VISIT IMPORTER'S WEBSITE
Country of Origin: Chile
Location: Maule Valley, Central Chile
People: David Marcel & Loreto Garau, Owners & Winemakers
Punch: The Insider's Guide to Chile's Wine Renaissance
Wine & Spirits: Chile's Vino Pipeño
Amanda Barnes Blog: 10 Winemakers to Watch in Chile
Wine & Spirits: The New Chile
Apuntes de Sobremesa: Un Pipeño que Gana Adeptos
Social Media Links
Viña Maitia Facebook
Viña Maitia is a small family winery that is owned and operated by husband and wife team David Marcel and Loreto Garau. David Marcel is a French vigneron from the Basque Country. David met Loreto, a Chilean enologist, while visiting Chile and decided to move there in 2007.
Loreto owns the wine store Petit Plaisirs in Santiago while Marcel brokers grapes and wines. Their customers continually encouraged them to make wine; thus, in 2012, the two set out to make simple, easy-drinking wines called pipeños.
Loreto Garau explains, “What excited us about pipeños—and what excites a lot of people—is the return to drinking something simple, without anything artificial or tricked out.” Originally meant to be enjoyed by peasant farmers, pipeño is an old style of Chilean wine that is characterized by its simple manner. While pipeño does have a reputation as a quaff some folks drink like water, David and Loreta believe pipeño is a Chilean wine tradition worth preserving. Thanks to Viña Maitia and other wineries, pipeño has begun to gain recognition.
Viña Maitia is located in the Maule Valley, about 300 km south of Santiago. This valley benefits from a sub-humid Mediterranean climate where high temperatures in the summer are cooled by the breeze from the Humboldt Current in the Pacific Ocean. This cool air helps to extend the growing season and allows for wines with bright, fresh acidity.
The estate has ten hectares of very old bush vines of Pais (Mission grape), Carignan and a few other grapes. Some vines are over 120 years in age. These old vines are the remnants of Chilean ancestry. All over Chile, Pais has been replanted with international varieties like Merlot and Chardonnay. However, David and Loreta see the opportunity to make wines of place while helping to preserve Chile’s viticulture heritage. The vines are dry farmed, which is possible in the Maule Valley because of the winter rains. The wines are made with low sulfur, native yeast and neutral barrels, so that the terroir really shines through.
Viña Maitia is a member of Chanchos Deslenguados.