Chilean Ambassador to the Philippines Roberto Mayorga hosted the successful “Annual Chilean Wine Tasting in Metro Manila” on January 10 at the Enderun Colleges.
Only on its second year, the event gathered Filipino and foreign wine experts to sample some of the best and newest wine labels from the South American country.
In an interview with The Manila Times, the Chilean ambassador expressed, “In this occasion, we have invited only a select group of people, no more than 50, who are experts in wine.”
According to Mayorga, this concept is different from last year’s event. He explained, “Last year, we invited people in general including the ambassadors of other countries and society people. But now, it’s a different concept. We just asked the experts to come because they can teach other people what wines to try and buy.”
Despite this development, the ambassador assured that his embassy would still hold a similar event for everyone to attend.
Talking more about his country’s wine, Mayorga then said, “But you need to understand to that Chilean wine needs no introduction.”
Asked why, he replied, “I would say that the best ambassador that we [Chilean people] have around the world is our Chilean wine. Wherever you go in Europe, America, Middle East, Africa and Asia, people know our wine.”
Winemaking began in Chile over 400 years ago during the Spain’s colonization era. But it was in the 1850’s that the industry became known to world after French landowners continued winemaking in Chile. These French winemakers migrated because a vine-killing aphid, Phylloxera, destroyed most of their vineyards. From here, Chile was dubbed the “Bordeaux of the South America.”
Mayorga also revealed what makes Chilean wine really special. “Chile is a very long and narrow country. And our wine is produced in a special geographical location—right in the middle.”
Stretching nearly 5,000 kilometers down South America’s Pacific coast, Chile has the driest desserts in the northern border with Peru; the coldest glaciers in the southern Antartica territories; and the lush valleys of vineyards in the center.
Further explaining the geographical features of Central Chile, Mayorga added, “The climate here is unique in the world especially during the months when the grapes are cultivated between September and March, or spring and summer.
“There is nearly no rain and no humidity, but the winds are cool. Also, the change of temperature between the day and the night is extreme. At day it’s 28 degree-Celsius and at night, down to 14 degrees. And according to the experts, all these characteristics produce very special wines in the world.”
Today, Chile presents a good balance between Old and New World influences. These can be particularly tasted in the classic cabernet sauvignons and the imported chardonnays. Varieties of merlot, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and the homegrown carmenere are also abundant.
“Just here in the Philippines, there are already around 100 Chilean brands that are very popular. It is nice that Filipinos will get to know about Chile more because of its wine,” Ambassador Mayorga ended.