Back to Their Roots: Chilean wine producers revive ancient vines
Updated 17:32, 09-Jul-2019
Chilean wine is sold around the world, attracting drinkers with its rich and fruity scents. Winery owners in the country are now considering upgrading their beverages by going back to traditional methods.
Chile is one of the most established wine producers in the world. Yet in regions like this, the industry is doing something quite different from other wine-producing countries. It's literally going back to its roots.
JOEL RICHARDS SAN ROSENDO, CHILE "This is not one of Chile's most important wine-producing regions. Forestry is by far the most important industry here. But there are a number of people working to restore vineyards that were planted centuries ago and also start introducing old wine-making techniques once again."
At San Roke Winery, they used to mix all the grapes from their land to produce one single wine. Yet with the help of specialists, they discovered that in among these old vines they had many different grapes, including Malbec - a grape better known from Argentina than Chile.
CHRISTIAN ROZAS SAN ROKE WINERY "This is the oldest Malbec in Chile and South America - this one right here."
Here, they're sticking to old techniques with their wine-making as they develop different wines.
CHRISTIAN ROZAS SAN ROKE WINERY "We don't use any chemicals at all in our ancient vines. We have kept the vineyards just as how they were planted, and the way we harvest is the same as 150 years ago."
Many other small vineyards are rediscovering and rebranding century-old wines- all along the length of this country.
Max Morales has been investigating these old vineyards for a number of years. He's hoping to attract international investment to develop long-forgotten vineyards and boost regional economies.
MAX MORALE ANDES WINES "With that process Chile became, with Australia, the two leading countries (that are) producing and experimenting how to rescue these vines because nobody had any particular strategy. And then over 50 wineries from Chile are producing wines from grapes that are over 100-150 years old."
Some of the unique wineries, including San Roke, are hoping to expand their business. And like the major players in Chile's wine export industry, Cristian and his father are looking to China.
CHRISTIAN ROZAS SAN ROKE WINERY "We would be looking at a small amount to start: 1,000 bottles to start off with and then the idea is to continue growing."
San Roke can produce about 20-thousand of bottles a year. Most of the other so-called 'new ancient' wineries produce less. But these vineyards create wines - and flavors - not found anywhere else in the world. Joel Richards, CGTN, San Rosendo, Chile.