Grower: Alice L'Estrange
Region: Itata, Chile
Grape Varieties: Moscatel of Alexandria, Chasselas
From 2 vineyards farmed by Sergio Parra (Chorrillos) and Soledad Caamaño (Unión). Los Chorillos is at 200m altitude and typically struggles to reach full ripeness. La Unión is warmer, the grapes uniquely thick skins and concentrated flavors – balance is obtained by blending the two plots. Both vineyards planted on granitic sandy loam soils and the vines are 75 -150 -years old
Alice L’Estrange is originally from Australia but has been living and working in South and Central America for many years, first in direct -trade coffee, then in natural wine importing. In the process, she fell in love with small scale agriculture, and wanted to pursue “the kind of international trade that has positive socio -enviro impact.” For a time, she made natural wines in South Australia with her good friend and business partner Lucy Kendall, but eventually decided she needed a change, and escaped to Chile to make wine “in a place where social and environmental concerns take front and center.” Market forces that depress the cost of local grapes are the main reason for the use of chemical fertilizers and the abandonment of old vineyards in the area. Now, she works with three local farmers, who she has helped to convert their vineyards to chemical -free, regenerative farming practices. These methods are meant to restore the soils that have been damaged by chemical pesticides, but also to protect against wildfires and improve yields and quality. Eventually, Alice would love to own a vineyard, but her focus now is on the small growers that she has partnered with, and their vineyards.