IRENE PAIVA INTERVIEW
Irene Paiva Winemaking Director, Vistamar, Chile
20 June 2017
“In developing our wines, the most important thing is to show through them the essence of the New World. To understand each valley with the characteristics of its climate and soils, which is part of the terroir of each variety. In this way, we manage to obtain a range, from fresh wines with fruity aromas and intense colours to more complex ones with great intensity, all of them highly characteristic of Chile. Vistamar offers a unique experience of daring to enjoy the simplicity of any occasion or company”.
WHEN WAS THE MOMENT YOU DECIDED TO ENTER THE WINE BUSINESS?
I decided when was at the university, studying my agronomy degree.
I discover enology taking the general first course, it was mandatory, then I keep taking more and more of this speciality.
My original idea was the animal speciality (cattle), almost got the 2 specialities.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PARTICULAR GRAPE VARIETY THAT YOU PREFER TO WORK WITH?
It is difficult to choose one!, at this enology moment I would say I am more in reds, from the vineyards and then in the winery, to express the more fruit and terroir possible, identity.
WINEMAKING ART, SCIENCE OR PROCESS MANAGEMENT?
First time that I receive this question very directly!
I really think is both.... they need to be in balance; if you do only the process management if possible to lose the magic touches of the art considerations. It need to be space for both living together.
If you don’t have a correct or well organize process it is very difficult that the art part can be included, this part is more delicate , it demand calm and tranquility, then it cannot be present with any emergency or “”fire” alarms into the process.
WHAT TYPE OF WOOD / BARRELS DO LIKE TO WORK WITH THE MOST?
I see oak as a component into the wine, for some of them it fit very well and for others is better to keep very low or ausent.
Having on mind this wine-wood combinations I decide the oak.
Time is a very important factor too, long aging wines is wonderful more French oak because is slower, the American oak give the hints of vanilla and caramel, then for big reds I like to combine this 2 types of barrels.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE VINTAGE?
One harvest that I recall was 1993 , at Viña Viña Errazuriz, my boss was a New Zealand winemaker, who speaks only English at that moment and my English was very basic!, we have meetings that we communicate in a mix of Spanish, English, drawing in papers!!!....ja, ja. After my English improved a lot and his Spanish too!
A second memorable was 2001, at Viña San Pedro, it was my first one there in charge of all the operation and organization and I was scared because it was very big, I worked very, very hard together with a great young team !
Finally both went very well, in terms of quality and as a personal experience I will never forget about them.
STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND WHAT WINE WOULD TAKE WITH YOU?
Many!!, because always I am trying to taste different ones from all possible places, keep learning and enjoying them!
DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR ALBUM THAT YOU LISTEN TO WHILE WINEMAKING OR BLENDING?
To work at the office or blending I really like electronic music, like Kygo.
FAVOURITE DINING OUT DESTINATION RESTAURANT?
Now, this days, I think all this year we are repeating a very nice Peruvian restaurant in Santiago.
Something really great: sushi in Japan ( Tokyo), I have last week during my visit there!
I am very happy and proud of all the possibilities, jobs and challenges made in this 25 years of continuous career, at the same time, together with my husband raising our 2 beautiful sons (20 and 17 years old), and 2007 starting my own vineyards and winery.
Irene Paiva, Winemaking Director Vistamar Chile