The Echeverria family came to Chile in the 1750s, from a little town called Amezqueta in the Basque region of Spain. They established agricultural properties in the north of Santiago, where they planted vineyards, among other crops. Some 200 years later in 1930, Roger Piffre de Vauban, a French Engineer from Montpellier, and Roberto Echeverria´s maternal grandfather, travelled to Chile and hence to Chile’s Curico Valley, some 200km south of the capital Santiago. Here he planted ungrafted vines from pre-phylloxera French origin on an expanse of land called La Estancia, in a little town called Molina. He established there what, at that time, was a frontier technology winery with French equipment and machinery brought directly from France. It’s aim was to supply high quality wines for the domestic market. Soon after, Adriana Piffre de Vauban, Roger´s daughter, married Roberto Echeverria Rubio, and they had one child, Roberto Echeverria. In the early 1950s, after developing diverse industries, Roberto Echeverria Rubio, established a vineyard and winery also in Molina, encouraged by the family relationship with the ongoing winery at the La Estancia estate.
He grew strongly influenced by these two family winemaking activities, and developed an intense love and passion for winemaking, that would lead him to pursue university studies to obtain a degree in Agronomy and Winemaking, which he complemented soon after with Economics, obtaining a PhD at Cornell University in the US. After graduating from Cornell, Roberto worked for eight years as an economist in the World Bank. He lived in Washington D.C., together with his wife Gloria and his children, and travelled intensively worldwide. In his frequent travels, he became aware of the tremendous potential that the production of fine wines had to satisfy the growing demands of more quality-oriented consumers.
In 1979 Roberto decided to return to Chile to continue his family tradition in winemaking, and to focus on emerging new market trends and opportunities. He thought he was coming back to join an ongoing winery operation, but he arrived in a country in which the wine industry was in the midst of a great depression. Many wineries had gone bankrupt, and very little wine was being exported. The family business was in jeopardy and the old winery in which he spent his summers was on the brink of disappearing.
Passionate about wine, and determined to preserve his ancestors’ winemaking tradition, he embarked on the greatest challenge of his life: projecting his winery into the future, transforming it into a modern, export-oriented, and family-owned and managed operation. It would take Roberto nearly 15 years of intense conviction and sacrifice to develop these radical changes, which included replanting the entire estate and building a new winery from the ground up, and to finally bring his first wine to the international market in 1993. During the 20 years that followed he and Gloria travelled to every continent in the world, showing their wines and winning over many of the customers that are still working with them today. It was their extraordinary vision, determination and commitment to excellence, that was to make Vina Echeverria what it is today.
Today Vina Echeverria is still a family-owned and managed estate winery, and its vineyards and house occupy the same location as they did nearly 100 years ago. The 65 hectares of sustainably farmed vineyards in Chile’s Central Valley are planted, tended and harvested by the Echeverria family. Roberto Echeverria is still very active in the family business and continues to inspire the whole family to develop new projects and delight new customers. Together with his four children, Paulina, Viviana, Roberto and Diego they hand-sell their wines, traveling to their 40 markets worldwide on a regular basis, and count many of their customers as friends. They form an unbeatable team bonded together by strong family roots, shared passion for winemaking, uncompromising search for excellence and dedication to their customers.