I am always delighted to stay in touch with Wineries that have become a staple in my cellar and are often in my glass. Hence, I recently heard that Viñedos Veramonte and Viña Neyen de Apalta had appointed Gonzalo Bertelsen as their new Head Winemaker.
Gonzalo Bertelsen grew up in a family of winemakers
Gonzalo Bertelsen studied agronomy at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He saw the first Chilean wine boom, with the country’s wine taking off and making waves in international markets. However, his interest in wine didn’t start there but with his family’s legacy.
Bertelsen’s family arrived in Chile in the 19th century after leaving their distillery in Denmark. On his father’s side was a French oenologist who Silvestre Ochagavia, a pioneer in the Chilean wine industry, brought over. The family laid roots in the country, and Bertelsen’s great-grandfather and grandfather were winemakers. Therefore, Gonzalo knew from an early age that he wanted to work outdoors, and his love of travel helped solidify his profession.
With such background and inspiration and after completing his studies, he got accepted as a Winemaker in Chile’s Association of Enologists and Agronomists. A decade later, he completed his Master of Oenology at the University of Adelaide in Southern Australia.
His first winemaking position was with Terramater Wine, and then, in 2003, Bertelsen joined Caliterra, one of the first Chilean joint ventures between Viña Errázuriz and Mondavi. In 2009, he headed to the Uco Valley in Mendoza as a winemaker at the Finca el Origen. While working in Argentina, Bertelsen led the Viña Casablanca cellar for eight years, co-owned by Domaine Laroche in France and Viña Santa Carolina. His harvest experience has led him to winemaking regions worldwide, including Languedoc Rousillon and Bordeaux in France; Campo de Borja in Spain; the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale in Australia; and Napa Valley in the United States.
Meeet the Winemaker: Gonzalo Bertelsen
“I am thrilled to be back in my homeland of Chile with Viñedos Veramonte and Viña Neyen de Apalta,” says Gonzalo Bertelsen. “I’m excited to join a winemaking team that truly believes in organic farming principles and practices. Their goals for biodiversity while producing quality wine is exactly what I have strived for throughout my career.”
In 2021, Viñedos Veramonte and Viña Neyen de Apalta became two wineries belonging to the 5+5 Caring for the Planet Program, a long-term sustainability initiative. This program represents the five generations of the González family, from parent company González Byass, who have brought the organization into the 21st century and the next five generations who will continue to build upon the work that has already been done to help the planet succeed. In addition, both Viñedos Veramonte and Viña Neyen de Apalta are part of Sustainability 360°, which includes organic and biodynamic agriculture and fair-trade commitment.
Under his supervision, Gonzalo Bertelsen will lead the teams at Viñedos Veramonte in Casablanca and Viña Neyen de Apalta and continue the dedicated organic. Biodynamic management in the vineyards, including the Regenerative Agriculture the winery believes in, creating authentic wines that reflect their origin.
Veramonte Wines and Viña Neyen de Apalta
As one of Chile’s top 100% organic and sustainable wineries, Viñedos Veramonte makes Veramonte and Ritual wines, while Viña Neyen de Apalta includes Neyen and Primus. The winery’s parent company, González Byass, a producer and supplier of wine brands from several countries with organic, sustainable, and biodynamic wine, is delighted to have Bertelsen join the team.