Chilean wine group VSPT is looking to push its innovation after promoting winemaker Matias Cruzat to head up its premium wine brand, 1865.
Cruzat joined the VSPT team in 2013 as an assistant winemaker for its Premier wines, but moved to the 1865 brand in September, before being confirmed as the brand’s new chief winemaker in June this year.
He told db his role was to continue strengthening the brand and explore new frontiers and innovate to produce “honest wines which are faithful representatives of Chile’s different terroirs”.
“In this industry, you have to dare to push the limits and challenge the status quo,” he told db, adding that the best way for VSPT and Chilean wine more broadly to innovate was to concentrate on “retrieving” its identity and taking advantage of the freedoms that being New World producers offers.
“We need to work on our wines free of make-up, for an ever more distinguished vinification,” he said. “I want to put my capabilities at the service of the great team behind the 1865 brand”
As well as a keen interest in boosting production, Cruzat said he was “very enthusiastic” about VSPT’s new projects in the Elqui Valley in Northern Chile.
“San Pedro is pioneer in this viticultural valley in the north of Chile, and we are working with two varieties that were added to the 1865 portfolio a short time ago, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” he said. “The cool-climate expression and the soil conditions in this unique valley are producing outstanding results, and we are very satisfied,” he told db. “We have to continue working for a distinct vinification which facilitates the understanding of the origins of each wine, so that they are expressive of their terroir and honest exponents of the variety.”
The two varieties were planted at La Chinchilla and El Platero vineyards in the El Cutún area of the Elqui Valley, and benefit from proximity to the Pacific Ocean, 25km away, with fresh, coastal breezes and morning mists that protect the grapes from the sun while allowing the fruits to ripen slowly.
“Innovation at this moment is about retrieving our identity and proudly taking advantage of the freedoms that being New World producers offers. We need to work on our wines free of make-up, for an ever more distinguished vinification,“ Cruzat said. “I am proud to represent a brand which strives to offer the best of Chilean viticulture.”
By Arabella Mileham