Top 10 Chilean winemakers to watch

8. Leonardo Erazu

Leo-in-Itata

When young Chilean winemaker Leonardo Erazu went to the Swartland of South Africa and saw the revolution of bush vine wines there, it intrigued him to return home and make something of Chile’s wealth of old bush vines in Itata. Since 2008 Erazu has been experimenting in this southern region making field blends from the varieties that had been all but forgotten until recent years.

“I was curious about the potential,” he says. “There was a good combination of old vines, granitic soils and dry farming.” What he discovered were vines often over a century old and small producers who were on the brink of tearing out vineyards in favour of more lucrative crops. Enamoured with the vines and the inherited wisdom of the small producers, he began making white and red field blends, putting him among a growing legion of believers in Itata being the new “old region” of Chile. “Itata is pure and honest, it has a very old viticulture with little intervention and it is incredible what these people know about their land”, he remarks.

Erazu’s production, which is branded “Rogue Vine”, uses small local growers and low impact winemaking techniques in an attempt to “reflect a place”. While Erazu will continue advocating old vines in Itata, he also believes in the potential for new vines in the region and recently purchased eight hectares in coastal Itata where he is planting Albariño, Riesling and Chenin Blanc in a very cool climate plot next to the sea.

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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