Gustavo hails from Portezuelo, a typical area for Pipeño production in the Itata Valley. He has been making Pipeño in the traditional style, aged in Raulí, from his family’s vines for over 10 years. After receiving a government grant to study winemaking and farming, Gustavo spent a harvest with Benziger Family Winery, one of Sonoma’s pioneers of biodynamic farming. After working harvest, he was inspired to improve farming practices on his own family farm. He started by converting the property to organics and plans to incorporate biodynamic practices in the future.
Lomas de Llahuen is the name for wines made with the fruit from old vines in Portazuelo that have been in Gustavo Riffo’s family for many years. Gustavo has been making wines with his family’s grapes for more than 10 years, but this is a separate project from his personal wines bottled under his name, although the emphasis on minimal intervention, organic farming, and biodynamic approaches in the vines is the same.
Lomas de Llahuen Pipeño 100% País from an organically farmed single parcel called Parmenia. These own-rooted vines are roughly 200 years old, densely planted on granitic clay-loam soils, and are unirrigated. Winemaking is very traditional: the grapes were destemmed, macerated on their skins during a roughly 2-week fermentation in stainless steel, pressed, and then the wine rested in stainless steel for 11 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, with a small amount of SO2.
A Pelo 100% Moscatel d’Alexandria from a parcel of unirrigated and own-rooted 70-year-old vines. The grapes were destemmed and fermented in old clay amphora with maceration on the skins for 8 months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with only a small amount of SO2.