Dominio del Cuarzo 2020 Pais
Origin: Itata Valley, Chile
Grapes: 100% País
About the Wine, Winemaker, & Winemaking Process:
Complex & concentrated, this is one of my favorite bottles currently on our shelves. A must-try if you are someone who likes fuller-bodied, dry red wine!
Felipe Ramirez started Dominio del Cuarzo in 2019. He currently produces two wines from two small vineyards in Itata. The País is from Ñipas grown on basalt. The Cinsault (san-sool) is from Guarilihue grown on granite. Both vineyards consist of old bush vines that are farmed organically and without irrigation. Production is limited with quantities slowly increasing year over year.
Felipe Ramirez was raised in Santiago, Chile. His pathway to wine started in his teens when he worked at his uncle’s restaurant. Then, influenced by his father’s love of nature, agronomy, and entomology, Felipe studied enology and viticulture at university with the goal of becoming a winemaker. 4 years later, Felipe sold his drums and car, got a loan, and moved to France to work in Burgundy and Northern Rhône. Returning to Chile in 2007, Felipe worked for Santa Rita and Bouchon before becoming the winemaker at Rose & Arrows in Oregon. Felipe splits his time between Oregon and Chile and plans to continue making wines in both hemispheres.
The Paìs grape has one of the longest histories of any grape in Chile. It was the dominant grape planted in Chile until recently, when Cabernet Sauvignon took over. It has been planted in Chile for centuries, and was originally brought to South America by Spanish missionaries who traveled with conquistadors in the 16th century. It was originally found in the Americas in the Canary Islands, and is now also planted in North America, sometimes called the “mission grape” It is one of the first grapes that was planted in the Americas for winemaking.
“For Europeans accustomed to the fuller dimensions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir, País was rebuked as a simple wine. By happenstance, this lack of attention allowed País to become the farmer wine of choice, and left to grow uninhibited for centuries in the more southern regions of Chile. Name changes aside, País found a perfect home in the Itata Valley.”