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Vinexpo: The Southern Stars

Vinexpo: The Southern Stars


Vinexpo: The Southern Stars

In my blog on Vinexpo last week, I started out by telling you what an international fair it is and then I proceeded to tell you all about three of our producers from Burgundy!

So I thought for this week’s post I would focus on three of our favourite producers from the Southern hemisphere, and from South America in particular.

Our first stop was Chile, where we met with the Jorge and Felipe from Viña Leyda. Pioneers in cool, coastal viticulture, Leyda is amongst the most awarded wineries in Chile, and is internationally recognised for the quality of their wines, so needless to say it was an absolute pleasure to taste the new vintages of their entire range. Both for their pure-fruited Pinot Noirs and their crisp, cool Sauvignons Leyda are now the benchmark Chilean producer.

Next up was Argentina where we met with Franco from Bodegas Norton. Norton have a long and proud history, In fact in 1895, the company’s founder Edmund Norton planted the first vines (imported from France) south of Mendoza River. Their more recent history though saw the company bought by Gernot Langes Swarovski of Swarovski Crystal in 1989, who since then has lavished money on the estate, to pursue his dream of turning it into Argentina’s leading producer. On tasting the wines, it’s fair to say this investment has more than paid off! Great new labels too.

Our last port of call was Uruguay, where Santiago Deicas the owner of Juanico was waiting for us with some real treats. First we tasted and signed off the new vintages of his entire range, which were as good as ever, no surprise there though as Juanico are THE producer in Uruguay, it was the 1992 vintage of their Preludio that made the wine world sit up and take notice, in fact you could say they put Uruguay on the map with that wine! What really excited us though were the new labels, Santiagio had commissioned paintings from some of Uruguay’s leading artists adorn the bottles. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we all do it, so it’s great to see that the packaging now measures up to the wonderful juice in the bottles. Now I said Santiago treated us, and he sure did when we finished up our meeting with a tasting of the 1997 Preludio, which for all the world was like tasting a perfectly-mature ‘cru classé’ Bordeaux from an outstanding vintage.

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