Last week Wines of Argentina, Wines of Chile and Wines of South Africa got together to host the incredible Wines of the Beautiful South event.
The Winerist team went along to this two-day event on a quest to discover what's hot in the Southern Hemisphere. We enjoyed (perhaps a little too heartily) wine tastings, meeting and greeting the winemakers and getting to know all about the south, and we came away with our pick of the best wineries from the event:
CHILE - Patrick, our Content Editor, journeyed to Chile and came back with his top tips:
Errazuriz Family Wines - Just 100km north of Santiago in Aconcague Valley is Errazuriz Family Wines. Founded in 1870 by Don Maximiano Errazuriz, they’ve had decades to perfect their wines. Boasting a wide range of wines including interesting red and white blend (Rousanne, Marsanne, Viognier vs Ca Sauv, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, Syrah) they showed some grape varieties not overly common in Chile.
Viña Chocalán - Although they didn’t have many wines available for tasting at the exhibition, only their entry levels, I was really impressed with their Sauvignon Blanc, which combined both fruity and vegetal elements. Their red wines come from the main estate in Maipo Valley, but since 2005 they have been growing whites in the San Antonio Valley close to the ocean. They produce some biodynamic wines and they do horseback tours of their vineyard - perfect for a trip to Chile.
Viña Morandé - In my opinion, Viña Morandé has the best wines at the event. Having produced wine since 1996, production has spread over five valleys in Chile. They make Gewürztraminer and Pinot Grigio, which is more uncommon for Chile, as well as classic Chilean varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Carmenere, Pinot Noir and Carignan. My favourite here was the late harvest sweet Sauvignon Blanc - amazing!
Veramonte - Founded in 1990, the Veramonte Estate’s top priority is caring for their land and the environment, and this is reflected in their farming method. They produce classic Chilean varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon and also a Syrah rosé.
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ARGENTINA - Cecilia, our Bookings Manager, hails from none other than Buenos Aires, so she's the girl to impress when it comes to this part of the world:
Luigi Bosca - The Arizu family, who run Luigi Bosca, has thoroughly understood the secret of the vine and the terroir of Mendoza, which is reflected in each bottle from a timeless collection of wines that are noble and elegant.
Zuccardi - At Zuccardi, attention to detail is everything; from choosing the best areas to cultivate each variety to the pruning and harvesting methods, all elements of production are carefully though out in order to produce nothing but the best grapes.
Rutini - The Rutini family winemaking tradition began in the early 19th century in Le Marche, Italy, when Francisco Rutini started making wines for the inhabitants of his native town, Ascoli Piceno. Following this, his son immigrated to the Americas to extend the winemaking tradition. It was in Coquimbito, Maipú, in the province of Mendoza Argentina that he planted his first vines and today Rutini Wines is known for its extraordinary quality and character of its wines.
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SOUTH AFRICA - Lewis, our Marketing Assistant, ventured to South Africa and found out:
Delheim - Owned by industry legend, ‘Spatz’ Sperling and his family, this winery has been producing internationally-acclaimed wines for over sixty years. This winemaker has a passion for terroir: the expression of region in wine, and this is the ultimate goal of all activities at Delheim. Every glass of Delheim wine showcases its beautiful and unique setting, its people and its culture. I liked the uniqe unwooded Chenin Blanc (about £9) and very unique tasting for South Africa.
Villiera - A family-run winery in South Africa, situated in the Stellenbosch region. It's one of the country's leading Cape Classiqe producers and focuses on Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Merlo and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chenin Blanc, 2014, is popular in the UK, but I liked the more traditional barrel-fermented Chenin, which had wood.
Waterkloof - This biodynamic estate above the False Bay coastline, on the coastal outskirts of Stellenbosch, has adopted a minimalist approach to winemaking. They prefer to express what nature provides, so simply guide the development of the grapes. Adopting a dynamic natural approach also captures terroir and ensures that balance and character naturally found in Waterkloof grapes come through in the bottle. I enjoyed the ‘Circle of Life’ red blend.
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