Wine: Raise a glass to the Oscars of the South American wine world

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THE RESULTS for this year’s Chilean Wine Awards are just in, providing an excellent marker for the best that Chile has to offer.

This annual competition has been organised and run by the Chileans themselves for the past decade. Each year they invite a different panel of international judges to assess more than 600 of their wines.

All wines are tasted blind over three days in a professional format. As a judge myself at the Annual Wines of Chile Awards, I have seen the rigorous selection process first- hand – and I know that the gold medal and trophy winners are tasted at least three times over. It is a true test of the best of the best. This year the tasting panel was made up of Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Chilean wine judges.

Most awarded of all the wineries this year is Errazuriz, closely followed by the dynamic Conosur winery, which is owned by Chile’s largest firm Concha y Toro.

What is particularly interesting this year is the success of the Aconcagua region, 50km from the coast north of Santiago, which has been planted since the 19th century, but is now coming of age with winners of both white and red trophies.