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The Proust Q&A: Marcelo Papa

Of northern Italian descent, Marcelo Papa is a winemaker at Concha y Toro responsible for the company’s successful Casillero del Diablo brand. With his team, Papa oversees the production of over four million cases of wine across the 12-strong range, which includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Carmenère. In addition, Papa is custodian of the Marques de Casa Concha brand, which includes a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Last month he revealed to db that he’s keen return to the style of wines the company was making in the ’70s by picking earlier and using less oak. He lives in the Maipo Valley with his wife and son.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Seeking and finding good times with family and friends.

What is your greatest fear? 

In general, I trust in life and I am very optimistic.

Which living person do you most admire?

This is very predictable, but I’d have to say Barack Obama.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Extreme sports in attractive places, I’m particularly into rafting on the Futaleufu River in Patagonia.

What is your current state of mind? 


What is the quality you most like in a woman? 

Understanding and seduction.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

My wife.

When and where were you happiest?

During my last holiday in Patagonia with my son visiting incredible rivers and glaciers, drinking fine wines and eating grilled trout that we caught the same day in the Baker River.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

Many things, but I’m happy how how things are.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be better at sport.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My family.

Where would you most like to live?

In Patagonia.

What is your most treasured possession?

The home I built with my wife in the Maipo Valley.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Optimism, I always try to be in a good mood and enjoy life as much as I can.

Who are your favourite writers?

Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Chilean sociologist Fernando Villegas.

Who is your hero of fiction?


What is it that you most dislike?

A lack of honesty and commitment really bother me.

What is your greatest regret? 

My regrets always tend to be on the emotional side. Every time I fight with my wife for silly reasons, I repent.

What is your motto?

Always try to move forward despite the difficulties.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what three wines would you serve?

My evening would have a musical theme, so I’d invite three titans from British music: rock musician Roger Waters, songwriter Jeff Lynne and the legendary John Lennon. I’d like to kick the night off with a Campari & Tonic cocktail and then follow up with 10-year-old Barolo and Barbaresco, so I can show them the wines my ancestors used to drink.

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Yes, take me to the Asia edition No