Aisle Spy Philippa’s Wine Blog

Casillero del Diablo winemaker comes to Asda

Casillero del Diablo head winemaker Marcelo Papa visited Asda to let us taste a selection of his wines, including the Casillero Cabernet Sauvignon.

We took the opportunity to ask him some questions, and here are his answers!

  • 1) What is your favourite wine and why?
    I am very partial to White Burgundy, particularly Puligny. With this wine you get real freshness, complexity, and style. It is very well structured and easy to match with food.
  • 2) What is your usual working day like?
    Very busy and with winemaking, no two days are the same, which I love! I get up early in the morning and on two or three days a week I run, I then take my son to school, before arriving at the office where I prepare my first espresso of the day – I cannot live without my espresso machine. In the morning I concentrate on paperwork and tasting, and then I go out into the vineyards to monitor the vines, fruit, soils and climate. I am often negotiating with international markets – there is just so much variety!
  • 3) I recently tried some Casillero Cabernet Sauvignon, what is your favourite dish to go with this wine?
    Red meat barbecued in a Chilean or an Argentinean style. This wine has a lot of fruit and a good structure and complexity, which supports the meat.
  • 4) What makes Casillero wines better than their competitors, in your opinion?
    The conditions that we have here in Chile really help to set us apart from our competitors. Our vines carry good quality fruit that is well structured with good tannins. This means that you don’t have to do too many artificial things in the cellar because the fruit is developing well naturally.
  • 5) What made you want to become a winemaker?
    Wine has been a passion of mine for a long while and my journey into winemaking started with a degree in enology (winemaking) at university. After graduating, it was time to put everything I had learnt into practice, with an internship at a traditional Chilean winery close to Santiago, the capital of Chile.
  • 6) How many grape varieties are grown in Casillero’s vineyards?
    There are ten grape varieties – Viognier, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonay, Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Carmenere and Pinot
  • 7) Can you tell me about the Casillero devil?
    Legend has it that in 1891, Don Melchor, a leading Chilean wine producer, discovered some of his finest wines were missing from his cellar. In order to ward off thieves, he decided to spread the word amongst local villagers that the devil lived in his cellar. From that day to this the wine has been known as Casillero del Diablo – the devil’s cellar – and has never been touched by thieves again.
  • 8) What makes Chile a good place to produce wine?
    Chile has a terrific diversity of climate and geography. The greatest influences on Chile’s climate are the huge mass of the Pacific Ocean to the west and the spectacular mountain range of the Andes, which runs down the eastern edge of the country.

These two monumental forces serve to cool the air and result in moderate temperatures akin to the South of France. We also have a great diversity of soils, meaning that we can produce many different wine styles.

Posted in Aisle Spy Philippa’s Wine Blog on 28 September 2012
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