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Meet the Winemaker: Jamie of OWM Wines

Meet the Winemaker: Jamie of OWM Wines

We’d like to e-introduce you to a few of the winemakers Vegan Wines has partnered. They are so close to the heart of our mission of bringing you exceptional, naturally vegan wines!  This week, we're excited to introduce Jaime Nuñez Sunkel of OWM Wines in Chile. We'll chat with him on Instagram Live this Friday, May 22nd at 7PM EST. Join us (and send us your questions!) to get to know Jaime and these amazing wines a little better!

Meet more winemakers! Check out our Vegan Wines Events!

Jaime is an agricultural engineer and viticulturist who trained at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Chile. He has a Masters in viticulture and extensive experience in viticulture as a farm manager on a family project in Santa Cruz, constituting the fourth generation of his family working in agriculture. He grows grape varieties such as Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, and Malbec, as well as more traditional varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, and Syrah. On a smaller scale, he also grows blueberries, pistachios, and pomegranates. 

OWM Vineyards

Located just outside of Santa Cruz, Chile in the Colchagua Valley, OWM is a family venture between Jaime and his second cousin José Antonio Bravo. It began with two barrels of Carmenere in 2011. Made in a rudimentary way, they turned out to be great quality wines, which motivated them to produce more wines in an artisanal style. In 2014, they built a small adobe winery and produced a total of 17 barrels. That same year, they began bottling their wines under the name of OWM. They now have a cellar on the property made of mostly recycled materials, and OWM welcomes local and international visitors for tasting tours.

Read more: Our Wine Tour of Chile

When Vegan Wines first visited this small winery, they had just finished the harvest and started the winemaking process, so we were fortunate enough to participate. At OWM, they press the grapes by hand to extract the juice from the grapes, and when Eric went to help, he realized it's not as easy as it looks! Then we went to do some wine tasting, which was an experience all its own. Jamie was aging some of the wines in old and new oak barrels to experiment with which would bring out the best in each wine. This is one of the many things we admire about independent winemakers. They take chances to try to achieve the best results with patience and love for what they do, even if it requires using hands instead of machines.

Try the 2016 OWM Pillo de Panama Cabernet Sauvignon Blend for yourself!

We loved the rustic, small wine tasting room and immediately we fell in love with OWM wines. OWM is a member of MOVI, the Independent Viñateros Movement, which is a group of small wine producers who make high-quality, private wines that represent the dreams of each of its members. According to MOVI, its members have a modern perspective on Chilean wines, contributing to a counterculture which contrasts with the outdated notion that Chilean wine lacks personality.

Remember to join us on Instagram on Friday for more of our Meet the Winemaker series!

Wine Pairing Recipes

We also had the opportunity to partner with chef Felix Mercado to pair one of his delicious vegan recipes with the 2016 OWM Cabernet Blend. Felix and Eric are good friends and former Bloomberg LP colleagues. Below is Felix's video of his recipe. You can find other delicious vegan recipes by chef Felix on his Facebook page. We were supposed to be heading to Chile to re-visit some of our favorite wineries and vineyards, but due to COVID-19 we want to bring the winemakers and other great vegan influencers to you! :) Set a reminder to join us on IG Live to meet Jamie of OWM Vineyards on Friday at 7PM EST! You can find more details here. Follow OWM Wines on Instagram!

Try more of our Chilean wines! We've got two bottles of OWM wines in our shop right now!

  There are many reasons Vegan Wines creates partnerships with winemakers besides their amazing, naturally vegan wines. Veganism is not just what we eat, but who we are and how we care for the earth and other human beings. We hope that our ethics will become part of the greater wine industry's movement toward transparency.