The winemaker Derek Mossman Knapp of Chile‘s Garage Wine Company introduced the Old-Vine Revival initiative in the UK this month.
It also included the very first UK tasting of the new release Old-Vine Revival Pais 2021 wine.
Garage Wine Company’s Maule initiative concentrates on the production of wine using previously neglected older vines and helping the local farmers’ communities.
Originating from the COVID-19 pandemic, this initiative allowed farmers to get involved in their local vineyards. This also removed the requirement to travel.
Maule is the home of a variety of extremely old, dry-farmed, family-owned vines. However, they have been overlooked by the main industry due to their low potential for production and the issues of accessibility.
More than 5 000 bottles of the “Revival” Old Vine Pais 2021 were made and Mossman Knapp described the wine as a blend of the two: a Gamay and the Pinot Noir‘.
The wine was initially sold in Primeur around 18 months ago. This added to the financial security for the producers and growers during the pandemic.
It is believed that the Old-Vine Revival project has been funded by the Garage Wine Company’s UK distributor, Freixenet Copestick. Old-Vine Revival’s Pais 2021 is accessible to the trade through Jascots and consumers through the retailer Slurp Wine, priced at PS17.95.
“Land, not brand”
Garage Wine Company was founded in 2001 by Mossman Knapp and his wife, Pilar Miranda, who began by creating wine from their home to share with friends and family. With time, the company grew, and now they export to 16 different countries.
They started in Maipo but soon realized that the idea of artisanal, small-scale production wasn’t compatible with the traditional low-cost, large-scale model that was popular across Chile in the early days. To keep their hands on their focus, they shifted their attention to Maule.
When asked about the reason he picked Maule, Mossman Knapp said the human element, individuals and the stories they tell’.
The environmental and social aspects of his method was, in fact, largely organic. Initially, they made sense as a model of business for a small-scale manufacturer.
Label printers, large-scale bottle manufacturers, and wax capsule makers were unable to fulfill small orders The company therefore turned on recycling of bottles. It also has a painter for bottles and a supplier of crayon wax.
Despite this born-out-of-necessity method, it is clear that Mossman Knapp has a vast appreciation of the place and history behind his wines, referring to ‘land, not brand’.
He was a part of the 2010 harvest when he was a part of helping in the creation of in 2010 the Independent Winemakers Movement (MOVI) in Chile A small producer group with a particular focus on wines made on a scale that is human’.
Pais in context
Mossman Knapp said in the magazine Decanter the Pais was cultivated in Chile in the year 1548. It was taken over by the Canary Islands in raisin form.
He explained this by referring to the year following Henry VIII died.
Because the phylloxera louse, which destroyed the majority of European wineries in the late 19th century, didn’t make it to Chile, Many of the vineyards in Chile in Chile today are extremely old.
The significance of this, as per Mossman Knapp, is the portion of the vine that we do not observe, and not the ‘photogenic candelabra profile over the ground’.
The roots, which remain intact for such a long amount of time, are sturdy and deep-rooted, penetrating the cracks of the gravel soils, allowing access to water.
Although it was once thought to be a rustic type, Pais has been undergoing a dramatic growth in recent years.
This is in part due in part to the large influence of winemakers who, as well as Garage Wine Company, focus on regenerating and producing quality, small-scale wines that have a strong sense of the place.
But, there is to be improved upon to alter the perceptions of the potential of the grape. Mossman Knapp claims that it’s still not thought of as a wine that is fine.
Setting the path for the future
Garage Wine Company has embraced the potential of Maule as well as Pais by focusing on small-scale wines, with the goal of discovering and valuing the individual areas.
Three farms’ grapes have been utilized for this Old-Vine Revival Pais 2021.
This strategy demonstrates Mossman’s dedication to the environment and the past, by using ancestral methods of agriculture and winemaking like using indigenous yeasts, soft maceration and very low amounts of sulphite.