Close Menu

Bouchon makes ‘wild’ wine from País

Chilean producer Bouchon Family Wines has launched a “wild” wine made from untrained vines.

Harvesters at Bouchon’s Mingre estate where País has been left to grow up the trees

Called Salvaje, meaning “wild”, the wine is made from País grapes that have grown untamed up the trees on Bouchon’s Mingre estate, which is located in the dry, coastal region of Chile’s Maule valley.

Due to the unmanaged nature of the vines, Bouchon has decided to make the wine with as little intervention as possible, vinifying the grapes using natural yeasts and employing traditional tools, such as the zaranda, which is a destemmer made from sticks.

Around 100 cases of the País Salvaje will be available domestically in Chile, and in the UK subject to demand, where it will have an estimated retail price of £15 a bottle.

The advent of this product strengthens the emergence of an entirely new vinous category – “wild wine” – which takes the product that bit closer to being truly natural.

As the comments below highlight, this news story initially incorrectly stated that Bouchon’s País Salvaje was Chile’s first wild wine. In fact that position is held by Villalobos in Colchagua who have been making a “wild vine” Carignan since 2008. According to Doug Wregg at Les Caves de Pyrene – who import the wine – the vines for this “are truly wild; they are untrained, straggle up trees, grow in bramble bushes, entwine themselves around plants on the forest floor.” The vines, which are around 75 years old, are used to make a cuvée is called The Wild Vineyard (picture, right).

For more on Chile’s “natural” wine scene, see the September issue of the drinks business.

Picking the wild País grapes. Pais originates from the Canary Islands where it is known as Listan Prieto or Palomino Negro. The Pais grape was brought to Chile in the 16th century by the Spanish conquistadores for religious ceremonies. Since then it has been planted in abundance in Chile in the dry farmed areas of the Maule valley and is mainly cultivated for small-production, artisan wines or sold for making bulk wine. It is currently experiencing a resurgence, thanks to Chilean producers such as Torres and De Martino, while the country’s biggest wineries Concha y Toro and Vina San Pedro are also now working with the grape.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No