Leonardo Erazo is a rare talent. The diversity of experience and knowledge he possesses on all subjects surrounding wine is impressive. After graduating from the University of Chile with a degree in Agronomy and Enology, he traveled the world for a decade working for various estates doing research in soil science, geology and biodynamics. Leo’s minimalistic style of winemaking and growing requires exceptional discretion on his part, combining some modern techniques with established traditions. He believes that the best dry-farmed ancient vineyards found in the Itata Valley require as little stylizing as possible to showcase the deep expression of their terroirs. While employing biodynamic principles, he uses the advice of the experienced local farmers who have been naturally farming this region for centuries. A Los Viñateros Bravos is a project where he works with friends who are local producers focused on the most interesting soils presented in Itata Hills, Volcánico and Granítico. "Our production is small, we are artisanal producers but we aim to produce something special." Leo serve as the technical director for Altos Las Hormigas. He is the winemaker and dynamo behind A Los Viñateros Bravos, Leonardo Erazo and Roue Vine (partnership with Justin Decker). Lay Of The Land The Itata Valley was the first settlement of the Spanish Conquistadors during the 16th century. To keep up the necessary supply of wine for these new European settlers, they brought their own grape vines. And so the first propagation of some of Chile’s earliest vineyards began. The magic of the Itata begins with its special granitic soils. This ancient 200 million-year-old batholith is home to dry-farmed bush vines principally planted with the reds, Pais (Mission grape) and Carignan, and the white grape, Muscat of Alexandria. Cool coastal winds and clouds keep the winegrowing season long, giving the wines great potential for developing the complexity needed for high quality wine. Sadly, this region has been underutilized for decades and cheaper wines were made mostly for the locals. The winds of change have descended upon the Itata, making it one of the most exciting new prospects in the New World.