Recently, Nicolas Kowalski, Asia Sales Director, Viña Ventisquero (a family-owned company inChile that was founded in 1998 by Don Gonzalo Vial, the president of Agrosuper, Chile’s largest producer of fresh food and deli, held a master class hosted by Aspri Sprits, for leading Indian wine importers and distributors in Mumbai.
Speaking about the winery, Kowalski said, “Since 1998, we have been making ground-breaking wines. True to our philosophy of going “a step beyond”, we create modern, avant-garde, high-quality wines and take care of the environment at each and every stage of our production process. We own our vineyards in Chile’s principal wine producing areas – Coastal Maipo, Casablanca, Colchagua, Leyda and Huasco.”
Kowalski, who lives in Shanghai, was visiting Mumbai for the first time.With over 15 years of experience in the wine business, he holds a bachelor’s degree in “catering management and Sommellerie” from Ecole Hoteliere de l’Amandier and another degree in wines & spirits, business, marketing and winemaking from LEGTA L’Oisellerie, near Cognac.
Felipe Tosso has been head winemaker of Ventisquero (“glacial ice” in Spanish) since its first vintage in 2000. Tosso works with the fruit from six different vineyards in the Central Valley. Viña Ventisquero vineyards are located just five kilometres away from the Pacific Ocean, which plays a huge role in creating wines that are pure, clean and typical of Chile. Tosso works along with celebrated Australian winemaker, John Duval – a partnership that started in 2003. Alejandro Galaz is responsible for Ventisquero’s white wines while Sergio Hormazábal, who joined the winemaking team in January 2009, is primarily responsible for making red wines.
The varietals we tasted that evening belonged to the Classico collection. The names and tasting notes of the wines are:
- Sauvignon Blanc 2015: Pale green in colour with aromas of citrus and tropical fruit such as lime, grapefruit, pineapple and pear, complemented by gentle herbal notes. The grapes are primarily from the Casablanca and Colchagua valleys, and bâtonnage or yeast stirring is done during fermentation. Would make a lovely aperitif.
- Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Deep ruby in colour, fresh fruit nose with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackcurrants intermingled with notes of vanilla and chocolate. Easy drinking better as an aperitif than accompanying food. Interestingly, these are more than half the grapes that grow in Chile. Even more than Carménère.
- Carménère 2014: A deep cherry colour with aromas of black and red fruit, such as blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, strawberries and cherries, as well as spicy notes that blend harmoniously with hints of chocolate, vanilla and butter. And, as Nicholas claimed, “A great combination with spicy food”.
All the wines are priced at Rs 1495 in Mumbai. The master class and the wine appreciation session was held at Flavor Diaries, a space designed for international food experiences in Khar West, Mumbai, run by a gourmand and highly-trained international chef and food personality from London, Anjali Pathak. — Suneeta Sodhi Kanga