People behind the Winery
Leo Puppato our oenologist
Leonardo Puppato has been our Chief Enologist since the very beginning, when he accepted without a doubt the professional challenge of setting up a viniculture project in a new area: San Patricio del Chañar, in Neuquén, Patagonia. “I had a couple of interviews, I met Dr. Herman Schroeder and his son Roberto, and there was good chemistry from the first day. I thought they were visionaries but bold, so we set out our goals and started off along this common path,” Leo remembers. “The family atmosphere and the straightforward relationship were even more attractive to me.”
“The idea of ‘making history’ and acquiring experience in this new region was very appealing,” he says. “Though I had tried my hand at several harvests, and had not only the enological knowledge acquired at Facultad Don Bosco, but also the skills and learning received from my grape-grower and winemaker grandparents, and from my father, an enologist, this was an opportunity to grow in my profession with a project in which everything was new,” he tells us. So it was that Leonardo dared to face the adventure of working ‘where everything remained to be done and to be discovered.’ “It wasn’t easy to begin with. We had to develop an area originally devoted to the production of apples and pears.”
When the time came to present the winery’s first wine, he followed his intuition and decided to do it with a reserve wine. So it was that Familia Schroeder established itself with the Saurus Select line. “It was the first wine we made, a Pinot Noir… and it was awarded a medal at the first fair where we entered a wine. We had just bottled it, and ended up putting the labels on by hand at the fair”, says Leo
Pinot Noir is Bodega Familia Schroeder’s specialty. Leonardo decided to research this varietal and, to do so, he traveled around Patagonia – La Pampa, Neuquén, Río Negro and Chubut – watching and tasting different Pinot Noir grapes. Then he worked harvests abroad for several wineries to get well acquainted with the stock by going over many vineyards and tasting grapes. “Then we began to find out what was the best kind of soil for the different clones we could bring here, and thus we began with new plantations,” explains our enologist.
As regards the wines character, our winemaker emphasizes that “in our winery we show great respect for the fruit, trying to handle and mistreat grapes as little as possible, and to this end we take advantage of our gravity-flow system and soft techniques to limit the use of pumps. Thus we obtain intense, complex, fruit-driven wines with very good color and a fine acidity, smooth, elegant and pleasant in mouth. They are honest products, highly appreciated by our customers.”