In 1988, four enterprising partners (including winemaker Aurelio Montes Sr.), sharing a common dream, embarked on a project to make high quality Chilean wines at a time when, strange as it may sound, such an idea was considered a high-risk venture.
Starting from the ground up with modest resources Vina Montes led what became a new wave of producers making sustainable, premium-quality wines, and adhering to solid management principals.
“Considered one of the most able practitioners in the cellar, Winemaker Aurelio Montes has always maintained that 80 per cent of good wine comes from the vineyards and only 20 per cent from the cellar. So vineyard care is paramount, enabling us to produce world-class wines. From the vineyard rows to the cellar, we meticulously study every variable in the winemaking process. Our commitment to method and process is almost obsessive. Nothing is left to chance.”
France’s Alsace region produces 18 per cent of the total French production of still white AOC wines. Our resident wine authority Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange is here to give us an overview of the prominent region. Kyle will also chat with us about how wine professionals navigate their way through trade tastings.
Alsace is located on France’s eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine, adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. In 1962, centuries of winemaking excellence were rewarded when Alsace received AOC status.
Alsace produces 10 per cent of all Riesling consumed worldwide. It is regarded as one of the finest white wines in the world and widely considered to reach its peak form in Alsace.
The about-to-be-discovered “Lodi Wine Country” is one of California’s major winegrowing regions. It’s located 100 miles east of San Francisco near the San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta, south of Sacramento and west of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Lodi is characterized by rural atmosphere where wineries and farms run by 4th and 5th generation families operate in tandem with a new group of vintners who have brought creative winemaking and cutting–edge technology to the region.
In Lodi, grape growing is inextricably woven into the culture : the city of Lodi’s police department prominently features a grape cluster in its logo, and high school teams are named after grape varieties.
Lodi has been a major winegrape growing region for over 150 years. Unlike many U.S. wine regions, Lodi actually prospered during Prohibition and as such has been a continuous source of wine grapes since the 1850s. In fact, when early trappers wandered into what is now Lodi, they called one stream they discovered “Wine Creek” because of the proliferation of wild vines found there. As more and more Italian and German immigrants made their homes in Lodi, vinifera varieties such as Zinfandel, Tokay, and Alicante appeared by the 1880s.