You might expect South America to make a decent showing among the best wineries in the world. Would you expect them to blow away France, Italy and California though to claim four of the top ten spots? To place #1 and #2?
That’s what happened last week in the annual World’s Best Vineyards Awards. See the full list here. The top spot went to Zuccardi in Valle de Uco, in Argentina’s Mendoza region. Here’s how the judges described it:
Topping the World’s Best Vineyards list two years in a row, Zuccardi Valle de Uco in Mendoza remains one of the most dazzling wine experiences bar none, with Andean scenery as unimprovable as its architectural vision of a winery and Sebastián Zuccardi’s precision-made, high-altitude wines merging into a memorably perfect whole.
The number two nod went to Bodega Garzon in Uruguay. For the sake of your future travels, it’s worth noting that there are some great Mendoza area winery hotels and Garzon has its own 5-room luxury hotel.
Then after an entry from Austria, the Montes Winery in the Colchagua Valley of Chile came in at #4. In other words, 3 of the top 5 in the world were from South America. Chef Frances Mallman may have been the happiest about all this: he has ownership at Garzon and a restaurant at Montes.
Mixed in with some wineries in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and California, the #10 spot was claimed by Vik Winery of Chile. There are actually two places you can sleep in after sampling the great wines from this spot: Vina Vik Hotel and Puro Vik.
Others from South America also showed up in this top-50 vineyards list, with Chile claiming more spots overall than France.
#11 – Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina
#23 – Bodegas Salentein, Uco Valley, Argentina
#26 – Bodega Bouza, Montevideo/Canelones region, Uruguay
#27 – Clos Apalta, Colchagua Valley, Chile
#32 – Bodegas RE, Casablanca Valley, Chile
#35 – Vina Errazuriz, Aconcagua Valley, Chile
#40 – Vina Casas del Bosque, Casablanca Valley, Chile
#50 – Trapiche, Mendoza, Argentina
I think the only one of these I have set foot in myself is Casas del Bosque in Chile, so I’ve got a lot of wine touring to do in order to visit some of the award winners. That one was lovely though and our correspondents have certainly enjoyed their time at Garzon and Vik wineries when penning reviews for Luxury Latin America.
I’ve had more experience tasting what comes out of the wineries, especially from Trapiche, which is easy to find throughout the Americas. I think I’ve had it with dinner in at least four countries!
I got to try a few Tannat wines from Uruguay when I was in the country last year, but my experiences were a bit hit and miss. I felt like I was choosing totally at random if I didn’t have a local ordering for me, so now I know that my odds are pretty good with Garzon or Bouza.
It would be fun to make some of the others a pilgrimage quest when traveling: the wineries on this top-50 list went beyond the usual suspects a bit to include ones in Greece, Bulgaria, and Australia.