Las Fermentadas (Alice L&

Las Fermentadas (Alice L'Estrange) 'Pipeno Pastiche' 2022

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Press 4 White • July 2024 Direct Press Selection

Alice L’Estrange is originally from Australia but has been living and working in South and Central America for many years, first in direct-trade coffee, then in natural wine importing. In the process, she fell in love with small scale agriculture, and wanted to pursue “the kind of international trade that has positive socio-enviro impact.” For a time, she made natural wines in South Australia with her good friend and business partner Lucy Kendall, but eventually decided she needed a change, and escaped to Chile to make wine “in a place where social and environmental concerns take front and center.” Market forces that depress the cost of local grapes are the main reason for the use of chemical fertilizers and the abandonment of old vineyards in the area. Now, she works with three local farmers, who she has helped to convert their vineyards to chemical-free, regenerative farming practices. These methods are meant to restore the soils that have been damaged by chemical pesticides, but also to protect against wildfires and improve yields and quality. 

Las Fermentadas is a project helmed by Alice L’Estrange, open to any women who would like to make natural wine collaboratively at her winery as a team. In 2021, Alice worked with Coline Marre, a French Oenologist, and Isidora Munita, a Chilean raw milk cheesemaker. They purchased grapes from an organically farmed, chemical free vineyard in Quirihue, in the Itata Valley farmed by Miguel Antonio Melo Henriquez who had been selling the farm’s grapes as table grapes due to the lack of a market for wines from the area. In the future, the participants in this project will change, and they may work with grapes from different sources, but Las Fermentadas will always be about collaborative women-made wines. 

Pipeño Pastiche is Alice's white or orange wine, made mainly with Moscatel of Alexandria from the Chorillos vineyard. Skin contact varies on this wine, but it is always destemmed with a zaranda and aged in stainless steel tank under flor. Ben Fletcher/José Pastor

Tasting Notes: Very textural, chunky and chewy. The floral aromatics from the Muscat are tempered with lots of umami, marzipan, and dried apple ring notes. The finish is long and full of tangy minerals. Jonathan Kemp

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