150 year old, dry-farmed vines
13.5% Alcohol PH 3.5
(but shush, we're not really allowed to tell you that)
Chilean Pais has become somewhat famous over the last few years thanks to the tremendous efforts of some intrepid winemakers who saw the potential of the ridiculously ancient vines found heading towards the south of the country. There are some 10,000 hectares of old-vine Pais down there- it's not a rarity at all, it's planted everywhere. But here in Colchagua there remain only about 50 hectares and for that reason, the agricultural authorities don't recognise its existence in our valley. For that reason we're allowed to tell you the name of the grape but we're not allowed to say it's from Colchagua. Bureacracy, eh?!
This tiny half hectare parcel produces some absolutely amazing grapes. It is dry-farmed organically (not certified) on only around 300mm (11 inches) of annual rainfall, which is about half the theoretical minimum for dry farming vines. And that only falls during Winter- not a drop will fall from Spring until after harvest. The wine is more concentrated and has better colour that the typical, lighter style of Pais produced further south. We are thrilled and honoured to be working with this piece of Chilean history.
All the work is done by myself (Matt) and our part-time worker Juan. Every now and again we'll get a couple more people in to help out with specific tasks on the weekend, and for harvest we always have a crew of people from both Chile and overseas! This is small-scale, old-school, hands-on viticulture and winemaking. We're not a huge, faceless operation: We grow the grapes, we make the wine and we label the bottles by hand.
Our label is inspired by, and a homage to, those Art Nouveau advertising posters from France in the 1920s. Our first ever wine was a typical Rhône blend (it should be on the shelf next to this wine! and when we think of the south of France, we just automatically think of that era. This label is a variation on that original label. It is also a representation of our life here in the vineyard, with our dogs, cats and vines- everything that is important to us.
The wine is really versatile and will go well with almost all kinds of food. It has lovely acidity and tannins that will help it age gracefully over the next few year, or can be drunk right now. Go get the corkscrew!
Ethics & Sustainability
All electricity used in our vineyards & winery is 100% solar generated by our 10kw solar plant. We don't use any herbicides in the vineyard (screw you, Monsanto!) and only use organic pest control in the vineyard.
We pay fair wages significantly above the minimum and above industry average.
We plant native trees wherever we can on our own property (400+ and counting!).
We make wine to raise money for the local volunteer fire department.
We genuinely try to be as sustainable, ethical and ecological as possible. Everyone has a footprint, but we try to reduce ours in any way we can.