In February, as guests of Wines of Argentina, some of the heavy weights of the sommellerie world will arrive in our country: fifteen Master Sommeliers will visit Mendoza and Salta and attend a dozen seminars on wine from these lands.
In accordance with the program which started in 2018 with the nearly 50 Masters of Wine trip to Argentina, this year WofA has invited the Court of Master Sommeliers. It will be a journey of discovery with a complete immersion of our wines. Between February 23 and March 2, these prestigious specialists will tour wineries, taste wines and attend talks given by the main referents of the sector. The objective is to conquer their palates and feed their curiosity about Argentine viticulture so that they can become our ambassadors.
Who are the guests?
Founded in 1969, when the first exam was taken in London, the Court of Master Sommeliers forms a worldwide elite of the most recognised and accredited professionals: to date, only 236 hold the title of Master Sommelier (the distinctive acronym after their names is MS). They are, says Andrés Rosberg, President of the International Association of Sommeliers, “the haute couture of wines”.
They look after the wine lists of the most prestigious restaurants in the world, buy wines for select chains and combine the task of service with teaching in almost all cases. They are therefore, key figures in WofA’s strategy to position Argentine wine.
“One of the themes that we are working hard on is that of the opinion makers. Just as the Masters of Wine were the institution chosen in 2018, this year we plan to work on the relationship with the Court of Master Sommeliers. It is very important, to position Argentine wine in the world, to reach those prestigious places where the Master Sommeliers perform. Therefore, this trip represents a great opportunity for the wine industry as a whole”, explained Alberto Arizu, President of WofA.
These experts work mainly in the United States and Europe. Some names that stand out are Frank Kämmer, a journalist based in Germany; Bryan Dawes, a member of the court committee and educator, based in the United Kingdom; Sean Razee, Director of D&E Fine Wine Group in the United States; Alex La Prat, owner of Atrium Dumbo, United States; and Nicolas Clerc, Brand Ambassador and Key Account Manager of Armit Wines, as well as a board member of the Court of Master Sommeliers, based in the United Kingdom.
For Andrés Rosberg, sommelier and President of the ASI, “the visit of this group represents an enormous opportunity for our viticulture. It always seemed to me that the world of wine is a bit like fashion, in which big brands develop by showing very special dresses in some fashion shows, and then sell jeans and shirts on a daily basis. Our catwalks, of course, are the tables of the great restaurants of the world. The sommeliers of these restaurants are our best allies,” he says.
During the trip, the MS will have the opportunity to taste more than three hundred wines over twelve seminars, covering the most important issues of the industry. From a seminar on the ABC of our country and its legislation to others on the formation of the most important geographical indications (GI) of the Uco Valley, the Calchaquíes Valleys and Patagonia. Also, talks about the revolution of whites in Argentina and some more with insight on sparkling wines, Cabernet Sauvignon & Franc and many other outstanding wines of our terroirs.
“For the realisation of this trip, WofA members are making a great effort that, in short, will be positive for the entire Argentine wine industry. We believe that an investment in knowledge is the way and we do not doubt that this visit will bring great benefits for the wineries of our country, as well as the local sommellerie, considering this action is also supported by the Argentine Sommeliers Association,” said the President of WofA.
Just as haute couture and prêt-à-porter go hand in hand, the world’s great restaurants are a fundamental tool to ensure the image of Argentine wine continues to grow day by day. This trip is a golden opportunity to show them off to the world, as well as the continuing work of educators in the main markets of the globe, which is bearing great fruit.