Gerardo Leal

Viticulture Manager

Gerardo studied Agricultural Engineering and Winemaking at the University of Chile. He holds a master’s degree in Viticulture and Sustainable Oenology from Lincoln University in New Zealand.

Since 2001, he has worked in different vineyards in Chile and the world, always focusing on high-quality wines and on the ecological management of the vineyards. He began as an assistant winemaker in Viña Haras de Pirque, and later in Viña Errázuriz, he was in charge as head of R&D in viticulture and oenology of the development of new plantations generating important knowledge in the use of rootstocks and clones. At the same time, he led the creation of the Sustainability program for Chilean vineyards in a joint effort with the University of Talca, Vinos de Chile and the Wine Consortium. Internationally, he worked for Kendall-Jackson in Chile and California, Pedroncelli Winery in California, Michel Laroche’s Mas La Cheveliere in the south of France, Antinori in Italy and Neudorf Vineyard in New Zealand.

On the other hand, his interests led him to work for two years (2006 and 2007) in a research project framed in a program of the wine industry in New Zealand, in order to increase the quality of cold climate Pinot Noir and the gestation of a sustainable vitiviniculture. His involvement included working with renowned winemakers such as Richard Smart and Glen Creasy, and specialists such as Valerie Saxton and Steve Wratten in the field of sustainable vineyard management.

In 2014 he joined Santa Rita Estates as Viticulture Manager, where along with his team he has led programs like WiSe (Wine Seed), focused on giving sustainability and long-term projection to the vineyards in quality and productivity.