For Carolina Alvarado and Arturo Herrera, wine is the connection between nature and people. Founded in 2003, Herrera-Alvarado is considered the founder of the now-budding natural wine movement in Chile. Local peasant farmers, or Huasos, have always made wine for home consumption without any additives. After studying agriculture, Carolina and Arturo because very taken with these types of living wines and decided to devote themselves to making wine in this style. Winemaking in the Marga Marga valley, where their cellar is located, dates back to the 14th century. Through word of mouth, Carolina and Arturo learned from the many wine characters in the valley how to make wine in that old style. Perhaps the most unique part of traditional winemaking that they have adapted into their cellar is the use of cow leather for fermentation. Carolina and Arturo built their cellar themselves in the adobe style out of clay from their own vineyards. There is no electricity; everything is done by hand.
La Zaranda is made from their own-rooted Sauvignon Blanc grown on clay in the Marga Marga Valley. Grapes are hand-harvested in mid-March, destemmed by hand with a Zaranda (the local name for a destemmer), and given 2 days of skin maceration before wild yeast fermentation in concrete tanks without temperature control. They raise the wine in tank for 17 months on fine lees, and bottled without added S02. This Pacific-influenced white is full of savory citrus and salt, with captivating texture.
Oro Negro is made from a rented vineyard of centenarian País grown in Colliguay, at the southeastern end of the Marga Marga Valley. Grapes are hand-harvested in early April and wild yeast fermented whole-cluster in cow skins without temperature control, with skin maceration lasting throughout alcoholic fermentation. They then rack the wine into old barrels to age for 15 months on fine lees, and bottle without fining, filtering or added S02. This is a juicy red, bursting with red fruit and cleansing acidity. Cuero de Vaca is made from their Pinot Noir grown on clay at 320 meters in the Marga Marga Valley. Grapes are hand-harvested in mid-March and wild yeast fermented whole-cluster in cow skins without temperature control and given 17 days of skin maceration. They rack the wine into old barrels to age for 15 months on fine lees, and bottle without fining, filtering or added S02. This is a very fresh red, with savory red fruit and tanned leather notes, and cleansing acidity.