I recently attended a wine masterclass event that was truly unforgettable. The atmosphere was sophisticated and inviting, with dim lighting and a curated selection of the new wave of Wines produced in South America. The event was led by Jesica Vargas, who guided us through a selection of hand-picked wines from Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay.
The Sip of the South with Wine Enthusiast: What does Argentina, Chile and Uruguay have in common?
We started with a light and refreshing white blend from Sarmiento Patagonia with notes of tropical fruit and citrus Otronia 45 Rugientes from Corte Blancas 2018 was a blend of Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. Jesica is exceptionally knowledgeable about the region since she is native to Argentina and explained the unique characteristics of each wine in detail, including the soil, climate, and aging process. Regarding Patagonia, it was refreshing to learn that it is the southernmost region producing wine, and they have embraced a different type of blends, moving away from the belief that because of the cold, they could only produce iced wines.
Leyda Wines from San Antonio Valley in Chile, Sauvignon Blanc vintage 2020 followed the South American white wines. Viña Leyda Sauvignon Blanc offered a particular terroir because of its closeness to the Pacific Ocean and Limestones. It was a structured Sauvignon Blanc crafted by winemaker Viviana Navarrete. Last but not least, on the lighter profile of the tasting, we were delighted with the Bodegas Garzon Albariño from Uruguay.
Next, we tried a fruit-forward Tannat from Viña Progreso vintage 2018. It was surprising to learn that there are not many old vines in Uruguay. However, particularly in Viña Progreso, the oldest vines available were used to produce this refreshing style of Tannat. The wine from Progreso, Canelones, had a very aromatic profile and structured flavor with hints of berries and flowers. Alongside, we enjoyed Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyards Malbec 2018 from Paraje Altamira in the Uco Valle, Argentina, and Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 from Chile.
Overall, the wine masterclass event was a fantastic experience. It was a refreshing new wave of wines poured at the event, honoring the tradition, but as Jesica Vargas stated, the results of winemaking knowledge that expands over generations. I highly recommend reexamining what you think about Tannat from Uruguay, Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, High Altitude Whites from Argentina, and Natural Wines from South America.
The Sip of the South with Wine Enthusiast: The Wine Tasting
On top of the masterclass, one of the event’s highlights was the walk-in tasting, where we had the opportunity to enjoy some premium vintages and showcase the best of South America, so naturally, I found some of my favorite producers, such as Marcelo Pellereti Wines and Zuccardi Valle de Uco from Argentina; Neyen de Apalta, Leyda Winery, Vik Wines and Escudo Rojo from Chile and I was glad to explore Uruguay Wines with the hand of Viña Progreso.
I also had the chance to meet a few winemakers from some of these wineries. For instance, I was pleased to have met Christian Vallejo from Vina Vik in Chile. It was a fun and interactive way to learn about the new different tastes and styles of wine that South America is embracing nowadays.