Vino Chile was different to the MOVI concept, which incorporates wineries where the owner has other interests, such as a full time professional job.

Another winery organisation, Chanchos Deslenguados – meaning “the outspoken pigs” – was described by Pacheco as “not a proper association”, but a collection of “friends who throw parties”.

On the other hand, members of Slow Vino Chile must sign a contract to join – their participation is legally binding.

However, she said that there aren’t any rules for either winemaking or viticultural practices for members of the new association, adding, “we just want honesty; what you say about your wine must be true.”

As for the number of member winemakers, Pacheco said that Slow Vino Chile “is not an elite group and anyone who fits can join”.

Ximena and Jose at Slow Vino

Ximena and José are founder members of Slow Vino Chile

Slow Vino’s member winemakers and their wineries are below:

José Ignacio Maturana – Maturana Wines (Marchigüe, Cachapoal)
Ximena Pacheco – Pulso Wines (Lolol, Colchagua)
Felipe Uribe – Andes Plateau (Alcohuaz in Elquí, and Alto Maipo)
Felipe Ramírez – Las Luciérnagas (Maule)
Stefano Gandolini ­– Viña Ventolera (Leyda) and Viña Gandolini (Alto Maipo)

One Response to “Chile gets new niche wine association”

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