The historic winemaking region of Itata, where vines were planted almost 500 years ago by Spanish missionaries, is 500 kilometres south of Santiago and characterised by cooling Pacific breezes, moderate temperatures and cloudy summers, allowing grapes to ripen at a steady pace. The region has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, with a new generation of winemakers like Parra championing old vines and celebrating the region’s winemaking traditions. Pedro maintains that it is Itata’s isolation and the fact it was overlooked for many years, which has ultimately protected the region. As such, the venerable, dry-farmed bush vines, many of which are well over 100 years old, have been magnificently preserved.
Pedro Parra is a renowned soil and vineyard mapping expert with a Masters and PhD in Precision Agriculture and Terroir from the Institut Agronomique National in Paris. As a consultant to many well-known wineries in the Americas and Europe, he has spent much of the past 18 years discovering new sites, digging ‘calicatas’ (pits for soil analysis) and transforming the way wineries manage their vineyards. However, he always dreamed that one day he would make his own wines in his native Itata. In 2013, assisted by consultant winemaker, long-term friend and business partner Alberto Antonini, Pedro released Itata wines under his own label. His vision was simple: to make pure wines from old bush vines grown on granitic soils and to help the local “brave vignerons”, who protected the land and vines for centuries.