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Ask just about anyone where they think the best wines on the planet come from and you will be hard pressed to find a single soul who does not say France… or Italy, or Spain, or Germany, or Portugal. These “Old World” producers have ruled the roost of the wine world for centuries but as the axis of global economic influence shifts,  it also time to allow the new wine kids in town their moment in the sun. The South American wine trade has been growing at a staggering rate, especially over the last 10 years, not only in terms of quantity but in terms of quality as well. South American wineries have begun taking on their European counter parts and winning some of the world’s major competitions.

However, the question remains…Is Europe still considered the Big Daddy of the wine world? Dehouche examine three Latino young bloods that are sure to have the Old Man glancing nervously over his shoulder…

Argentina- Mendoza is the most famous wine region in South America and with good reason. The landscape is truly stunning and with wines to match, you can hear the French Chateaux quaking in their proverbial boots from the verdant hills. Mendoza is the home to the powerful and full bodied Malbec, characterised by an explosion of pepper in the mouth and leaves all but the most sophisticated wine buffs pondering on rolling depths of complexity and smoothness.  However, Mendoza is not the only region where Argentina crafts this crimson nectar. All over the country, small “bodegas” are crawling out of the wood-work and stunning wine enthusiasts by beating the big boys at their own game with a cracking variety of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Argentina has in actual fact not increased its production so much in the last 5 years and while in many cases it has been cut back, all is in an effort to focus more on the quality rather than quantity of its wine and gratifyingly this really shows. In our opinion one of the most fantastic experiences to be had in Argentina is sitting in the Faena Hotel and Universe, glass of Malbec cradled in hand, watching the masters of their art dance the Tango at the intimate Cabaret Rojo Tango.

Chile- Only recently have the wines of Chile begun to receive some of the praise they deserve.  Could this be in part to the ever growing influence of Europe’s big names as they look to steal a piece of the prize? Many of the wineries are owned and run by some of the most respected wine makers in Europe. The famous “Concha y Toro” winery has been working with Chateau Mouton Rothschild, while the Catalan Torres family have several wineries around the country.  The combination of old world experience with the diversity, richness and purity of the terroirs have served to increase the quality, range and quantity of Chilean wines in the last 15 years, with the market expanding from 12 to well over 120 wineries.  Back in March we shared our insider tip on Vina Vik, one of Chile’s most exciting new wineries, that has set itself the mission of producing one of the world’s top class wines. Be a part of the vision and experience the creation of greatness first hand during a personalized wine experience at the vineyard.

 Uruguay-  Uru… what? We hear you cry. While most of you will have intimate knowledge of Argentine and Chilean wines, how many can claim they have heard of Uruguayan wines, let alone tried them? The country is a small fish in a big pond in terms of quantity of production, but it is worlds ahead of many countries in terms of innovation and style. The signature grape in Uruguay is the Tannat. A tough, robust and often difficult grape, it could present wine makers with quite a task to make this into a world standard wine, yet Uruguayan oenologists do so admirably. In fact not only do they step up to the task but they push the boundaries too. In recent years, they have begun blending Tannat with Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and just about any other variety of grape they can lay their hands on to produce blends that cannot fail to fascinate.. One winery in particular, Bodegas Pisano, goes several further, producing a “black champagne”, fortified reds and whites along side their flagship Arret Xea. It is the creation of that champagne made from 100% Tannat which gives it the dark, almost black, deep red which really knocks one’s socks off. Accompany caviar or simply sink a chilled bottle tout seul, this bubbly is a true taste sensation that will have you hanging up your Laurent Perrier hat.

So whether you are a wine connoisseur or keen amateur, now is the time to Join the Hunt.  Contact Dehouche to plan you a personalized wine experience that will set you off on just the right trail…

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