The Drinks Business’s list of Global Wine Masters features 6 professionals from Argentina 

The Global Wine Masters 

Global Wine Masters . On February 12, VINEXPO PARIS opened its doors, welcoming over 40,000 visitors with 3900 exhibitors from across the world.  Wines of Argentina (WofA), with backing from the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Argentine Embassy in France brought 12 wineries: Bodega Lagarde, Bodegas Bianchi, Cavas de Weinert, Cielo y Tierra, Doña Paula, El Porvenir de Cafayate, Familia Zuccardi, Finca Flichman, Gauchezco, Pascual Toso Wines, Rossell Boher and Susana Balbo, under the slogan “Premium Diversity. Sustainable Future”.

On the first day of VINEXPO PARIS, the prestigious British publication The Drinks Business announced its guide to the top 100 Master Winemakers, which included six professionals from Argentine viticulture.  

What is Global Wine Masters about?  

Every year, The Drinks Business’s Global Wine Masters guide announces its top 100 Master Winemakers, a list of the best wine producers who have stood out in their field for making exceptional wine, as chosen by a panel of distinguished experts. The honor is granted following a unique selection process and impartial evaluation organized by The Drinks Business involving rigorous tasting sessions across different categories that seek to reflect how consumers choose their wines. 

For this edition of Global Wine Masters, twenty-six competitions were held featuring 4000 labels from 25 different countries. They were evaluated by 25 expert judges, 16 of them Masters of Wine. Thus, a list that places the emphasis on celebrating oenologists and the wines they make was put together, recognizing their hard work, craft and commitment to excellence.  

“Our competitions provide a reference service for our participants and their customers. That means that we can offer the kind of impartial opinions unavailable elsewhere about the quality and value of the wines involved,” says Patrick Schmitt, Master of Wine and Editor in Chief of The Drinks Business. “The quality, consistency and diversity of the oenologists celebrated this year was truly remarkable.”  

The top 100 Master Winemakers: the Argentine professionals who stood out 

This year, The Drinks Business named six Argentine oenologists, including well-known figures and a few young talents working in emerging sectors of local viticulture.   

Global Wine Masters 

Daniel Pi, Bemberg Estate Wines. A leading figure on the Argentine scene with a well-established track record including management roles at Trapiche and the Grupo Peñaflor. Pi is currently the head oenologist at the exclusive winery Bemberg Estate Wines where he puts all his creativity, curiosity and experience into wines that respect their terroirs in different vineyards in Mendoza, San Juan and Salta. The wine that earned praise from the judges of The Global Wine Masters guide was La Linterna Finca El Tomillo Parcela No. 5 Malbec 2016.

Mauricio Lorca, Bodega Foster Lorca. Lorca stood out for his innovative profile and a connection to the land that dates back to his childhood days, allowing him to forge a place for himself at the top of Argentine viticulture. His focus on quality wine production is based on listening closely to the land and sustainable practices. His winery has also introduced innovations such as an underwater cellar and a digital en primeur program with NFTs. The labels awarded at the 2023 The Global Malbec Masters were Enrique Foster Firmado 2019 and Mauricio Lorca Grandes Varietales Malbec 2019.

Delfina Pontaroli, Bodega Puerta del Abra. A pioneer in the Balcarce region (Buenos Aires), Pontaroli has led the oenological team at Puerta del Abra since 2013. With a degree in oenology from UC Davis in California, she sees wine as the coming together of nature and art, with each bottle its own unique masterpiece; an opportunity to create art through scientific methods, as she showed with her Insólito Pinot Noir 2020 at The 2023 Global Pinot Noir Masters.

Global Wine Masters 

Silvio Alberto, Bodegas Bianchi. After a long career as an oenologist at wineries such as Catena Zapata, Andeluna, Diamandes and Achaval Ferrer, Alberto has been the head oenologist at Bodegas Bianchi since 2017, where he developed several high-end lines for the 95 year old winery. He teaches at the Faculty of Oenology and is a brand ambassador for the winery, a role that allows him to visit the Argentine wine industry’s most important markets. His María Carmen Chardonnay 2021 was one of the stand out wines at The 2022 Global Chardonnay Masters.

Jorge Cabeza, Bodega Salentein. Trained in agriculture and oenology, the young Mendozan winemaker oversaw vintages at Trapiche, Viña Cobos and Bodega Cruz de Piedra before moving on to Domaine Pierre Gaillard in the Rhône Valley and then Viña Veramonte in Chile. Since 2008 he has been an oenologist at Bodegas Salentein, where in 2019 he was named head oenologist for the premium lines of the leading Uco Valley establishment and proponent of the San Pablo Geographic Indication, a mountain vineyard that provided the grapes for his Salentein Single Vineyard La Pampa Malbec 2019, which was honored at The 2023 Global Malbec Masters.

José Ponce, Terrazas de los Andes. Honoring the legacy of his grandfather, who was the first Agricultural Engineer in Argentina and the founder of the Faculty of Agronomy at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, José also became an Agricultural Engineer before getting his postgraduate degree in Viticulture, focusing on high-end wines. Today, he is known as the “guarantor of quality” at Terrazas de los Andes, Mendoza, which is owned by LVMH, producing wines such as Terrazas de los Andes Single Parcel Los Castaños Malbec 2020, one of the stars of The 2023 Global Malbec Masters.

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