Friday, January 22, 2010
Tipple News - Wines South America
I´ve been asked about Bolivian wines? Currently in Bolivia, I have written a passing comment about a bottle of white from the Campos de Solana winery, remarks of disbelief have floated in throughout the day. Bolivia + Wine = Oxymoron? Well, no. Let´s just put some thought to this South American wines question. Yes, Chile with big money from France has made huge in roads into the world market. However in the past, to sip the best of Argentina required going to the city of Mendoza in the Cuyo region and hiring a taxi for the day, visiting three wineries a day for three days running. The result was a saucing and a snizzling that was well worth the education along with the conviction to return the next year to taste what was missed. Argentina long the 5th largest wine producer in the world (little known because the Argentinos drank it all) is now exporting some truly amazing reds (i.e. Malbec, Carmenere etc.). Each year the planting of grapes extends farther north, arriving ever closer to Bolivia´s wine growing region of Tarija (just 230 miles from northern wine center Salta, Argentina to Tarija). Bolivia has some of the highest altitude vineyards on the planet. This physical characteristic coupled with proximity to the equator assists in providing the warm days, cool nights that are so important in growing grapes with potential of producing world class wines. I won´t delve any deeper into the topic being Bolivian wine makers say that the high altitude creates a sweeter and even healthier wine, packed with antioxidants and more intense flavours and are hoping to win over the world's wine aficionados by focusing on the unique nature of Bolivian wines". I am not one to argue or quibble. Suffice it to say that the bottle of La Concepcion Cabernet Sauvignon Cepas de Altura 2007 opened at dinner was enjoyed immensely. And I look foward to tomorrow and the wine it might bring (from Bolivia).