Wine, and the beginning of something profound for me, began on a snowy day in Indiana. As the snow continued to fall, and the roads closed for nearly three days, more and more friends came to our house for friendship, laughter, and comfort. I learned a few things that day when we began opening bottles that I was meticulously storing. Among the many, special occasions are made and seldom planned for and wine is made to be drunk, not saved.
Most winemakers I know seem to have a specific wine that represents a pivotal moment in their lives. Sure, a complex wine is fun to talk about with those that also make wine or taste for a living, but come on, when was the last time you dissected the flavors of a great meal? A great experience isn’t about describing what your eating, doing, drinking, it’s about the now, the experience. A great wine can start something, but it’s the people that truly make it magical. Wine is only a vehicle that transports an event into a memorable one.
Why do I make wine? Because it’s an amazing transformation, to take something so natural, so real and such a part of the earth and transform it into an amazingly tasty beverage, that is incredible. That it goes beyond just a liquid refreshment, and is not only a part of conversation but the guide we sometimes need to push the conversation and experiences forward and beyond. So, I really don’t make wine, I help create stimulating conversations about friendship, love, sports, construction projects, and a plethora of other things, and who wouldn’t want a hand in that if they could.
Leonardo Erazo Lynch
After finishing university, falling in love with a young female winemaker and then having that relationship not work, gave me the perfect excuse to start traveling the world. My travels lasted 5 years, working and traveling in Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand and California, and then Australia where I found myself falling in love again. This time, with a South African girl who brought me to her land, and surprisingly, it again didn’t work (damn it!). While living in South Africa for 3 wonderful years, I earned a scholarship to earn a Masters in Viticulture and Terroir at Stellenbosch University. It was, to me, an amazing experience living in SA while many changes were taking place with many active young winemakers, all together with the big influence of the Master. My research was focused on the influence that soil has on wine and this gave me the chance to study soils in France and in Germany as a part of my research.
Overall I have spent 10 years traveling (so far!). This journey keeps bringing the most amazing surprises and has been incredible indeed!! Today, I’m in charge of an amazing project in Altos Las Hormigas in Mendoza, Argentina and I’m also working very hard at Rogue Vine, a very special project for me, in the Itata Hills, in the deep south of Chile.
I believe the diversity that comes from different stimuli and traveling with no money makes a person incredibly creative. During my trips I’ve done all sorts of work related to wines, had the chance to taste and visit the most amazing vineyards, met incredible people, and keep completely changing my vision about wine and definitely myself too! There is no better way of learning about something than experiencing it, touching it and smelling it. Soil and wine are not the exception.
To look at things from outside gives you a different perspective, and many times you are able to see what you can not see from within. Sometimes being a outsider coming in can be a new insight.
The Rogue Vine wines are the results of looking at things from another perspective. Because, in some moment of the trip, you realize that without noticing, you have gotten to know yourself a little bit better, that you don’t want to do the same as others do, and that the option is to follow your own path; your own way. Even though it can be difficult, that day, you become a ROGUE.