Limited Release

Story of the Semillón - Fieldcraft

The Secano Interior, or dry-farmed interior, is the cradle of Chilean viticulture dating back to the 1500’s. Revived attention in wines from what are some of the oldest pre-phyloxera vines on the planet has led to interest and investment, but the machinations of the modern world do not always mesh with the gearing of the old.

At Garage Wine Co. we have worked with small farmers in the Secano Interior ploughing the vines and cultivating the land for years now. We have built our small firm together. The vignerons’ families have dry-farmed the Secano since colonial times, and not just their vineyards, but mixed farms of heritage seed wheat, free-range livestock, and local market gardening. Yet as South American wine exports have boomed over the last quarter century, it has grown increasingly difficult for these small growers to sell their grapes at a proper price.

Just imagine such old vineyards passed down over generations, imagine them today suffering from neglect. Not because they stopped making wonderful wine, but because the vineyards no longer connected with the modern world. They are too small to fill a truck, too far away from a paved road. They cannot be worked with a tractor nor can they be picked by a machine.

Modern buyers want more for less and they would have the small modernise: ie spray instead of cultivate, scale instead of focus, and above all reduce the cost of labour. But the labour is precisely where you find the wisdom of farming passed down through the years: the fieldcraft if you will.

At the Garage Wine Co. we think the wine trade is stronger with the small farmers in it—and the wines are too. In a world that wants more sustainably grown foods, these farmers have a 400+ year head-start.

Story of Renacido Vineyard

Cab Sauv in the Maule - We took a long time finding the parcel we wanted to work with. We began to search for something more particular that was at once fresher and elegantly finesse-driven. We experimented in 2017-8 but we did not release the wines commercially. Then, South East of Cauquenes on Coastal Range of mountains facing Eastward, we found what we were looking for about 22 kms from the coast. Originally País, the Cab Sauv was grafted on to the 150+ yr old roots about a decade ago (some of the original old-vine Malbec was left without grafting and complements the CS).

Rare bush-head vine Cabernet Sauvignon, shows classic old-world herbal aromas, red-fruit brightness and spice but what’s really different is the texture, especially when tasted next to a wine from Maipo, you notice the granite in the palate here, the old-vine complexity and less alcohol—and the beginnings of the difference proper farming makes.

Story of Truquilemu Vineyard

It is hard to imagine someone having the patience to plant a red vineyard in this part of Empedrado so long ago. It is very cool here. It must have taken forever for these vineyards to have come into their own. Thank god someone had the foresight to be patient all those years ago whilst the vineyard could grow old. Today the florality and complexity, the balance that only an aged vine can bring combine to create rare grace.

We make Cariñena in a half a dozen locations in the Secano Interior (the historic name for the dry-farmed interior of Maule & Itata) but ´Truqui´, as we call her, has been intriguing us with floral notes, the depth and plushness of its fruit, and the graceful way it ages for more than a decade now—and we are only just getting started.

Note: we have rented this vineyard long-term and we work it old-school, originario, by hand and horse with the same patience and care that many generations of curators have shown these vines over the years.

Would such a vineyard be planted today? A vineyard that would take at least a decade of not 15 or 20 years to come into its own? If golf where invented today, how many holes would it have?

Truquilemu vineyard