Chile and Argentina have both been described as a grape’s dream home, boasting all the water, sunshine and consistency that any variety could need.
19 August 2009 | 0
Chile is currently the second most important region in the Irish wine market, after California. Famous for its approachable, fruit-driven wines, which have made it so popular in Ireland, it is also capable of delivering good products at affordable prices. And this essential ability will continue to drive Chilean wines even further in the Irish market over the coming year.
Although the 2008 vintage report confirmed that below average rainfall in winter and spring 2007 had some impact on bunch sizes, the country’s climatic conditions generally cause little variation, especially compared with European wine regions. This allows Chilean winemakers to deliver consistency of character and quality, which is of utmost importance for such a brand-driven wine market.
That said, Chile’s winemakers have begun in the last number of years to place more emphasis on expressing sub-regional character, making consumers more aware of the country’s different regions and styles. Cooler Casablanca, for instance, has been turning out some high quality sauvignon blanc and even reputable pinot noir, at last winning Chile the acknowledgement of the global wine press.
Although neighbours, the winemaking of Argentina is a very different affair from that of Chile. Influenced much more by old world styles, Argentine wines are big, powerful, high-alcohol, richly fruity, and characterised by the region’s own unique style, which is typified by its signature grape variety, Malbec.
Malbec is a native of Bordeaux but it is only in Argentina that this variety has truly gained any status, and its wines have helped to boost awareness of the region in international markets. Although still relatively niche in Ireland, brands such as Trapiche, Catena Zapata, and Tittarelli have helped to grow the Argentine market here, and demonstrate what this remarkable region can do.
Made to drink and enjoy
Perfect for easy summer drinking, Santiano is the epitome of relaxation. Made to drink and enjoy, it offers quality wine at affordable prices. Santiano is a firm favourite in the Untied Wine Merchants portfolio and is being supported by a wide range of POS for both on and off-trade outlets, as well as an online consumer competition offering the chance to win a wine cooler and a mixed case of Santiano wines.
Santiano offers customers Chilean wine at its best. Sheltered by the Andes, bordered by the Atacama Desert and cooled by the Pacific ocean, it embodies all that is great about Chilean wine: purity of fruit, vitality, vibrancy and easy living. Chile, with its ideal climate and natural irrigation from Andean melt waters, has to be the top contender for the ‘value for money’ market, and Santiano offers just that: it is a strong, commercial range offering a great opportunity to enjoy and increase the interest in Chilean wines.
Santiano is available in five key varietals, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and rosé, it is a brand to suit all customers’ tastes. For more information on Santiano or to request the POS pack for the brand please see your local sales representative or contact United Wine Merchants on 048 38316555, or visit www.unitedwines.co.uk, or see Santiano’s own website at www.santiano.co.uk.
A traditional Chilean
Viña Tarapacá, one of the most traditional and oldest wineries in Chile, was founded in 1874 in the Maipo Valley near Santiago, in the shadow of the Andes. Planted with European rootstock from the great estates of Burgundy and Bordeaux, Viña Tarapacá has developed remarkable wines which have earned international prestige and success, and have become the benchmark for the Chilean winemaking industry.
The Tarapacá estate now houses a state-of-the-art winemaking facility in which every improvement in the industry has been carefully implemented. Temperature-controlled stainless steel fermentation vessels and Bucher presses are installed above the original brick cellars, where the wines still undergo traditional maturation in French and American oak barrels.
The winery produces a wide range of varietals, reserves, gran reserves, and a line of premium wines, being a leader in fine wine production in Chile. For further information contact distributors Gleeson Group.
Passion for Chile
Viña Undurraga has been commercialising its wines in Chile since 1885 and is known as one of the country’s traditional wineries. Thanks to its inalterable and constant quality over time, it enjoys one of the best reputations in terms of quality, and Undurraga wines are some of the best that Chile has to offer.
Undurraga varietal sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon are the most popular varieties on the Irish market. But not to be missed either are Undurraga Merlot and Chardonnay. Produced in the various wine regions of Chile including Maipo Valley and Rapel, Undurraga wines are remarkable quality at a very affordable price. For further information contact distributor Comans.
Carbon-neutral, organic and biodynamic
Casa Lapostolle was founded by family members of the Marnier Lapostolle family, founders and owners of the world-renowned liqueur Grand Marnier. In creating Casa Lapostolle, the family has pursued the same uncompromising approach to quality. Their objective is simple as it is ambitious: to create world class wines using French expertise and the superb terroirs of Chile.
It is no surprise that Casa Lapostolle is Wine Enthusiast’s New World Winery of the Year. Cuvée Alexandre Syrah and Chardonnay are exquisite wines which are well recognised by the international wine media. In addition, the wines have been certified as Carbon-neutral, organic and following the French principles of ‘biodynamic’ viticulture and winemaking.
Distributor Comans invites consumers to taste the amazing wines that are Casa Lapostolle, especially the Cuvée Alexandre range merlot, chardonnay and syrah.
A premier family wine estate
Viña Errazuriz was founded in 1870 and since then this pioneering, family-owned winery has been recognised by wine experts around the world for producing premium wines from its terroir in Chile’s Aconcagua valley, a premiere wine appellation 100km north of Santiago. As an estate winery, Viña Errazuriz strives to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua, Casablanca and Curicó valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques.
It is this dynamism and passion for wine that has made Errazuriz such an internationally respected producer of quality wines. Named after Viña Errazuriz founder Don Maximiano, the Max Reserva wines are the best expression of the Aconcagua Valley terroir showing great complexity and elegance with a balanced and firm structure. Now available exclusively through Cassidy Wines, for more information contact a sales representative or phone 01 466 8900 for more information.
The wines from Castillo de Molina can be summed up in one word: quality. The vineyards for this reserva range are located in some of Chile’s premium viticultural areas and each varietal is made with the best grapes from those vineyards. This commitment to quality has been recognised with gold medals at the Challenge International du Vin 2009 and the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2009 for the Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz respectively.
On top of that Castillo de Molina Sauvignon Blanc from Elqui Valley was awarded the Trophy for the Best Chilean Sauvignon Blanc under €15 for the second year in a row at the recent 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards. Available exclusively through Cassidy Wines, for more information contact your sales representative or phone 01 466 8900.
Aiming to be best
The beautifully neat vineyards of MontGras, in the locality of Palmilla, Colchagua, VI Region of Chile, testify to the development and the desire to do things right that have always characterised the Gras brothers, Hernán and Eduardo, along with partner Cristián Hartwig.
MontGras is the culmination of combined vision from Hernán Gras, who has a brilliant winemaking legacy in Canada, his brother Eduardo and his entrepreneurial vision, and the pragmatic businesses view of partner Hartwig, who comes from a winemaking family and who has strong bonds with Colchagua. The trio came together to give to life to Viña MontGras in 1993, the first ever project of MontGras Properties.
MontGras has always had state-of-the-art technology in all its processes and set out from its inception to be a winery that offers the best premium wine from Chile. It is no accident then, that a great amount of international prizes have recognized the professional work, the constant quality and the innovation of MontGras wines.
In this, as in co-operative culture, people have been key. As Hernán Gras, chairman of the board, says: “Our philosophy has to do with producing quality Chilean wines at exceptional value, which reflect the specific terroir from where the grapes come from. Although we count on the equipment and the technology, it is definitively our people that make the difference, to create a wine is a true art in which all the senses are used.” For more information contact distributor Barry & Fitzwilliam.
From the eighth wine capital
Located in Mendoza, one of the eight wine capitals of the world, the Santa Julia winery is the result of an ever-present innovative spirit and passion that drives its winemakers’ search for the highest quality possible from the soil. Santa Julia is a family-led company, founded in 1963 by Alberto V Zuccardi and directed today by his son, José Alberto Zuccardi.
With vineyards in Vista Flores and Altamira (Uco Valley), Maipú and Santa Rosa districts of Mendoza, Familia Zuccardi is recognized as an Argentine winery that produces outstanding wines, with a clear commitment to quality and innovation. Its passion for wine is reflected in a culture of hard work shared by more than 700 people at the winery. This is a culture that creates products today present in the main markets of the world. For more information contact distributor Barry & Fitzwilliam.
Win with Santiano, the perfect summer wine!
The summer months are the perfect time to sit back, relax and enjoy a refreshing glass of wine, and to make this summer extra special United Wine Merchants, one of Ireland’s leading drinks suppliers, is teaming up with Shelf Life to give away a mixed case of Santiano wine along with a wine fridge to keep the premium Chilean range cool during those hazy summer evenings.
A firm favourite in the Untied Wine Merchants portfolio, Santiano is a strong commercial range and enjoys particularly strong sales during the summer months. United Wine Merchants is supporting the brand through a wide range of POS items for both on and off trade outlets and through consumer competitions. To request your POS items or for more chances to win, visit www.santiano.co.uk.
Santiano is the epitome of relaxation and the range boasts a crisp, clean sauvignon blanc, an elegant chardonna, a rich and fruity merlot, a dry-sweet rosé, and a smooth, rich cabernet sauvignon. It has been made to drink now, offers quality at an affordable price and embodies all that is great about Chilean Wine: purity of fruit, vitality, vibrancy and easy living.
So to enjoy a Santiano-style relaxing summer simply answer the following question;
What country does Santiano come from?
Please send answers to Santiano Competition, ShelfLife@mediateam, Media House, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18.
Closing date 4 September. Prize is non-transferable and entrants must be aged 18 years or over.