Emily Faulconer has stepped into the role of Francisco Baettig, who is retiring as technical director in order to focus on his personal project, Vinos Baettig, but who will remain in a consultancy role with Viñedos Familia Chadwick.
Faulconer was most recently chief winemaker at Chile’s Viña Carmen, and has been replaced in that position by Ana María Cumsille.
Baettig: reflecting on two decades of great headway
There’s no doubting that Francisco Baettig has moved the dial of Chile’s wine industry during his 20 year tenure at Viñedos Familia Chadwick.
Since his first appointment as winemaker of Caliterra in 2003, he went onto oversee the entire portfolio – which includes Errázuriz, Viñedo Chadwick, Seña, Caliterra and Arboleda – and has been at the forefront of changing the style and reputation of Chile’s premium wines.
‘When I started, it was a very different situation in the wine industry in Chile,’ said Baettig.
‘The industry was largely focused on high volume wines, rather than high-end wines. In the past two decades, our focus shifted from volume to premium wines… and a focus on the viticulture and winemaking to understand the terroir and interpret place.’
Baettig played a fundamental role in the image of Chile’s premium wine styles, pushing away from the more opulent, ripe wines of the early 2000s towards more elegance and freshness.
He masterminded the development of the impressive Las Pizarras vineyard in Aconcagua Costa, which helped put premium Chilean Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the map.
He said, ‘I believe the development of Las Pizarras was very important, it really helped change the perception and quality potential of these Burgundian varieties in Chile — opening the door to more balanced, linear and mineral wines with less oak.’
Baettig’s other great coup was obtaining the first perfect 100-point score for Chile — with Viñedo Chadwick in 2016. The Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon has gone on to receive several 100-point scores since, catapulting it into the fine wine stratosphere, along with Seña.
‘These recognitions were not only very important for me and for the team, but for Chile,’ Baettig said. ‘Chile needed to play in the big leagues and I am very happy and proud to have been part of this development.
‘The past 20 years have been an unbelievable journey — starting from a very different reality in Chile to today’s reality, in which the iconic wines from the group are among the best in the world.’
Eduardo Chadwick, owner of the family winery and group, paid tribute to Baettig’s work. ‘We are most thankful of Francisco’s contribution over his 20-plus years with us. He has led our team of viticulturists and winemakers with great skill, ensuring that our wines have become more elegant and refined over the years.
‘His winemaking approach has always been to bring a blend of passion, experience, boldness, and humility to his work. We are equally delighted that he will stay with us as our consultant in the future to continue mentoring our team as we strive ahead in our pursuit of excellence.’
Baettig will remain as a consultant for the foreseeable future, but will now have more time to focus on his own personal project, Vinos Baettig, which he started with business partner Carlos de Carlos over a decade ago planting vines in Traiguén, Malleco, in southern Chile.
Since launching the first 2018 vintage on the market during the pandemic in 2020, Vinos Baettig is now sold in 25 countries with a focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Traiguén, and most recently an old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon from Maule.
‘Vinos Baettig was my dream, and it really is my baby,’ he said. ‘It has been a very tough time in the wine industry in the past couple of years, but I’m very grateful that the Baettig wines are doing very well and I am thankful to…
Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/chiles-vinedos-familia-chadwick-has-new-technical-director-516887/