Zuccardi Valle de Uco

Fine wine news roundup: 6-12 July


Argentinian winery named world’s best vineyard

Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco has won the very first World’s Best Vineyard award.

The award, sponsored by the International Wine Challenge (IWC) is designed to draw attention to quality wine tourism around the world. Vineyards are judged on a number of criteria, including visitor experience, accessibility, wine quality and pricing.

South American wineries featured heavily in the top 10, with Uruguay’s Bodega Garzon taking second place, Argentina’s Catena Zapata in fifth and Chile’s Montes and Clos Apalta wineries tying for sixth.

Zuccardi also took home the trophy for best winery in South America. The European winner was Spain’s Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia, while New Zealand’s Rippon won for Australasia, Robert Mondavi for North America, Vergelegen for Africa and Lebanon’s Chateau Heritage for the Middle East and Asia.

Jose Alberto Zuccardi, managing director of Zuccardi Valle de Uco, said: “As a family, we put a lot of passion in what we do; there are three generations of us all working together at the winery.

“Our objective is to give consumers the full experience from the Uco Valley, through the wine, the ingredients in our restaurant which is sourced locally, and even the earth, as we use local concrete for the winery. It’s all about the terroir. Everything we do is an expression of Argentina, and specifically an expression of Uco Valley.”


Italy’s Prosecco-producing hills added to UNESCO World Heritage List

Italy’s hills of Congegliano and Valdobbiadene – home to the country’s renowned Prosecco – have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Italy’s foreign ministry and agriculture minister, Gian Marco Centinaio, said the announcement marks a “historic day for Veneto and for Italy as a whole.” Officials had applied for heritage status last year, but the bid failed by only a few votes.

Exports of Prosecco have risen a record 21% so far in 2019, with the famous fizz becoming the most popular Italian wine in foreign markets.

The site is the 10th in the world to be registered as a World Heritage Site under UNESCO’s category of ‘cultural landscape’, and marks Italy’s 55th Heritage Site overall.


San Leonardo to release inaugural sparkling wine

Historic Trentino estate San Leonardo has announced plans to launch its first sparkling wine in October.

Released under the brand of Marchesi Guerrieri Gonzaga, the wine – a Blanc de Blancs – comes from the 2015 Chardonnay harvest, and has been maturing for three years on the lees.

Estate owner Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga said that producing a sparkling wine had been a family ambition at San Leonardo for many years. “The Trentino terroir is ideal for making high quality sparkling wine,” he said. “We wanted to craft a traditional method sparkling that can compete with the best of Franciacorta, and indeed Champagne,” he added.

Some 20,000 bottles of the inaugural cuvee have been made, with Guerrieri Gonzaga noting that a number of wine growers in the Trentino area are gradually making the move to sparkling wine.

Speaking to the drinks business, he said: “Growers are realising that there is easy money to be made from Prosecco imitations and I expect sparkling production to increase dramatically in Trentino over the next decade, although Trento DOC remains the bastion of quality.”


Study shows UK drinkers have strong opinions about chilled red wine

Over one in three wine drinkers in the UK believe it’s ‘completely wrong’ to drink chilled red wine, according to new figures.

Winemaker Cono Sur surveyed 1,000 British drinkers and found that many are confused about the etiquette surrounding chilled red wine. More than a third (36%) are completely against the idea, while 46% say they’re unsure. However, more than half (57%) had tried a chilled red and found it to be refreshing.

Despite popular opinion suggesting red wine should be served at room temperature, many experts say that certain varieties such as Pinot Noir are actually better cold, particularly during the summer months.

Master of Wine Alistair Cooper said: “Enjoying certain red wines chilled shouldn’t seem like a strange idea. If you think of the fruit characters you often encounter with lighter, fruitier styles of red wines, like Pinot Noir – strawberries, raspberries and cherries – they are all fruits that you’d enjoy on a summer’s day straight out of the fridge and the same goes for the wine.

“Chilling the wine down really helps those fabulous fruit character to sing and shine.”

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