Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Rogue Vine is a project made up of amigos Leonardo Erazo Lynch and Justin Decker. Both had the wish of making different wines, wines with character. To achieve this, they had to find different vineyards, different terroirs, and to make them in a different way. The forgotten old Bush vines almost falling out of steep granitic hills in Itala was the perfect spot to start this project. Once the viticultural center of a new world colony in the 1500’s, the Itata hills nowadays represent a forgotten viticultural region in Chile. The fact that the vines here in Itata can live 60-120 years means something, that they have found a balance with the environment and with the vigneron. Vineyards were planted under dryland conditions, with the bush vine as a trellising system and in the steep granitic hills of Itata. These conditions remain exactly the same 500 years later. Itata is a place in Chile where the spirit of the true Vigneron exists.
The Rogue Vine wines are the results of looking at things from another perspective. Because in some moments you realize that without noticing you have getting to know yourself a little bit better, that you don’t want to do the same as others do, and that the option is to follow your own path, your own way even though it can be difficult, that day you become a ROGUE.
They make wine because it’s an amazing transformation, to take something so natural, so real and such a part of the earth and transform it into an amazingly tasty beverage, that is incredible. That it goes beyond just a liquid refreshment and is not only a part of conversation but the guide we sometimes need to push the conversation and experiences forward and beyond. They really don’t make wine, they help create stimulating conversations about friendship, love, sports, construction projects, and a plethora of other things, and who wouldn’t want a hand in that if they could?
Dramatic geographic and climatic changes from west to east make Chile an exciting frontier for wines of all styles. Chile’s entire western border is Pacific coastline, its center is composed of warm valleys and on its eastern border, are the soaring Andes Mountains.
Chile’s central valleys, sheltered by the costal ranges, and in some parts climbing the eastern slopes of the Andes, remain relatively warm and dry. The conditions are ideal for producing concentrated, full-bodied, aromatic reds rich in black and red fruits. The eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry—is home to intense red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.
The Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys specialize in Cabernet and Bordeaux Blends as well as Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape.
Chilly breezes from the Antarctic Humboldt Current allow the coastal regions of Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley to focus on the cool climate loving varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Chile’s Coquimbo region in the far north, containing the Elqui and Limari Valleys, historically focused solely on Pisco production. But here the minimal rainfall, intense sunlight and chilly ocean breezes allow success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata in the south make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile sometime in the 1550s. One fun fact about Chile is that its natural geographical borders have allowed it to avoid phylloxera and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted.
A charmer in the Southern Rhône Valley, Cinsault thrives in any hot and windy climate, and finds success in many other countries. It is a parent grape alongside Pinot Noir, of South Africa’s acclaimed red grape, Pinotage. Somm Secret—Given its relatively long history in California, Cinsualt is often “hidden” in the Zinfandel blends of Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties. Historically planted alongside Zinfandel (with Petite Sirah and Mourvedre) in the same vineyard, Cinsault is now an essential part of many “field blends.”