© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Alvaro Paredes, winemaker and co-owner of the Torreon de Paredes winery in Rengo, Chile, shows a bottle of Don Amado wine at Java Express at 23 Main St. on Sept. 29, 2013 where he showcased a selection of his wines. The Don Amado wine is named after the Paredes' father and the winery's founder, Don Amado Paredes.
Co-owner of Torreon de Paredes winery visits Moose Jaw
For winemaker Alvaro Paredes, blending wine is similar to painting a picture.
“If you paint the picture with just one colour, it will be quite boring ... If you add more colour you are going to have a nice painting. With wine it’s the same thing,” said Paredes. “You are trying to grab with one variety, you grab the body of that wine, but then you want to improve the floral note that comes from other varieties, then a sweetness that comes from other varieties.
“So in those terms, I am saying that blending gives you that capacity to obtain more complex wines.”
Paredes, who co-owns the Torreon de Paredes winery in Rengo, Chile, showcased a selection of his wines at Java Express at 23 Main St. N. on Sunday night in his first visit to Saskatchewan. Approximately 40 people attended the event put on by the Moose Jaw Wine Club.
“I would like to show my wines. I would like to show actually what I do and I’m always promoting most of my country,” said Paredes. “I think it’s a very good chance to expose not just the product, (but) the country also where all this wine comes from.”
He and his brother Javier make wine with grapes from their estate vineyards. The brothers’ father, Don Amado Paredes, started the winery.
“This is a family winery. In Chile we are placed as a boutique winery. We are not a huge winery,” said Paredes. “We make wines just with our own fruit. We do not buy grapes and wine from third parties. We like to play organically. We have a very good concern in terms to produce ecological wines.”
Paredes has spent 30 years making wines, but is an architect by profession. When his father was 75 years old, Paredes and his brother joined their father in the winery business.
“I enjoy working with the vineyards. You cannot make good wines if you do not have good fruit. We are not magicians,” said Paredes. “So at the beginning we put all our efforts in terms to develop a very good fruit. That’s why I’ll say that at the beginning we are grape farmers.
“It’s very interesting when you start playing with colours, aromas, flavours in terms to enhance the flavour … with a focus to have better and better wines.”
But because there is only one crop of grapes per year, there is only one chance to make the wine per year. Wine production usually begins in the spring in February and ends in April or May.
He added his visit in Moose Jaw was his fourth time in Canada, but the first in Saskatchewan.
“I really like it. Actually I am amazed with the weather,” said Paredes. “I (expected) more cold and rain, but the weather has been fantastic these past days.”
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Sidebar: Different wines, different aging
The Torreon de Paredes winery in Rengo, Chile, makes 18 types of wines in three categories.
The Valle de Rengo wines from younger vines are “very fruity, easy drinking ones,” said winemaker and co-owner of the winery Alvaro Paredes.
He added those wines are made for younger people, but because of the intense fruit aromas in the wine, the wines are intended to be consumed in a short period of time.
With the Reserva wines, he said they oak age the wines in the barrel for 12 months.
The Reserva Privada wines are made from the finest grapes from the oldest and best vines. The wines are placed in the barrel to age for between 14 and 16 months.
“After that, we start blending with some part of Cabernet (Sauvignon) with a little bit of Merlot. We add some Syrah before going to the bottle,” said Paredes. “The best of this range, we do a barrel by barrel selection to make (Don Amado) wine.”
The Reserva and Reserva Privada lines “improve the capacity of the wine to age in the bottle.” He said at the end of the wine tasting at Java Express on Sunday, there was a six-year-old wine from 2007.