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Pawel Gruntowski - freelance sommelier South America

Published:  17 February, 2012

Living and travelling in South America can give a very valuable perspective to a European used to small scale of things, short distances and in general having everything at a hand's reach.

Remoteness of the place often adds to out-of-shape stereotypes or judgements, especially when things have changed very rapidly over a relatively short period of time. Nowadays, innovation and pioneering, hardly unbound and often supported by regulations, are a daily bread and have become a requirement in order to survive on today's market. State-of-the-art facilities, industrial and family run, compete globally with confidence. The architecture and scale of new enterprises are remarkable, and most of them have proven that what is on the outside is modelled on the vision of the product and not the other way around.

While vineyards are shrinking in Europe, they are growing in South America. Wineries can be found in regions that one does not expect to see vines, and they have been there for a while now. And that's not all, as people there try nature's patience planting grapes outside the supposed final frontier. And with what effect? Argentinean wine fills the glass with the intensity and passion of its tangos, and aromas of the endless pampas and breathtaking Andes. Brazilian, sparks with the country's famed spirit and culture. Chilean, has a finish worth of the country's length and a nose as complex as its flora and fauna. Uruguayan, with a robust palatereminds of the wistful life of its gauchos. And the list does not end here. Where is it headed? Well, hopefully towards a steady growth while preserving their own identity, and resisting the temptation to imitate the Old World. They have all that's needed to succeed, excellent terroirs and grapes selected and cultivated by generations of emigrants who knew the old land and tamed the new one.

Markets are always hungry for the new, and the new is happening right there in the New World. The discovery process that started in 1492 is still underway and we can be pretty sure that time is on their side.