Top 10 Chilean winemakers to watch

1. Marcelo Retamal


Retamal is not new, but even after 20 years filling bottles he is still at the forefront of Chile’s wine innovations. Retamal became head winemaker of De Martino winery straight after university in 1996 and since then has made wines in over 350 vineyards in Chile, executed a 12 year terroir hunt across the span of the country, and made a huge U-turn in winemaking techniques that sparked a new trend in Chile.

“My problem started in 2007, because the owner and I didn’t like our wines”, he explains, commenting on how flying winemakers and international buyers had swayed Chile into a ripe and oaky style from the early noughties. “They were correct, with softness, high alcohol and lots of oak. But we wanted to create a wine with more drinkability, more fruit and not much oak or alcohol… so we started to work very strongly in this direction. More than new things, it is rediscovering the old ways.”

His return to “old ways” include using only native yeast, no added enzymes or tartaric acid, earlier harvests, aging in old Chilean earthenware jars, and zero new oak. It is not just his winemaking that sets him apart. His commitment to finding new viticulture areas and rediscovering others keeps him on the cusp. Retamal’s work in Maule and now Itata has enabled him to revive many lost varieties and bring them to the mainstream, and his latest curiosity has led him to vinify the highest altitude vines in Chile.

3 Responses to “Top 10 Chilean winemakers to watch”

  1. ichi says:

    We are intersted in your wine

  2. ichi says:

    We interested in buying wine from your company

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