Leonidas Fernández (called Beto by his friends) founded his winemaking project Leoncio (named for a childhood nickname used by his mother) in 2021. Born in Colombia, Beto was a sommelier for 15 years in Spain, Mexico and Colombia before coming to Itata to work with Roberto Henriquez. After a year, he struck out on his own, working with local farmers to preserve the ancient viticultural heritage of the area. His goal is to highlight, honor and protect these ancient vines, while simultaneously helping them to find an audience more globally. To that end, Beto does not buy vineyards, but instead works collaboratively with local farmers and their families to convert their vines to organic, regenerative, and biodynamic farming. Working this way helps improve the lives of the area’s farmers, who have historically struggled to find recognition and a market for their wines. Much of his time is spent biking between the different parcels he works with, assisting with farming and organic treatments. In the Leoncio cellar, Beto works with very limited intervention, avoiding additives and employing only native yeasts.
Moscatel 100% Moscatel of Alexandria from the centenarian 'Las Minas' vineyard in Leonera in the Itata Valley at 200m altitude. The soils are granitic. The grapes were mostly (80%) destemmed and all fermented together with the skins in an old amphora for 11 months, then pressed and bottled without fining, filtering, or sulfur addition.
País Mostly País with small amounts of Aramon and Cinsault from multiple parcels of own-rooted 150-year-old vines around Batuco and Magdalena Alto in the Itata Valley. The vines are about 100m altitude and the soils are a mix of basaltic red clays. The grapes were destemmed and macerated on the skins for 8 days during fermentation before pressing with a small, manually operated vertical press into old Raulí foudres. Bottled without fining, filtering and with only a small sulfur addition. Cinsault 100% Cinsault from a single vineyard of 60-year-old vines planted on red clay and granite soils. The vineyard is at 300m and faces southwest. The grapes were destemmed and macerated on the skins for 8 days before pressing with a small, manually operated vertical press into old Raulí foudres to rest for 10 months. Bottled without fining, filtering and with only a small sulfur addition.