David Giacomini is Brazilian but moved to Chile in his 20’s to finish his studies as an Industrial Engineer. Soon after obtaining his first job as a trainee engineer in a large Chilean multi-national company, he applied for a mortgage to buy La Recova, a plot that he’d long admired but which at the time was just (in his words) a ‘savage hill’. He was successful, but on his entry-level salary he couldn’t pay the mortgage and rent a flat in the city, so he built a house at La Recova instead, taking Route 68 every day back and forth to the office.
As his role at the company grew he began travelling extensively and would visit wineries whenever he could. He embarked on various winemaking courses and researched which was going to be the best variety to plant at La Recova. That might seem obvious now, but at the time Casablanca was a relatively unknown region and La Recova was in the coolest extreme of the valley.
Sauvignon Blanc was nonetheless planted in 2005 and was farmed organically from the outset, which meant that David needed to wait 5 years for his first commercial yield. A well-known Chilean brand started buying the fruit to complement their largely red portfolio. To David’s surprise the winery garnered significant praise for their Sauvignon (which David, of course, knew to be his), so much so that it was rated Chile’s top Sauvignon in 2011 – it was then that he realised that he’d found a genuinely exceptional terroir, increasing his resolve to finally make his own wine.
He built the ‘wine cellar’ at the end of 2013, it comprised four 2000l tanks inside a shipping container. Just for good measure, he was fired from his job, but undimmed he released his first vintage of ‘D Sauvignon’ in 2014. The reception was borderline euphoric – he was awarded 91 points by Descorhados (at a time when no other Chilean white had exceeded 92 points) and the follow-on 2015 was awarded 92points by Tim Atkin, 91 by James Suckling, and (most satisfyingly) 92 points by Descorchados.
He was later embroiled in a trademark dispute with another large Chilean winery that claimed his ‘D’ brand. He only relented when the company agreed to fund a social project in recompense. He then changed his flagship wine’s name to ‘Avid’ (basically David without the ‘D’) in a delicious bit of passive aggression. Rather a nice David & Goliath story too.
His 14% Sauvignon is uncompromising and distinctive (a stark contrast to the more mineral, moderate style espoused elsewhere) and now routinely achieves 95 points from Descorhados. His place amongst the highest ranks of Chile’s wine producers is finally assured.
Avid Sauvignon Blanc
Single vineyard (Quebrada del Pulgar), surrounded by hills but just 11km from the coast. Warm days but harsh nights (diurnal range of 25oC). High plantation density of 9,800 plants per hectare (unique in Chile). Vineyard is managed with high level of water stress to promote smaller, more concentrated berries. The ‘Vaguda Costera’ (Pacific morning mist) protects the vines from early morning heat and the eastern orientation further protects them from the extremes of afternoon heat. Delicate pneumatic pressing followed by fermentation in 50% stainless steel / 50% concrete eggs. Minimal stabilization and filtration.