The Pais grape is a prolific and ancient vine variety, originating from Spain and transported to the New World during the era of Spanish colonialism. In Spain, it is known as Listán Prieto or Mission grape, but in Chile and southern parts of Brazil, it bears the name Pais.

This vigorous, rustic varietal adapts well to diverse growing conditions, yielding abundant, small clusters of black, thick-skinned grapes each year. Fast-growing but late ripening, Pais grapes require a long growing season to reach their peak.

Pais grapes are traditionally grown using old-world cultivation methods; sprawled over trees, bushes, or pergolas, they create a canopied, fruit-bearing landscape that is not only visually poetic but also produces some of the most unique wines.

Pais is primarily used for winemaking and has historically been associated with rustic, simple wines characterised by light, fresh, and fruity notes. However, a recent movement towards natural, organic, and minimal-intervention growing techniques has led to a renaissance for this grape. The modern versions of Pais wines can be complex, with tart, red-berry flavours, light woodiness, and soft, spicy notes.

Despite its modest profile, the Pais grape is central to the wine history of Chile, where it has become a symbol of the country's unique wine identity. It's also regarded affectionally as a heritage variety, rebellious in the face of international tastes, and deeply ingrained in the local culture.

Present day, Pais wines express versatility, in still wines, sparkling versions, or even intriguing natural wines. The grape's rediscovery and the drive to display its character have put Pais on the world wine map once more. Its longevity and adaptability are a testament to its resilience and ability to survive changing climates, consumer tastes, and trends, thus enhancing its enigmatic appeal significantly.

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