Our Journal

A wonderful trip to South America

A wonderful trip to South America

1st July, 2014

A wonderful trip to South America

Sales rep Max Hoang shares his memories of visiting wineries of Argentina and Chile and meeting some great winemakers...  

“The trip started at Kaiken in Mendoza, Argentina. This region is one of the most stunning places I’ve visited. The winery is on the foothills of the Andes and they concentrate on looking at the differences between the sub-regions and produce really unique wines as a result. Their Cabernet/Malbec/Petit Verdot blend is particularly impressive.  

Also in Mendoza, we found amazing wines at Bodega Renacer (the partnership between owner Pato Reich, consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini and Marilisa Allegrini) at Luján de Cuyo, especially their Amarone-style signature wine ‘Enamore’ and the brilliant traditional method ‘Brut’ sparkling wine from Valentin Bianchi down in San Rafael.  

Crossing the Andes in Chile by bus was a very long (8.5 hours), arduous journey but absolutely worth it – the landscape was breath-taking!  

First stop there was Clos des Fous. This was one of my personal highlights thanks to winemaker Francois Massoc’s amazing personality and winemaking skills. The wines have a purity and elegance that is hard to match, especially the Chardonnay ‘Locura 1’ which is a fantastic expression of what Chile can deliver.  

A few kilometres off the Pacific coast are the family-owned vineyards of Viña Chocalan. Their Reserva Carmenère particularly drew my attention as it was smooth and fresh with nice round tannins, something not easily achieved with Carmenère!  

Finally, following a three hour drive south of Santiago, we arrived at Montes in Colchagua and their exceptional winery where the ‘feng shui’ philosophy is taken very seriously! Water from the surrounding hills runs through the winery and they have an amphitheatre-shaped barrel room where Gregorian chants are played to the wines. The highest level of care and attention is taken throughout the winemaking and ageing process. This is felt in the quality of the resulting wines that are a great representation of each vineyard site and offer fantastic value for money. Particular favourites here were the ‘Classic Series’ Merlot and the ‘Folly’ (their stunning Côte Rôtie-like Syrah).”