Our Winemakers

César Catalán

César is an Agricultural Engineer with a mention in Vitiviniculture and Enology from Universidad de Chile and has a master’s degree in Vitiviniculture and Enology from the same university. He has worked as an assistant winemaker at the Undurraga and San Pedro wineries.

He was the winemaker at Viña Luis Felipe Edwards from 2009 until September 2016, when he joined Viña Santa Rita to lead the mass consumption varietal wines for the national market, such as the Tres Medallas and Gran 120 lines.

Andrés llabaca : Technical Director of R&D

Andrés holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a mention in Enology from the Universidad Católica of Chile. He started working in 1986 as a winemaker at Viña Canepa, where he stayed for 10 years. He also worked over two decades as the Chief Winemaker of Viña Santa Rita and now he leads the Technical Department of Research and Development.

Andrés has realized several harvests along with Australian winemakers in Domaine de Cousserges and has participated in many technical tours to Australia, New Zealand, United States, Italy and France. During 2014, the Circle of Gastronomic Journalists of Chile chose him as “Winemake of the Year”.

Sebastián Labbé

Sebastián was born in Chile, and from the time he was young he always had a great desire to explore the world, so he went to New Zealand, where he studied Viticulture and Enology at Lincoln University. After graduation he worked as an assistant winemaker at Tyrrell’s Wines in Australia and at Margrain Vineyard, a boutique winery in Martinborough, New Zealand, focused on the production of white wines and Pinot Noir.

Sebastián began working at Viña Carmen in 2005, where he was head winemaker until early 2017, when he was named the winemaker for Viña Santa Rita’s Premium and Ultra Premium wines. The lines he was responsible for at Carmen included the Wave Series, Carmen DO, and IIII Lustros.

Teresita Ovalle

Born in Santiago, Chile, and raised in a family of farmers and vintners, Teresita grew up surrounded by nature, the vineyard and the whole process of wine production, so it is easy to see why they became a passion for her and led her to study Viticulture and Enology at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Upon graduating, she decided to travel to Europe looking for different terroirs and ways of making wine, beginning her journey in Alberto Antonini´s winery in Tuscany, Italy. Her second trip to Europe took her to France where she worked at Le vins de Vienne´s winery in the Rhone valley and at Paul Preiur’s winery in Sancerre.

These experiences made an impact on Teresita as they have helped her to learn about different terroirs and ways of making wines, as well as the relevance of keeping the identity of the grapes.

When she returned to Chile she joined Carmen winery as assistant winemaker in 2015, a place where could combine what she learnt in Europe with her creativity and innovation. In early 2017, she was appointed assistant winemaker for Viña Santa Rita, working with Sebastián Labbé.

Óscar Salas

Óscar holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a mention in Viticulture and Enology from Universidad Católica of Chile. He began working at Viña Santa Rita in October 2016 after a successful period at Terra Andina—another Santa Rita Estates winery—from 2005 to 2011. During that time, he played a role in that winery’s significant growth and earning important international recognition by developing emblematic wines such as Suyai.

Until September 2016, Óscar was the head winemaker at Viña Sutil, where the important work he did in the commercial area enabled him to obtain tremendous vision about consumer tastes and preferences in both the domestic and international markets. He currently heads Santa Rita’s reserve wines, which include such important brands as Secret Reserve and Medalla Real Reserva, as well as the 120 Reserva Especial, which is the official sponsor of England’s Arsenal FC football team.