In late 2014, the Viña San Pedro agricultural team began to look for a new extreme place of origin for making Pinot Noir. Their search brought them to the Purén area on the eastern slopes of the Nahuelbuta mountains in the unexplored Malleco Valley. The first idea that found favour with the group was that to make this a sustainable wine that really reflected its origin it needed to be made together with the communities.
Following various conversations guided by Chile’s Agricultural Development Institute (Indap) and supported by the National Irrigation Commission, Viña San Pedro reached an initial agreement with the Buchahueico Community to plant 10 hectares of Pinot Noir together with 4 families, each with 2.5 hectares planted on their own land. The success of the initial results led to two new families joining the project in 2019 and so the plantations grew by another 5 hectares.
Four years into this journey, the first Mapuche wine is ready to be launched under the name 1865 TAYU Pinot Noir 2018, Malleco Valley. It was developed by winemaker Viviana Navarrete, who is considered to be one of Chile’s best winemakers for this variety. Tayu means “our” in the Mapuche language Mapudungun and it reflects the true spirit that has guided the project in which the winery and the community have worked shoulder to shoulder.
The community’s vineyards are located in a coastal area that is strongly influenced by the Nahuelbuta Mountains. The red granite soils have abundant quartz encrustations and a clay-loam texture. The granite lends Pinot Noir a vibrant, fresh mouth with grip, a desirable attribute in high-end wines.
These natural conditions, along with the careful work in the vineyards, enabled San Pedro and the community to celebrate the birth of a Pinot Noir of exceptional quality, recognized by the critic as a Revelation Wine, awarding this first vintage 95 points*.
“The most noteworthy aspect of this project compared to others in Chile is the people involved. In Buchahueico the families (the vineyard owners) are the vignerons and so they are completely dedicated to this. Each of them takes care of their 2.5 hectares, so they are able to give it a unique and detailed level of care comparable only with the producers you see in Burgundy. This is key to making high-end wines: profound care of the vines, maximum focus and, most importantly, learning from observing on the ground,” explains Navarrete.
Tayu stands out because of its intense colour due to the small, tight clusters of grapes. The nose reveals notes of spices and herbs, especially paico, peppermint and boldo (herbs that grow wild in the vineyards), and tart, fresh red fruit like cherries. In the mouth, this is a very fresh wine with good tension that demonstrates the effect of the granite soil and vibrant acidity that accompanies a long finish.