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Syrah Takes Top Honors At Annual Wines Of Chile Awards

SANTIAGO, CHILE – (January 17, 2012) The 9th Annual Wines of Chile Awards winners were announced last week, resulting in 17 trophies being awarded to the country’s best wineries. For the third consecutive year, a Syrah took home the Best in Show distinction, an honor awarded to  Tamaya Winemaker’s Selection 2010 Syrah.

The Chicago Tribune’s Bill St. John was the sole American judge in a group of esteemed international palates hailing from nine countries including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The judging panel selected two Rieslings, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay as the winners in the white categories, while Cabernet Franc, Carignan, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere led the red categories. The trophy-winning wines represented the vast diversity of Chile’s grape-growing regions and lauded the achievements of wines from northernmost Elquí Valley all the way down to Bío-Bío.

“This is the second year that we’ve invited judges from multiple countries,” said Lori Tieszen, Executive Director,Wines of Chile, USA. “We feel the breadth of experience that this panel brought to the awards helped to reinforce Chile’s incredibly diverse offerings and broad, international appeal.”

Chile has long been well-known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere (a grape almost exclusively grown in Chile) and more recently, its successes with Sauvignon Blanc. To see varieties such as Carignan, Riesling, Syrah and Cabernet Franc among the top awards this year further demonstrates Chile’s investment in discovery—exploring new terroirs and experimenting with different grape vines—and diversity.

The Best in Category winners of this year’s Annual Wines of Chile Awards are:

Sparkling: Miguel Torres Santa Digna Estelado 2010
Sauvignon Blanc: Viña San Pedro Castillo de Molina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Elquí Valley
Chardonnay: Tamaya Reserva Chardonnay 2010, Limarí Valley
Other Whites (1): Casa Marin Miramar Vineyard Riesling 2009, San Antonio Valley
Other Whites (2): Concha y Toro Terrunyo Riesling 2011, Casablanca Valley
Rosé: Viña Leyda Loica Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2010, San Antonio Valley
Pinot Noir: Undurraga Terroir Hunter Leyda Pinot Noir 2010, San Antonio Valley
Syrah (1): Cono Sur 20 Barrels Limited Edition Syrah 2009, Limarí Valley
Syrah (2): Mayu Reserva Syrah 2009, Elquí Valley
Syrah (3): Tamaya Winemaker’s Selection Syrah 2010, Limarí Valley
Carmenere: Casa Silva Doña Dominga Gran Reserva Andes Vineyard Carmenere 2010, Colchagua Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon: Hacienda Araucano Gran Araucano Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Colchagua Valley
Red Blend: Tamaya MCS Reserva 2010, Limarí Valley
Other Reds (1): Gillmore Hacedor de Mundos Cabernet Franc 2008, Maule Valley
Other Reds (2): Santa Ema Amplus Carignan 2009, Cachapoal Valley
Late Harveset: Cono Sur Cosecha Noble 2010, Bío Bío Valley
Best in Show: Tamaya Winemaker’s Selection Syrah 2010, Limarí Valley
Best Value White: Viña San Pedro Castillo de Molina Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Elquí Valley
Best Value Red: Porta Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Aconcagua Valley

About Wines of Chile
Wines of Chile is an organization committed to promoting the quality and image of Chilean wine throughout the world. It has offices in Santiago, London, and New York, as well as representatives in Canada, Ireland, and Denmark. WOC also works closely with ProChile to develop and offer promotional and educational programs in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Wines of Chile’s 92 member wineries belong to Vinos de Chile and represent 92% of Chile’s bottled wine exports.