On Thursday 2 February 2023 in just about 6 hours we lost 90% of our old bush vines in Itata, Chile. For a small-scale family-project like ours this is devastating, it means for at least two years we won't be able to harvest grapes from these plots and therefore will not be making our Parcela Unica wines during this time. With a big impact on our family's economy.
Whilst the vine is a marvelous plant with a capacity to regenerate after fire, parts of our vineyards will not be able to recover. Our Flora vineyard of moscatel grapes, planted in 1962, was particularly hard hit due to its proximity to a Eucalyptus plantation which brazed at a heat so fierce it turned the vines into charcoal. Walking through the vineyard and seeing this national heritage of pre-phylloxera bush vines turned into ashes is heartbreaking. But like Itata's history, we mustn’t give up and should keep rowing against the current, to show the region's potential to make world-class wines. Because Itata’s vineyards are already being threatened by the encroachment of pine or eucalyptus plantations (subsidized by the Chilean government) replanting the vines that will not recover from the fires, is ever so important. If not, slowly but surely, bushfire after bushfire, Itata's landscape will look more like a pine/eucalyptus forest than vineland.
If you contribute a bottle of wine's worth you are helping us:
• clean up the dead trunks
• prepare the soil for replanting
• replant the vineyard
• create fire corridors
• plant native forest at the edges and within the vineyard
• find a source of water to use for future emergencies
• building a stable for the animals which will help us to keep grasses low
By doing so you are supporting the conservation of Itata's natural and cultural bush vine heritage.
Leo, Zjos, Emilia, Esteban and Matis