In focus: Chile trends

17th October, 2018 by Lauren Eads

PERFECTING PAIS

While the old vine revival of Cinsault and Carignan is still alive and well, País is becoming increasingly visible in the portfolios of many producers. “Winemakers are realising that País is part of our heritage,” says Felipe Tosso, Viña Ventisquero’s chief winemaker. “It started off as an interest in the País grape rather than as a commercial wine. Then you go there and meet the growers and realise that they are survivor vineyards.”

País was one of the first varieties to be planted in Chile, with the arrival of Spanish colonists in the 16th century, and has been grown since by a large number of small farmers, particularly in the south, to produce village-style ‘rustic’ wines made in plastic vats. Forgotten by the mainstream industry, it was only recently that winemakers turned their attention to this truly Chilean variety, choosing to make serious wines from vines that were over 100 years old, and reviving the livelihoods of producers in the region.

“It’s really important to bring these old vines back into the viticultural map, but we have to go there and focus and make great wines,” adds Faulconer. “It’s not enough to say it’s an….

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