Eduardo Brethauer is a journalist, writer and traveler. Author of the hilarious wine guide Vinos con Cuento. Owner and Wine Editor of Vitis Magazine. Member of the Circle of Wine Writers, La Commenda Major de Rosselló and Círculo de Cronistas Gastronómicos y de Vino de Chile. Founder of Vignadores de Carignan, a unique association of producers that reinvented a viticultural tradition of 5 centuries in Maule Valley. He doesn’t believe in scores. “They’re fuckin’ stupid”, claims. He and his brilliant collaborators are always seeking for character and identity. Their goal is to rescue and put in value wines, spirits and food treasures from forgotten corners of the world.
Last year was an exception. This season, again, the prices of the grapes are in the basement. Traditional producers are unable to cover their minimum production costs. Not only is the future of peasant family farming in danger, but of a heritage of centuries-old vines that have forged the identity of Chile as a wine country. Thousands of families have small vineyards of País, Moscatel and Cinsault, which survive barely, depending year on year on the prices set by an oligopolistic purchasing power that responds only for its interests. Unfortunately, the government is a passive accomplice and the concerns of the guild of large companies are looking to another side. The debate is centered on the possibility of lowering the alcoholic content of the wines - today the minimum allowed is 11.5º - to increase production volumes. The project is already presented in Parliament, but Chile once again misses the way. Instead of adding value to its wines, it intends to continue flooding the markets with a business model where Goliaths always beat Davids.
Illustration: Omar Galindo