Younger people are bringing new perspectives. It has taken 15 years for the fourth-generation winemaker Marcelo Vacaflores, 31, and his father to revitalize their abandoned family vineyard. They renovated the bodega, dug wells and plan to plant new grapes in August. Down the highway, the self-taught Christian Villamor started Tierra Roja by making wine in his bedroom. Although he died in 2016 at age 37, the family is carrying on the vineyard’s biodynamic methods and has planted new vicchoqueña vines.
Amane Hagiwara, 31, who grew up in Japan and North Africa and trained in France, discovered the valley while traveling and has made it his home for three years. Drawn by the terroir and tradition, he ferments old-vine moscatel de Alejandria and negra criolla in locally made clay amphoras for his label, Los Bauguales.
“What we have to do,” he said, is to be true to the local terroir “and not copy winemaking from elsewhere. Make it how you feel it, with your tradition, with your history; then you can transmit something real.”