2020 Dominio del Cuarzo Pais, Valle del Itata, Chile

2020 Dominio del Cuarzo Pais, Valle del Itata, Chile



Felipe Ramirez started Dominio del Cuarzo in 2019. He currently produces two wines from two small vineyards in Itata. The Pais is from Nipas on basalt and the cinsault is from Guarilihue on granite. Both vineyards consist of old bush vines that are farmed organically and without irrigation. These wines are produced in small quantities and are slowly increasing from year to year. Felipe was raised in Santiago and worked in his uncle’s restaurant in his teens.  He went to University and studied enology and viticulture and eventually became a winemaker. After 4 years working in Chile, Felipe sold his drums and car, got a loan, and moved to Montpelier, France to continue studying viticulture and immerse himself in all things French. He worked in Burgundy and the Northern Rhone and returned to Chile in 2007. He worked for Santa Rita and Bouchon before becoming the winemaker at Rose and Arrows in Oregon. Over the years Felipe worked with Pedro Parra and the two became close friends and colleagues. Felipe made the first Dominio del Cuarzo wines at Pedro’s winery and he’s now located next door where he shares a winery with a neighboring friend. Felipe splits his time between Oregon and Chile and plans to continue making wines in both hemispheres.

Pais, also known as Listan Prieto (Canary Island origin) and domestically Mission, was once considered a “garbage wine” used as a filler for blending with other varieties, or made as a simple qualifiable rose.  Now unblended, singular Pais from old vines (some old dry farmed bush vine vineyards are said to be 200 year old), in Itata have become quite fashionable and cutting-edge to drink, especially for the natural wine movement.  Somewhat of a cross between a savory Pinot Noir/Gamay and aromatic-fruity Nebbiolo.

100% Pais sourced from a 2.2 acre site of black sand and volcanic basalt planted in 1880 in Nipas.  Organically dry farmed bush vines.  Indigneous fermentation with 100% stem inclusion for 18 days maceration.  10 months in neutral oak on the lees.  Bottled unfiltered and unfined.  277 cases.  12.6% alcohol.