Uruguayan Bodega Marichal and their pinot/chard blend

This is one of those stories where inspiration strikes and the result is, well, maybe not divine but definitely delicious. Winemaking like so much else has embraced technology but sometimes all you need is good old ingenuity to correct a problem. That´s what faced Juan Andrés Marichal when he decided to make a pinot noir solely from saignee (first press of the berries but macerated for 4 hours) from a portion of his pinot noir harvest and discovered after a short time that it was quickly losing its acidity in barrel. I suppose I should back track  a bit and explain how I got to know Juan Andrés´story. I was visiting  his family vineyard, Marichal, in the Canelones region of Uruguay, roughly 40 kilometers outside of Montevideo. The Marichal vines were first planted by Andres´great-grandfather, Isebelino Marichal in the early 20th century, when he arrived to Uruguay from the Canary Islands. It wasn´t until 1938 however, that the winery was built and ever since, it´s been a family-run winery. Juan Andrés likes to tell the story of how his grandparents met. He stares off into the distance from the doorstep of his winery, points to a house about 500 mtrs up the road and says, “that´s where my grandmother grew up and where we are standing now is where my grandfather grew up.” His grandfather literally married the girl next door, or at least the closest next door neighbour he had. What started with his great grandfather has continued through the years to Juan Andrés and his brother. Although neither live at the vineyard, they both live in nearby Montevideo and visit often. Juan Andrés told me that Uruguay has not always been a quality wine producer but in the 1980´s, the government took an interest in the winegrowing industry and provided incentives to pull up all the inferior rootstock and replant it with higher quality vines. The family took advantage of this program and replanted extensively.  Juan Andrés also took advantage of the opportunity to study in Mendoza, Argentina. Today, Juan Andrés and his brother...

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