We discovered Beto's wines several months ago and were smitten. The purity and freshness in his wines are undeniable. We were excited to pour his wines by the glass and then saw the news about the fires devastating homes and property in Chile. As news continued to develop, we were made aware that Beto's winery was a victim of the fires and that word was still coming in whether all of the wine was lost. We immediately knew we wanted to find a way to support him and his family. We stocked up on all three of his wines and decided to do a By the Glass Takeover and send the proceeds to Beto. We reached out, and Beto was gracious enough to take some time to answer a few of my questions below. Enjoy the 2021 Leoncio wines while you can. The few wines he's making in 2023 will be released in 2024.BrandonFirst, tell me a little about the area of your winery and the climate of your vineyard sites.BetoI work exclusively in the Itata valley, which has the largest extense of own-rooted, dry-farmed centenarian vineyards in likely the world. All the of vineyards that I work with are family-owned and operated, so this really is a community-driven winemaking area, with deep roots for nearly two centuries. País in particular was brought over from the Canary Islands 500 years ago for the purposes of making sacramental wine and now can be found from Chile up to California. It’s arguably the most panamerican of grapes and would say that it finds its lightest and most elegant expression here in Guarilihue, where I work. The natural temperatures at time of ferment lend themselves to a really lóvely Beaujolais-style of wine. Both the climate and soils are very diverse but it’s really the insanely hard work put into the vineyards by the families that I work with that give such a beautiful quality of grape and thus wine.BrandonHow did you get your start learning about or become interested in wine? Were you a wine lover long before you made your first vintage?BetoI got my start being a sommelier, to your point, I was a wine lover. Bogotá, Colombia definitely did not have a lot of great wine, especially 16 years ago when I had the luck to work in Colombia’s number one restaurant at the time, Leo Cocina y Cava. I feel in love at the first tasting I ever participated in, which made me remember how much my grandpa connected with a glass of wine. From there, it was 13 years until my first vintage, which was here in Pandemic-era Chile in 2020 working with Roberto Henríquez. From there, I’ve made wine in Tecate, México with Bichi; in Catalunya with Mas Guineo, who I started a project with last year, and right now is my third vintage here in Itata.BrandonWe are working with these three wines - 2021 Leoncio Moscatel, 2021 Leoncio Cinsault, and the 2021 Leoncio País and will be pouring them by the glass this weekend. I know it's hard to say, but do you have a favorite?BetoMoscatel because of the process: getting fermented and aged on skins in 200-year-old Jesuit amphora, which I deeply respect. I don’t know if it’s my favorite but in some way it’s the most special to me. The Cinsault is lovely and so easy to drink and of course working with such beautiful País is also a blessing and really shows in bottle. I guess they are all my favorites.BrandonCould you explain the state of your winery and vineyard sites currently, since the fires?BetoUnfortunately both me and my friend Jorge Cotal lost absolutely everything in the fire. He even lost his house. On my part, I was just 5 days away from bottling my largest and most diverse production to date, which I could not have been more excited about. The fire took everything from me, even my amphora, which had a pallet underneath it that burned in the fire, causing it to fall and crack open. The vineyards are about 50% damaged though luckily did not completely catch on fire so we’re hoping that many vines survived. We’ll see in spring.BrandonWe know this is a tough time but we want to personally tell you that we are very impressed with your wines. For this to be your first vintage, it's really incredible. Where do you see the future of the Leoncio wines going?BetoWith help from everyone who drinks my wines, storeowners like you who are aiding, and definitely a lot from José Pastor, we’re rebuilding here in Itata to make even better wines as we grow. It’s a rough path that takes a bit longer than you’d want, but both here in Spain, I’m committed.