The first vines plantations in Itata were made by the Spanish conquerors in the year 1551, making this area one of the precursors of wine production in Chile. Due to its proximity to Concepción -one of the main ports of the country of the time- this valley soon became the main supplier of wines, not only for the rest of the national territory but for the entire Spanish empire in the Americas.
The settlers brought with them the Muscat of Alexandria and the País grape (formerly known as Listan Prieto), which were collected during their passage through the Canary Islands, on their way to Latin America. Subsequently, other varieties were introduced during the beginning of the 20th century, in order to compensate the ravages produced in the valley by various earthquakes and “improve” the quality of the wines produced with the varieties planted in the past. This is how the outstanding strain Cinsault and other whites arrived in Itata, which have not been properly identified to date, the so-called “Corinto” being one of them.
Since its inception, the Itata wines were highly appreciated, as can be read in some writings of the time:
“The southern provinces are much more suitable than those of the north for viticulture; the Concepción wine surpasses those of other parties in quality “.
Eduard Poeppig, German traveler, 1828.
“The French have a singular fondness for the city of Concepción, and they affirm without embozo, that is the cause the excellence of their wines”.
Miguel de Olivares, monk, eighteenth century.
The area of Itata began to lose relevance in the 19th century, when aristocratic families of the time began to travel to France, bringing with them stakes of varieties of that origin. This moment coincides with the phylloxera, so French winemakers also arrived in Chile. From this moment viticulture turns mainly towards the center – north and the south, along with our history, begins to lose relevance and leaving these vineyards in oblivion.
Nowadays Itata begins to flourish again thanks to its incomparable terroir, and to the efforts of producers who have visualized the opportunities of this place and of rediscovering the roots of our vitiviniculture.