The Vineyard of the Year is an annual tradition and this year Casa Silva took home the award for their continued presence, innovation and high quality in winemaking. It has been a stellar year for the Colchagua winery with a host of international awards making them the winery in Chile to have won the most awards this century so far, and this final surprise at the end of the year was the cherry on the cake.
“This prize, I believe for any winery, is the maximum recognition that you can get since we are born from this same industry, explained owner Mario Pablo Silva. “It is a historic moment for our family and for everyone who forms part of our team.”
The year has been historic for Casa silva too in that they achieved their sustainability seal from Wines of Chile and have released their first wine from chile’s most austral vineyard in Futrono in Lago Ranco.
The evening also saw a special honour for Michael Cox, Wines of Chile’s European Director, who was awarded Personality of the Year. Unfortunately Michael was unable to attend the awards as he is battling with cancer and cannot travel from the UK at the moment, however his presence was felt with a warming acceptance video recorded by his daughter.
“I was honoured and delighted to receive this accolade of Personality of the Year,” Michael says on reflection. “To be recognised by my friends and peers in Chile is very special. As I have said before, the last 10 years of my working life have been the most satisfying and rewarding. Wines of Chile is a very important part of my life and I am pleased to have been able to help the Chilean wine trade to make the progress on the world stage that it so richly deserves. I have made many great friends along the way, and everyone has been so kind during the last few months since my cancer diagnosis, and their love, prayers, and support are helping me cope with this ordeal.
“I congratulate all the winners of the AWoCA trophies awarded on the night – the wines represent the very best of Chile and the world is in no doubt as to the quality and dynamism of Chile’s winemakers.”
Although it has been a very tough year for Michael, he has also had great accolades paid to him this year by also winning the Drinks Business Lifetime Achievement Award and IWC’s Personality of the Year earlier in 2013.
After the awards were given out, guests at the gala event continued to enjoy the atmosphere and taste Chilean wine with the two dozen wineries present.
By Amanda Barnes