The Argentine Sommelier Valeria Gamper, who was recently named as the Best Sommelier of the Americas in 2022, has also been included in the 50 Women in Wine & Spirits Awards for 2022 and so continues to earn acclaim as she prepares for the 2023 Sommelier World Cup.
The award given by WINWSA is designed to promote leading women in the wine and spirits universe and is a global honor for industry figures who stand out for their innovation and promising future.
“It’s always an honor to get an award alongside professionals whom I admire greatly,” says Sommelier Victoria Gamper. “I also believe that it’s very important for women to receive awards because at conferences and congresses, men make up most of the attendees, and often are the winners of their competitions too. It’s crucial to recognize the work of women because we’ve always been here, not just in the wine industry, I mean in general. It’s a fair, and necessary counterweight to help facilitate change in the industry.”
Sommelier Valeria Gamper in the 2022 WINWSA selection
This year, the 50 nominees come from 19 different countries and regions and were announced after passing through several stages: a global nomination, an application process, an exam and classification by the panel. After that, the nominees entered a final round of anonymous voting and so the definitive list arose.
The third edition of the WINWSA established 15 categories covering seven areas of focus in the wine and spirits industry from production and service to marketing and education. After applications opened in September, 120 nominations were received from China, Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Americas and Europe, showing how many new countries and regions are emerging every year.
The evaluation process was run by a panel of specialized judges who selected the most influential professionals according to four evaluation criteria. At online meetings, the experts examined all the candidates’ documentation for optimal precision and impartiality during the process.
The 2022 finalists come from a wide range of backgrounds and fields that reflect recent developments and trends in the drinks business. They are all extremely worthy of the acclaim and recognition.
The contribution of Valeria Gamper
After moving to Spain in 2020, sommelier Valeria Gamper currently works as a consultant and a wine educator. She teaches at the CAVE sommelier school, where she also studied, and at the IAG School of Gastronomy.
Her professional career began at the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires, and she has also worked for the wine distributor Cluster Selected Wines, as well as being a Wine Ambassador for Viña Cobos.
“I learned an enormous amount from my experience in Spain. If you were to ask about my biggest contribution at the restaurant recently, I’d say that it was to develop a section of wines made by women producers, oenologists and technical directors (regardless of the gender of the owners of the winery). I’m very proud of that. We put that list at the top of the menu and began to sell a lot, which is very gratifying. And I’m still helping to train new sommeliers.”
Named as Best Sommelier in Argentina in 2019 and Best Sommelier of the Americas in 2022, sommelier Valeria Gamper will be representing Argentina at the next Sommellerie World Cup, for which she is currently training.
Valeria Gamper’s award follows those of two Argentine women who received the same recognition in 2021: Magdalena Pesce, General Manager of Wines of Argentina, and Laura Catena, General Director of the Catena Zapata winery and founder of the Catena Institute of Wine.
Magdalena Pesce has led the team implementing the digital transformation of Wines of Argentina since 2019. She was responsible for signing the organization, whose mission is to promote Argentine wine across the world, up to the Women’s Empowerment Principals, committing to carrying out tangible activities that promote equal opportunities in the wine industry.
This was a landmark moment for the institution, which become the first “Wines of” organization in the world to adhere to these principals, making it an agent of change in the quest to establish a committed, sustainable and inclusive culture in the world of wine.
She has also set up the platform Women of Argentina, whose goal is to expand gender awareness across all the entity’s activities, so as to create diverse, inclusive, sustainable viticulture.
It’s important for leading women in the winery to be properly recognized for their work and initiatives such as the WINWSA help to reinforce the important contribution of women across the industry in Argentina.