Renán’s paternal grandmother Melinda Cancino was a nanny for the old aristocratic families of Sauzal. She was a single mother with a daughter, Julia, and a son, Bolivar, Renán’s father. She later dedicated her energies to her own family, sewing at home. She finally opened her own shop (Almacen) in 1960, where she was a seamstress. Bolivar worked in the shop, following in his mother’s footsteps until 2010, when the big earthquake destroyed most of Suazal and closed the old Almacen.
Renán graduated with an Agronomy degree in 1997. While he was studying his parents purchased a small plot of land next to Sauzal with 9 acres of vines. Once Renán finished his studies, his first job was in an the Agricultural & Viticulture Cooperative of Cauquenes, where he worked until 2004. He went on to work as a viticulture consultant for producers all over Chile, as well as for larger production companies.
Renán has traveled around Europe observing production styles and the many small family wineries. It inspired him to take these methods back to Chile, where this was far from the norm. In 2009, he attempted to make wine with 450 kg of grapes from local producers in Sauzal. He used his work tested techniques he learned in enology school to make a clean, correct wine. It was in 2010, when the disasterous earthquake resulted in a revelation for Renàn, for his second vintage.
The earthquake hit right around when Renán would normally harvest Carignan, around March 10th. Luckily everyone was safe, but the town was destroyed. Renán was determined to continue with the project, and borrowed and old wooden press to start a makeshift cellar. In the midst of recovery there wasn’t much time to adjust or tweak the wine, the way Renán was taught, so it was left alone. The results were Renán’s favorite wine that he’d ever made. It was destiny.
Wines made the old traditional way, naturally and with little technology, and just a little of the culture that Renán has developed in his years of working as an enologist, have developed into the house style for El Viejo Almacen de Sauzal.
Renán later went back to Europe to gain a better understanding of the natural wine scene there. During this last trip Renán became committed to making natural wine. He makes wines of origin, steeped in culture and tradition and designed for gastronomical pleasure.