Leonidas Fernández (called Beto by his friends) founded his winemaking project Leoncio (named for a childhood nickname used by his mother) in 2021. Born in Colombia, Beto was a sommelier for 15 years in Spain, Mexico and Colombia before coming to Itata to work with Roberto Henriquez. After a year, he struck out on his own, working with local farmers to preserve the ancient viticultural heritage of the area. His goal is to highlight, honor and protect these ancient vines, while simultaneously helping them to find an audience more globally. To that end, Beto does not buy vineyards, but instead works collaboratively with local farmers and their families to convert their vines to organic, regenerative, and biodynamic farming. Working this way helps improve the lives of the area’s farmers, who have historically struggled to find recognition and a market for their wines. Much of his time is spent biking between the different parcels he works with, assisting with farming and organic treatments. In the Leoncio cellar, Beto works with very limited intervention, avoiding additives and employing only native yeasts.
100% Moscatel of Alexandria from the centenarian (100+ year old) 'Las Minas' vineyard in Leonera in the Itata Valley at 200m altitude. The soils are granitic.
Wowza! Aromatic spiced herb nose, golden juice, notes of fennel, fresh mountain herbs, coriander, citrusy tart finish, enticingly complex
region: Itata, Chile
varietal: Moscatel de Alexandria
style: skin contact white ( orange wine)
farming & cellar: 40 days skin contact in Tinaja, 12 days maceration, the grapes were mostly (80%) de-stemmed and all fermented together with the skins in an old amphora for 11 months, then pressed and bottled without fining, filtering, or sulfur addition.