Estampa was founded in 2001 by Miguel González-Ortiz, the winery’s owner and current president, who wanted to create a winery focused on innovation and modern techniques in order to create premium wines that would fully express the characteristics of the different varieties and their origin, the Colchagua Valley. Specialising in the production of blends, Estampa owns more than 400 hectares of drip-irrigated vineyards in three locations within the Colchagua Valley – Palmilla, Paredones, and Marchigüe – with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Syrah and Merlot.
The winemaking team consists of Ana Salomó, agricultural manager, Attilio Pagli, consultant winemaker and Johana Pereira, head winemaker. Johana believes the winery’s wines stand out for the unique character provided by the Colchagua Valley; ‘They are very fruity, with smooth but clearly present tannins. Their personality comes from the soils, depending on the zone, but they are all are very potent.’
A winemaker with more than 15 years of experience in the Colchagua Valley, Johana Pereira joined the Estampa team in 2013. Her lifelong passion for wine shines through in her answers to our Winemaker Q&A questions:
What first made you interested in winemaking?
Since I was a little girl I have been attracted by the colour of wines. Bright and transparent whites; intense and deep red colours in reds. It was amazing to see all these hues coming from a natural thing. That awoke my curiosity about the process of winemaking. Thus, I wanted to understand how, from the transformation of a simple fruit, a natural product, all these hues were developed, and also how aromas and flavours could last over time. I just wanted to understand and discover the ‘magic’ that made all this possible.
Who, within the trade, has been your biggest influence and why?
In different aspects, I believe I have been soaking up different characteristics that I have admired from people with whom I have had the good fortune to work with.
In my college years, my oenology professor was a great inspiration due to his passion and dedication. He loved winemaking and teaching about it. He showed me this career from an area of deep enjoyment. Thus, I really love what I do.
During my first job at the end of the 1990s; I was assistant to oenologist Mario Geisse (years later I became his wife and mother of our daughter) who showed me the importance of passion for details and to do things at the right time.
From him I also learned the balance between ‘feeling wines’ and the technicalities of producing them without any flaws.
Then, Felipe de Solminihac, who was our consultant winemaker and with whom I worked for more than 5 years, showed me the respect towards the character of each wine we made.
Currently, I work with Attilio Pagli (Italian consultant winemaker at Viña Estampa). From him, I have gained a deep understanding about the expression of each wine, the importance of their origin, terroir and our role as human beings and what we want to express through the wines we make.
What was the most memorable bottle you’ve drunk? Where and when did you drink it?
All my life I have had the chance to try some extraordinary wines and I know that there are still many more to be discovered. However, one that remains in my memory is the first Amarone della Valpolicella that I tasted together with some colleagues at Gallo & Sonoma winery at a dinner in London.
I remember that I had never tasted such a wine, it surprised me a lot and I asked whether someone at the table could explain how it was made. It was a real surprise and since then I just love those wines.
What is/will be new/different at Estampa in 2018?
At Viña Estampa we are constantly working to make wines with a sense of place. We are convinced that our differentiation comes from our origin. Therefore, we strive to show our terroir (Colchagua, Marchigüe and Paredones) in our wines.
This year in particular, we have made a special effort to work with lots of grapes from different blocks that we have identified in our vineyards as special and we have vinified those grapes in separate fermentation tanks. The 2018 harvest was characterized by the absence of rainfall and moderate temperatures during the period of maturity of the grapes, which will allow us to produce fresh and well-concentrated wines.
If you could choose another wine region in the world to open a winery, where would it be and why?
I believe that the foundation of a wine is its origin. Having said that, I would plant a vineyard somewhere near the mountains or close to the sea where I could produce fresh wines (rosé or cool climate red wines).
I would love to build my house in the same place where I would build a simple and small winery.
I know some beautiful wine regions of international fame that deliver grapes of extraordinary quality. However, I would make the attempt in my country, in the south of Chile around 600 kms from Santiago, close to where I was born.
I love the simple and quiet lifestyle of the countryside, I enjoy drinking honest wines, delicate with personality and structure. I strongly believe that in Chile we still have interesting areas yet to be discovered; a combination of soil and climate that could deliver amazing wines if we are able to venture and dare to continue exploring our beautiful country.