Our first ever Uruguayan winemaker!Read more
A former architect and great grandson of an Italian winemaker who immigrated to Uruguay in the late 1800s, Diego’s family were part of a huge wave of European grape growers who moved to Uruguay at the end of the 19th century. Many of whom brought with them their favourite grapevines, stashed safely in their luggage to be planted in the new world.
Lots of the wineries set up by those families back then are still going strong. Led by new generations like Diego. He grew up among the grapevines and - after a 4 year break to study architecture - came home to dedicate his life to the family craft. And he’s now been making wine for almost 30 years.
Uruguay is a wine region like almost no other in South America. Unlike Argentina and Chile, with their arid climates and mountainous vineyards, it’s a tiny country nuzzled up against the fierce Atlantic Ocean. The cooling coastal influences and frequent rains are perfect for producing smooth, plush styles of Uruguay’s signature grape variety - Tannat - which is the basis for many of Diego’s wines.
Simon was born and raised at the Chapelle family estate, where his ancestors have been making top-quality Burgundy for over 100 years. When most kids his age were playing with toy cars and action figures, he was already helping his mum and dad do odd jobs around the winery. It seemed only natural he would follow in their footsteps when he grew up… although he took a significant detour to get there.
A passionate musician, Simon left the family winery to pursue a career as a composer. Out in the world, he met so many people who were blown away by his Burgundy upbringing, it made him realise just how special ‘home’ really was. After 10 years in the music industry, he made ‘the biggest decision of my life’ and bowed out to return to his roots in Burgundy, carrying on the Chapelle family’s prestigious winemaking tradition.
After finally working his first proper harvest in 2015, Simon’s got into the rhythm of making truly top-notch Burgundy that lives up to the family name. He aims to work in harmony with nature and farms all his vineyards organically - to celebrate the incredible terroir of his home in the most natural way possible.
A small artisan producer living in Peckham with her husband, two boys and their elderly dog George, Bethan Higson is the creator of Mother Root... and her delicious ginger switchel might just be the perfect alcohol-free drink.
Bethan stumbled into switchel-making in a roundabout way, after a 10-year career in the wine and spirits trade... “I was pregnant with my first child and craving something that would give me the same acidic bite as my favourite white wines. So I was Googling and it led me to an old article about bartenders using an ancient vinegar drinking tradition to make cocktails with more diverse flavours. Turns out vinegar is a great flavour amplifier, so it’s perfect for making non-alcoholic drinks too. Armed with my wonder ingredient I began experimenting with other ingredients and winemaking techniques like maceration, blending and ageing. And that’s how Mother Root was born.”
She’s the perfect fit for Naked Wines. Her obsession with quality and attention to detail mirror the same commitment we see in all our winemakers. It’s that level of passion which makes her switchel so unique, and why we’re proud to bring it to Angels.
When our Wine Guy Ray came back from his epic discovery trip to South America, there was only one person he wanted to talk about… Natalia Poblete. A rising star of Chilean wine, she’s earned a burgeoning reputation in her country for her beautifully complex artisan wines. And she was even named Chile’s Young Winemaker of the Year in 2018.
We first tasted Natalia’s kit way back in 2019. It made us stop in our tracks and think ‘ooh, we could be onto something special here’. Fast forward to February 2023 and we asked her if she could knock-up a super-duper-delicious Chilean Merlot for our Angels. One sip and Ray got the little butterflies in his stomach. It was that good.
She’s a super-cool lady too, a bit like a Chilean version of Nina Stocker or Serena Cordero, with an incredible passion for her craft and quiet confidence in her own talent. We feel like we’ve reconnected with a long-lost member of the Naked family. And we’re so lucky to have crossed paths with Natalia when we did, because give it another few years and the whole world will be clamouring for her wines.
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