This week it was announced that Chile has taken home two of the most prestigious wine awards – for innovative winemaker Aurelio Montes, and for historic winery Santa Carolina – at the Wine Star Awards by Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Chilean winery, Santa Carolina, was selected as Best New World Winery. The enormous privilege comes to Santa Carolina, one of Chile’s most historic wineries, as they celebrate 140 years making wine.
“Receiving the Wine Star Award as Best New World Winery is simply monumental, excellent news,” says Christian Wylie, Commercial Director. “We are delighted and very honored to represent Chile and to be singled out as the New World’s best.
“We feel very proud and sincerely thank Wine Enthusiast for recognizing the effort and the teamwork at Santa Carolina. This award is a direct consequence of the unyielding commitment of the Larraín family with quality, as well as the significant investments to bring substantial improvements to our vineyards, cellars, technology and even in innovation and research in a context of long-term vision.”
Highly respected Chilean winemaker, Aurelio Montes, was crowned Innovator of the Year for his work in Chile under his winery Montes. With a long career in Chile as a winemaker, Montes also worked for Undurraga and San Pedro before starting his own winery with other business partners. It was for his many innovations at Montes that he has won this award, credited for making some of Chile’s first premium wines, and addressing issues such as drought and climate change with innovations in the vineyard as well as the winery.
“No one is a prophet in his own land,” says Montes. “Locally, there are expectations for how things should be done. Internationally, however, one is free to make his or her own name. This was something we embraced from day one. There were maybe 15 commercial wineries in Chile in 1988, most selling wines for about $5 a bottle. Now there are over 100 wineries in the Wines of Chile trade association. We’ve come a long way.”
Montes, who is also Vice President of Wines of Chile, is a figurehead for Chilean wine, and this award is – like Santa Carolina’s – very well deserved for all their hard work over the years. “We are very proud of how these achievements show the world their long term commitment to quality and hard work,” said Wines of Chile Director, Claudio Cilveti on the awards and winners.
Congratulations to both Aurelio Montes and all the team at Santa Carolina, and a hearty ‘Salud’!