As we continue our travel across the world of wine, let's stop in Chile to catch up with Luca Hodgkinson! He's was our first winemaking partner and produces our sauvignon blanc.
The vineyard is located in the middle of Casablanca Valley, between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. The grapes were raised with no herbicides or pesticides. Luca was born and raised in Barcelona but currently is living in Chile. He's a renaissance man of sorts - he has made wine on three continents and speaks five languages!
A: Luca, we are still thirsty for travel, where’s the one place you like to take visitors?
L: If I am in Chile, I'd love to bring them to the 'Jewel of the Pacific,' a historical city tucked in the hills, called Valparaiso where I used to have a room back in the day. Bohemian and vivid with a beautiful maze of hills, you can lose yourself and discover all the stories hiding in it's staircases, funiculars (cable cars that run on rail tracks) and charming colorful houses.
A: What are your favorite foods?
L: I am a cheese lover!
A: Which wines do you love to drink?
L: Wines with personality and out of the ordinary!
A: Which are your must go to restaurants in Chile?
A: Harvest season typically falls between February & April in the Southern Hemisphere. How was the 2021 harvest?
L: This last harvest was really challenging for Sauvignon Blanc! In spring we had to go through some very severe frosts that in some regions left the yield seriously challenged. After a mild spring we went through the summer with a high average temperature. Finally at the end of January nearly all the country experience heavy rains for 2 days ranging from 40 to 100 mm of rain! In this extreme conditions, where the Sauvignon had already started to accumulate sugars, we were afraid of botrytis that of course altered the course of this harvest. However, we select very meticulously our growers and we require them to have a full cover crop, which allows excess of water to be quickly evacuated. It allowed us to secure our grapes while many did not even harvest!
A: What would you define as your defining characteristics as a winemaker?
L: I am also very lucky to have received the best training any winemaker would dream of. I studied Oenology and Viticulture from Toulouse University in Saint-Émilion and earned my Master's Degree in Environmental Friendly Viticulture, from the Faculte d'Oenologie de Talence. I have since then used all this background to rethink what I call ‘hyper-interventionism’ in winemaking. I am always curious, never reticent to taste new experiments and permanently open to challenge my experience and knowledge.
A: Finally, what is exciting you about wine right now?
L: The fact that -finally!-very soon you, will see the ingredients listed in wine labels as Archer Roose already does! Something I think is unfair to wine lovers that don’t know what they are actually drinking.