Curicó winery Viña San Pedro, one of Chile's largest producers, has hired Marco Puyo as its new chief winemaker, as well as California-based winemaker Paul Hobbs as a consultant. Despite good values, quality at San Pedro has not been outstanding over the years, so bringing in winemakers of Puyo's and Hobbs' caliber could herald significant improvement down the road.
"At Los Vascos, I was very happy but I needed something more to create," said Puyo. "In San Pedro exists a lot of things to do--new wines, new blends. It is a good challenge."
Puyo, 35, had been the head winemaker at Rapel winery Los Vascos, where he made a range of Cabernet Sauvignons. Hobbs, in addition to his own label, makes wine for a number of Napa and Sonoma clients as well as one in Hungary, and also consults for several other South American properties, including Chile's Odfjell winery. He's also a partner in Argentina's Viña Cobos winery in Mendoza.
Puyo will oversee Viña San Pedro's high-end Cabo de Hornos line, the mid-range 1865 series and value line Castillo de Molina. Viña San Pedro exports 3 million cases per year (second only to Concha y Toro among Chilean wineries), and currently owns more than 6,000 acres of planted vineyard land. Viña San Pedro also owns Argentina's Finca La Celia winery in Mendoza.
Taking over for Puyo at Los Vascos is Marcello Gallardo. Gallardo, 36, has been with Los Vascos for six years, and has worked previously at Chile's Viña Santa Rita and MontGras.
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