The big winner in the 8th Annual Wines of Chile Awards-Bicentennial Edition-was viña Tabalí-Leyda, which took home 7 of the 15 awards given out during this event held at the Santiago Paperchase on January 13, 2011. The winery’s honors included 2 trophies: “Best in Show” for Tabalí Reserva Especial Syrah 2008 from the Limarí Valley and Best Value White for Viña Leyda Garuma Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from the Leyda Valley. Best Value Red went to Viña Mayu Elki Syrah 2008 from the Elqui Valley.
Other double-award winning wineries were Cono Sur, De Martino, and Valdivieso, which won two each.
The winners were announced during the Gala Awards Ceremony in the Santiago Paperchase, and the fact that all three top winners come from newer cool-climate regions shows the judges’ priorities and preference for innovative, unique, and refreshing wines. Michael Cox, Wines of Chile’s UK Director said, “These results represent a clear reflection of the exciting trends that modern Chilean winemaking has been following in the recent past-cooler climate sites, special terroirs, old vines, and innovative varietal blends. To have all these styles from one country reinforces Chile’s diverse credentials, and makes it the envy of the wine world.”
This year’s Awards broke with tradition and instead of inviting a panel from just one country, it brought 13 judges from 10 different markets, including the finest palates from Chile’s major target markets. This year’s distinguished panel consisted of: Jorge Lucki (Brazil), Shari Mogk-Edwards (Canada), François Primeau (Canada), Jeannie Cho Lee (China), Kyoungja (Corinne) Eom (Korea), Tomoko Ebisawa (Japan), Andreas Larsson (Sweden), Steven Spurrier (United Kingdom), Oz Clarke (United Kingdom), Josh Reynolds (United States), Josh Greene (United States), and Michael Schachner (United States), as well as Chile’s own master Sommelier, Héctor Vergara.
After three days of tasting, they awarded medals to 60% of the more than 620 wines from 110 wineries that participated in Chile’s most important wine event of the year. The final results returned 41 gold medals, 131 silver medals, and 197 bronze medals, and 15 Best of Category trophies, which not only validates the quality of Chilean wine, but also helps raise the country’s visibility in their respective markets and strengthen the Country Image.
Wines of Chile Managing Director Juan Somavía said that “inviting an international panel rather than continuing with the single market panels we have used in the past allows us to open new spaces in Chile’s priority markets and proceed in accordance with the recently launched Wine Industry Strategic Plan for 2020, which aims to position Chilean wines in a world-class category by strengthen the image of Chilean wines and position them in a world class category. ”
Chile’s wine industry has set the goal to become the Number One producer of sustainable and diverse premium wines from the New World, reaching exports of bottled wine of US$3 billion by the year 2020.
Sustainability is another important issue in the Plan 2020. “We are convinced that we must embrace sustainability in every one of the industry’s production areas in order to fully face the major environmental challenges that lie ahead. Making the move to sustainability by caring for the environment, our workers, and our communities is one of the fundamental pillars of the new Plan,” said Juan Somavia.
As evidence of that commitment, the 8th Annual Wines of Chile Awards is 100% Carbon Neutral. As a means of offsetting the CO2 emissions associated with the event and reduce its carbon footprint by donating 300 fruit trees to establish a park in one of Santiago’s poorer neighborhoods. This much-needed green space, or “green lung,” will produce oxygen for many years and simultaneously provide the community with a new gathering place and source of entertainment.
The winners of this year’s Annual Wines of Chile Awards are:
Best Value White: Viña Leyda Single Vineyard Garuma Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Leyda Valley
Best Value Red: Viña Mayu Elki Syrah 2008 , Elqui Valley
Best in Show: Viña Tabalí Reserva Especial Syrah 2008, Limarí Valley
Best in Category:
Sparkling: Viña Valdivieso Extra Brut Sparkling Wine, Curicó Valley
Sauvignon Blanc (1): Viña Leyda Single Vineyard Garuma Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Leyda Valley
Sauvignon Blanc (2): Viña Casas del Bosque Pequeñas Producciones Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Casablanca Valley
Chardonnay: Viña Cono Sur 20 Barrels Limited Edition Chardonnay 2009, Casablanca Valley
Other Whites: Viña Leyda Single Vineyard Neblina Riesling 2009, Leyda Valley
White Blends: Viñedos Emiliana Winemaker’s Selection Chardonnay/Viognier/Marsanne 2009, Casablanca Valley
Rosé: Viña Leyda Single Vineyard Loica Pinot Noir Rosé 2009, Leyda Valley
Pinot Noir: Viña Leyda Lot 21 Pinot Noir 2009, Leyda Valley
Merlot: Viña Cono Sur 20 Barrels Limited Edition Merlot 2009, Colchagua Valley
Syrah: Viña Tabalí Reserva Especial Syrah 2008, Limarí Valley
Carmenere: Viña De Martino Alto de Piedras Single Vineyard 2009, Maipo Valley
Other Reds: Viña De Martino Limávida Single Vineyard Red Blend 2007, Maule Valley
Red Blends: Viña J. Bouchon Mingre 2008, Maule Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon: Viña Haras de Pirque Elegance Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Maipo Valley
Late Harvest: Viña Valdivieso Eclat Botrytis Semillon 2007, Curicó Valley*
*** Click here to download the Complete list of Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal Winners