Grapes: 80% Pais, 20% Carignan
Region: Valle del Maule, Central Valley, Chile
Pipeño is the traditional method of winemaking in Chile, which dates back to the late 16th century. The Aupa Pipeño from Viña Maitia is an old school blend of 80% País (aka Mission/Listan Negro/Criolla Grande) and 20% Carignan from a 10 hectare, 120-year-old, dry farmed vineyard in the Maule Valley of Chile. This valley benefits from a Mediterranean-like climate where high temperatures in the summer are cooled by the breeze from the Humboldt Current in the Pacific Ocean. Pipeño is a very rustic wine, especially when produced with País, a sacramental grape which was the first grape planted in the Americas, brought here by the Spanish. The País grapes are removed from the clusters manually by being hit over a zaranda, a metal grid that acts as destemmer and press, to a traditional concrete vat, where a natural yeast fermentation takes place. The Carignan is fermented with whole clusters, and then the blend is aged briefly in concrete before bottling into flint glass at a 12.9% ABV with small amounts of sulfur.