Published on May 30th, 2013 | by SA Explorer

Best South American Wines: 2013 World Wine Awards

Wondering what wine to pair with dinner tonight? The World Wine Awards have got you covered. The global competition started in 2004 by Decanter Magazine, which publishes about wines and spirits, took place last week in London. This year 219 judges gathered to sample a record-breaking 14,362 wines from 27 countries. Of these 9,873 wines received some sort of Decanter medal, either regional, gold, silver, bronze or commended.

To enter the contest, all the wines went through a vetting process, guaranteeing only the highest quality wines would even be tasted. The most prestigious award are 32 International Trophies to be announced and awarded in September.

From South America, participating countries included Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.

Argentina vineyard

Winning Argentinian Wines

Argentina did well in the 2013 awards with 8 gold medals and 53 silvers, and over 70 commended. Three quarters of the gold medal wines come from the Mendoza region.

Gold winners from Argentina

  • Alambrado Gran Selección Malbec 2012  (Mendoza)
  • Colomé Estate Malbec 2011 – (Calchaquí Valley, Salta)
  • Domaine Bousquet Malbec Reserve 2012 – (Mendoza)
  • Dominio Del Plata Crios Malbec 2012 – (Mendoza)
  • Flechas De Los Andes Gran Malbec 2010 – (Mendoza)
  • La Riojana Tilimuqui Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon-Bonarda 2012 – (Famatina Valley, La Rioja)
  • Tintonegro 1955 Vineyard La Consulta Malbec 2011 – (Mendoza)
  • Zorzal Gran Terroir Malbec 2010 – Gualtallary, Tupungato, (Mendoza)

Regional winners in Argentina

Best Argentinian Malbec under £15/$20: Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Clássico 2012 – (Mendoza)

Argentinian Malbec over £15/$20:  Casarena Jamilla’s Vineyard S.V. 2010 Perdriel – (Mendoza)

Argentinian Red Bordeaux Varietal under£15/$20: Callejón del Crimen Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – (Mendoza)

Argentinian Red Bordeaux Varietal over £15/$20: RJ Viñedos Joffré e Hijas Premium Merlot 2006 – (Uco Valley, Mendoza)


Winning Brazilian Wines

Brazil is a country better known for its cachaça (sugar cane liquor) rather than its wines, and not surprisingly did not walk away with any gold medals. South America’s largest country did earn 22 wine medals in the 2013 Dacanter World Wine Awards:  3 silvers, 7 bronze , and 12 commended.

Top wines from Brazil (silver medal)

  • Aurora Moscato NV – (Serra Gaúcha)
  • Dunamis Cabernet Franc 2012 – (Campanha)
  • Salton Intenso Teroldego 2012 – (Serra Gaúcha)

chile wine

Winning Chilean Wines

Chile came out on top in South America, with 12 gold medal wines. The winning regions in Chile were more diverse than Argentina’s, with 3 wines from the Leyda Valley, 2 from the Elqui Valley, and the remainder from other locations. In addition Chilean wines earned 61 silver medals and dozens of bronze and commended awards.

Gold winners from Chile

  • Calyptra Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2009 – (Machalí, Cachapoal Valley)
  • Concha Y Toro Marques De Casa Concha Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – (Leyda Valley, San Antonio)
  • Leyda Reserva Syrah 2011 – (Leyda Valley, San Antonio)
  • Mayu Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – (Elqui Valley)
  • Quintay Q Syrah 2011 – (Casablanca Valley)
  • Secano Paico Vineyard Block 3 Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – (Leyda Valley, San Antonio)
  • Torreon De Paredes Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – (Rengo, Cachapoal Valley)
  • Viña Casa Silva Doña Dominga Carmenère 2012 – (Colchagua Valley)
  • Viña Cono Sur Single Vineyard Block 25 Syrah La Palma 2011 (San Antonio)
  • Viña Dos Andes Veranda Pinot Noir 2012 – (Bío Bío Valley
  • Viña Falernia Donna Maria Syrah 2010 – (Limari Valley)
  • Viña Falernia Syrah Reserva 2010 – (Elqui Valley)

Regional winners in Chile

Chilean Red Bordeaux Varietals under £15/$20: Aromo Barrel Selection 2010 – (Maule Valley)

Chilean Red Bordeaux Varietal over £15/$20: Vistamar Sepia Reserva Merlot 2011 – (Maipó Valley)

Chilean Sauvignon Blanc under £15/$20: Bodega Volcanes De Chile Summit Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – (Leyda Valley, San Antonio)

Chilean Sauvignon Blanc over £15/$20: Calyptra Sauvignon Blanc Gran Reserva 2010 – (Cachapoal Valley)

Chilean Chardonnay under £15/$20: Concha Y Toro Marques De Casa Concha Chardonnay 2011 – (Limari Valley)

Chilean Single-Varietal Red under £15/$20: Viña Mayu Malbec 2012  – (Elqui Valley)

Chilean Single-Varietal White under £15/$20: Secano Estate Marks & Spencer Sauvignon Gris 2011 – (Leyda Valley, San Antonio)

Chilean Red Rhône Varietal under £15/$20: Viña Mayu Syrah Reserva 2010 – (Elqui Valley)

Chilean Sparkling under £15/$20: Valdivieso Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

Chilean Red Blend over £15/$20: Terranoble Lahuen Limited Release Syrah-Petit Verdot 2009 – (Colchagua Valley)

To visit the vineyards that produce these delicious wines, consider customizing one of our Chile tours or Argentina vacation packages.

Photo Credits: Emiliano De LaurentiisTanenhaus, AlbertoDominic Rivard


About the Author

SA Expeditions is a team of travel experts that have traveled through and lived in South America’s best destinations.

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    Qhapaq Ñan – Day 8

    *Versión en español abajo*

    In the end, we made the 170 miles walk from Jauja to Antioquia in seven days, two day less than planned. The improved management and behavior of

    In parallel with sharing the historical, ecological and cultural marvels, we aim to place the Qhapaq Ñan alongside the great long distance walking trails on the planet . The 2000 miles path from Cuenca, Ecuador to Cusco, Peru can become a vein of economic activity through tourism. A feat that will require persistence and common vision from local and national governments alongside private industry. The Pacific Crest Trail going from Mexico to Canada along the spine of the Sierra Nevada’s and Cascade ranges was a vision began in 1932 by Clinton C. Clark, which took 60 years to be considered complete and with a network of “trail angels” overseeing its maintenance.

    Although the Qhapaq Ñan has already been a contiguous stone trail along the spine of the Andean since the 1400’s at the height of the Inca Empire and the traditional communal work structure of the Andes, which road maintenance was a part of, is a cultural practice already in place that can be organized and directed just like the “trail angels” of the Pacific Crest Trail. This is not even mentioning that the Qhapaq Ñan is one of the greatest public works of ancient man, with millennial cultures still along its route.
    It will become one of the great long distance hiking trails in the world, and our explorations and stories along the way we hope will serve for generations of walkers who come after us.

    Nick Stanziano
    Chief Explorer
    SA Expeditions


    Qhapaq Ñan – Día 8

    Culminamos con la expedición de 320 kilómetros desde Jauja a Antioquia en solo siete días, dos días menos de lo planeado. El progreso en el manejo y control de nuestras llamas en esta caminata significó poder dedicar unas horas extras al día explorando en lugar de re-ordenar la carga o tener otros retrasos que se producen con un equipo menos entrenado. Durante siete días caminamos en promedio alrededor de 40 kilómetros por día, distancia que equivale a la caminata de cuatro días en el tradicional camino inca desde el Valle Sagrado hacia Machu Picchu – 41 kilómetros en total.
    Si buscamos un punto de comparación podemos decir que caminar estos 40 kilómetros cada día por el Pacific Crest Trail desde Sierra Nevada hasta los andes Cascade en Estados Unidos es la misma distancia que caminaremos por día en la expedición que realizaremos por el Qhapaq Ñan en nuestro gran proyecto durante cuatro meses en Abril del próximo año,

    No solo queremos compartir las maravillas históricas, ecológicas y culturales del Qhapaq Ñan, si no también queremos establecer a este gran camino inca a la par de grandes caminos de larga distancia en el mundo . El tramo de 3,200 kilómetros de Cuenca, Ecuador hacia Cusco, Perú puede convertirse en una principal actividad económica a través del turismo. Una hazaña que requerirá persistencia y trabajo de la mano de los gobiernos locales y nacionales junto con la industria privada. El Pacific Crest Trail que va de México a Canadá a lo largo de las cordilleras de Sierra Nevada y Cascade fue una visión que Clinton C. Clark tuvo en 1932, la misma que tomó 60 años para ser considerada completa y con una red de trabajo de personales responsables que se encargan del mantenimiento de la misma.

    Desde el año 1400, el Qhapaq Ñan fue un camino de piedra del Imperio Inca construido a lo largo de la cordillera, su tradicional estructura y el mantenimiento vial era realizada con trabajo en conjunto de las personas de los andes. Esta práctica cultural era organizada y dirigida por los “ángeles del rastro” del Pacific Crest Trail. El Qhapaq Ñan es una de las mayores obras públicas del hombre antiguo, con culturas milenarias que existen aún a lo largo de la ruta.

    Se convertirá en uno de los grandes senderos de larga distancia en el mundo, y esperamos que nuestras exploraciones e historias a lo largo del camino sirvan para las generaciones de caminantes que vienen después de nosotros.

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    Jefe Explorador
    SA Expeditions See more

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    The journey continues…

    *Versión en español abajo*

    Qhapaq Ñan – Day 1

    The team departed this morning from Jauja with 12 llamas heading along a transversal Qhapaq Ñan towards Pachacamac, 200 miles west, near the

    In three days by foot west, we’ll arrive to the great Inca stairway in the shadows of the great Apu Pariacaca (mountain deity). The set of 1800 steps will be the entry to another three days on some of the most spectacular Qhapaq Ñan anywhere on the 25,000 mile network. Ten days from now, we should arrive to our finish point at Antioquia, where the Qhapaq Ñan starts to disappear closer to the coast. The terrain for most of our trek will float between 11,000 and 16,000 feet above sea level, perfect for the llamas with plenty of Ichu grass along the way.

    Our first day on the route covered 15 miles and with better behaved llamas and more efficient llameros (llama handlers). Our llameros, Flavio, Nicolas and Valentine are getting better at their craft. We also have two local llameros, Tito and Antonia, the latter being our first female llamero in 500 miles of Qhapaq Ñan we’ve trekked thus far and adds an interesting dose of female energy into the group. She’s probably the most able llamero of the group and it’s her animals were working with while in the region. The majority female team at SA Expeditions might find this amusing that even on the Qhapaq Ñan I find myself collaborating with strong and talented women.

    Nick Stanziano
    Chief Explorer
    SA Expeditions
    Qhapaq Ñan – Día 1

    Desde Jauja, esta mañana el equipo inició la expedición junto a doce llamas a lo largo de una transversal del Qhapaq Ñan en dirección hacia Pachacamac, 320 kilómetros al oeste, cerca de la costa sur peruana en el Océano Pacifico.

    Hace 600 años, en la cima del reinado del Inca, Jauja fue un importante centro de administración que apoyó la expansión del imperio hacia el norte desde su capital, a 770 kilómetros al sur, en Cusco.

    Pachacamac, fue un importante centro religioso que se remonta a dos milenios e influyó en las siguientes culturas incas. Tiene sentido que el camino que une estos dos centros antiguos haya contado con tal planificación y grandeza. Es un ejemplo que se suma a la lista de obras extraordinarias a gran escala del imperio.
    Luego de tres días de caminata en dirección al oeste, estaremos llegando a la gran escalera Inca localizada en las sombras del gran Apu Pariacaca. El conjunto de mil ochocientos escalones será la entrada durante tres días a uno de los lugares más espectaculares de todos los 40,200 kilómetros que conforman el Qhapaq Ñan. En estos diez días de expedición llegaremos finalmente a Antioquia, más cerca a la costa donde el Qhapaq Ñan comienza a desaparecer. La mayor parte de nuestra caminata se realizará en alturas que van desde los 3,350 y 4,900 m.s.n.m, lo que es perfecto para las llamas ya que encontraremos abundante hierba de Ichu a lo largo del camino.

    En el primer día de ruta se ha cubierto 25 kilómetros. Las llamas se han comportado mejor y los encargados de ellas, los “llameros”, están realizando su trabajo de manera más eficiente. Flavio, Nicolás y Valentín están mejorando en su labor. A ellos se han sumado dos llameros locales, Tito y Antonia, siendo esta última la primera mujer en acompañarnos luego de 800 kilómetros de expediciones por el Qhapaq Ñan. Ella añade una interesante dosis de energía femenina al grupo y debo mencionar que, probablemente, es la cuidadora con más capacidad dentro del grupo.

    La mayor parte del equipo de SA Expeditions, conformado por mujeres, encontrara divertido que incluso en el Qhapaq Ñan me halle trabajando de la mano con mujeres fuertes y con mucho talento.

    Nick Stanziano
    Jefe Explorador
    SA Expeditions See more

    4 months ago

    SA Qhapaq Ñan

    Follow founder Nick Stanziano as he hikes 2,000 miles.

    Get ready for more Qhapaq Ñan!

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