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Headline Hero: Jaime de la Barra, Santa Rita Estates

Published:  31 March, 2021

Jaime de la Barra, director of winegrowing, Santa Rita Estates (covering Chile and Argentina)

Your role involves managing a diverse viticulture across Chile and Argentina – how collegiate is your approach at Santa Rita Estates?

Our company has wineries on both sides of the Andes and the exchange of experiences and knowledge between the two is second nature. Many projects are being conducted in both countries and we work as though we are one. My view is that 
we need a cultural shift from “we think” to “we know”.

The issue is that we have only one chance to harvest in a 
year, which can hinder us from learning quickly. For this reason, we try to discuss and share our knowledge not only within 
our own group of wineries, but also with our competitors any technical issues that may arise throughout the harvest and viticultural calendar.

Do you think Chile and Argentina are now taken seriously 
as a source of fine wine?

The number of projects being built around fine wine is 
bigger than ever. Sales figures show the category is healthy 
and growing, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the vision of 
many players is to keep building their businesses around 
fine wine and that is showing progress. We still have a lot of work to do in finalising the appropriate rules for specific appellations and aligning industry marketing to make the 
right impression at a trade and consumer level, but I can 
see we are going in the right direction.