Leonardo Erazo works with historic vineyards in Itata in Southern Chile, a nearly forgotten viticultural valley some 400km south of Santiago. Leo is a rare talent. The diversity of experience and knowledge he possesses on all subjects surrounding wine is impressive. After graduating from the University of Chile with a degree in Agronomy and Enology, he traveled the world for a decade working for various estates doing research in soil science, geology and biodynamics.
A Los Vinateros Bravos refers to the traditional vine –farming families who represent a history centuries old that are on the verge of disappearing. These vineyards are dry grown and have never seen commercial farming. For the Bravos wines Leo buys grapes in from farmers with minimal direction in the vineyard, they come as they come. For other wines such as “La Resistencia” Leo owns the vineyards and farms his way. All wines are made in Leo’s winery with a focus on concrete fermentation vessels. Leo also collects old amphora (dating back to 1788) and traditional large format oak vessels. Leo’s minimalistic style of winemaking and growing requires exceptional discretion on his part, combining some modern techniques with established traditions. He believes that the best dry-farmed ancient vineyards found in the Itata Valley require as little stylizing as possible to showcase the deep expression of their terroirs. While employing biodynamic principals, he uses the advice of the experienced local farmers who have been naturally farming this region for centuries.
Leo has a masters degree in terroir and has been mentored by Pedro Parra (perhaps the greatest advocate for terroir driven wines in South America). Leo also makes the wines at Altos Los Hormigas in Mendoza which is where we have got to know him. For all this, you’ll struggle to find a more humble guy in the wine industry. His wines are mainly made from “Pais” grapes to produce wines full of life, vibrancy, tension, freshness and joy.