By Patrick HiegerLate last Friday, we gave mention to a story that Decanter had written about Chilean wine maker Aurelio Montes’ plan to test growing grape vines in Peru’s Sacred Valley, near Machu Picchu, in partnership with an importer who, as of then, had yet to be named. Seemingly standard reporting of the news for us, the post managed to cause a decent reaction, particularly with wine makers and other experts, but not just in Peru. Many said that both our and Decanter‘s articles were poorly written, occluding details, and not taking the issue seriously enough. Some accused us of not knowing our geography. And then there was a whole conversation about whether wine should even be grown in the Sacred Valley at all. In short, we caused a stink, which was never our intention.
Our goal in writing the piece was not to offend local Peruvian cultures, nor to suggest that simply throwing a few vines up on the side of the Sacred Valley just to see if they’ll grow is standard, or acceptable practice. In all honesty, it seems that Montes’ words might have been taken out of their original context, considering the wine maker’s status in the region, as well as his coming in as a foreign investor. If, however, Montes does see this simply as a fun experiment, he might want to reconsider his approach to the proposed land, as well as to the people around it.