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Guarilihue, Itata, Chile
100% Cinsault [vines planted in 1940]
The old Itata Hills is a fantastic place. The terroir potential for making wines here with special character is great. A Los Viñateros Bravos work to bring that sense of a place into the bottle. In the Itata Hills the beautiful heritage, the historic old vineyards over volcanic or granitic soils have a lot to say and tell. Leo wants to communicate that message. In order to achieve this, they have returned to organic viticulture (which here had always been the tradition), and with natural winemaking. They feel like they don’t need to fix nature but rather enhance her capabilities, to enhance her potential. The aim is to produce wines full of life, vibrancy, tension, freshness and joy.
Cinsault is a red wine grape, whose heat tolerance and productivity make it important in Languedoc-Roussillon and the former French colonies of Algeria, Lebanon and Morocco. It is often blended with grapes such as Grenache and Carignan to add softness and bouquet.
Las Curvas is a dream vineyard, owned since 2017, and probably one of the first Cinsault parcels to be planted in the area, back in 1940. This old bush-vines Cinsault vineyard planted on its own roots, has a northern exposition, and, exposed to a constant sea breeze, sits on super low-fertility red soils, with a high content of granite and quartz. These characteristics make this vineyard a great mirror of terroir.
Farming is organic, the ancient bush vines are unirrigated, and since the vineyards are impossible to work with tractors, all the labour is either done manually or with horses and traditional local tools.
Winemaking is straightforward. Grapes are harvested manually, the juice is handled gently, fermented in concrete tanks/eggs with indigenous yeast with a natural malolactic following. Nothing touched other than a coarse filtration, bottling by gravity and minimal sulphur is used (totals are around 15-20 ppm).