World-class wines
(honest, humble, and respectful)

How is a world-class wine made? – a journalist asked me once. “The same way a great article is written,” I answered without hesitation. He stared at me confused, perhaps a little annoyed. “An article –I said again– has to address an important subject, be well written, and honestly interpret the facts.
“Truth be said, I’m sure he thought I was joking. But I was not.
“A world-class wine must be sourced from a special place, where a series of climatic and geological characteristics combine to favor the development of a particular grape variety. “The best Chardonnays in the world, for example, come from temperate climates and poor, weathered soils where the vines can explore with their roots and absorb just enough water and nutrients. Fertile soils are a big no, as they are synonymous with high volume wines, often diluted and lacking character. That is why in Chile I decided to keep well away from the intermediate depression and go to either east or west: The Andes foothills and the Pacific coast.
“If we have the right terroir and good plant genetic material – that’s a given– we have to be able to guide the vines to do their job: Bud break, fruit set, veraison, bunch development, and berry ripening. The natural environment, everything that surrounds the vineyard, is also essential, as it provides diversity and keeps our ecosystem in balance. It is an act of supreme arrogance to believe we can dominate nature. I prefer to work with it. Respect it, take care of it, and preserve it for future generations.

We have to be able to read
correctly every season
and convey honestly
the personality of our
vines and their terroir


“I believe deeply in the terroir, but in its broadest sense. We cannot forget the human factor. We choose the varieties, plant them and cultivate them to make wine, to give pleasure and happiness to men and women.
That’s as far as it goes,” I told the journalist.
“Now, as winemakers, we must be able to read each season correctly and honestly convey the personality of our grape varieties and their terroir. Not to believe we are artists, but to be good interpreters. Having technical knowledge and all the skill in the world is not enough to make wine. You need to understand the grapes and their timing, and to provide the conditions for them to reach their maximum quality potential.
“For various reasons there is a category of wines considered world class that can reach exorbitant prices, either because they come from an exceptional terroir, have a centuries-old history or tradition, or even because of the scores given by certain critics. “The best wines are the result of an attitude of humility, honesty, and respect towards our grapes and our consumers.
“I don’t know if I answered your question,” I told the journalist, “but that’s the only way world-class wines can be made.”