SANTIAGO – The 22nd Catad’Or Wine Awards, one of the most prestigious wine-tasting contests in Chile and Latin America, will open its borders this year to the finest wines of the Americas, the organizers announced on Tuesday.
This year’s contest will accept wines, sparkling wines and grape liquors from Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Canada and the United States.
The big difference from the Catad’Or of other years is that previously only Chilean wines and certain sparkling wines from Argentina and Brazil were allowed to compete.
“Argentina and Chile are respected in the world of vintners, but the first wine in the old colonies was fermented in the viceroyalty of Peru. Peru is a producer of wine, pisco (grape brandy), and sparkling wines. Colombia and Bolivia also make wine,” said the contest’s executive director, Pablo Ugarte.
Ugarte said Brazil has become the vedette of Latin America’s sparkling wine sector, with vintages that “give a lot to talk about” internationally.
One of the chief novelties of this year’s Catad’Or Wine Awards is the prize for Best Peasant Wine, chosen from among vintages produced on farms of less than 12 hectares (30 acres) from grapes grown and fermented by country folk using traditional, ancestral methods.
“It’s interesting because very often it entails traditional wine-growing the way their ancestors did it, and it gives a new air to the already rich selection of Chilean wines available abroad,” Ugarte said.
The Catad’Or Wine Awards will also have a special space for small winemakers, viticulturists who produce fewer than 10,000 bottles. These are very often family firms.
Between July 3-10, a jury composed of 45 specialists from 14 countries will taste and judge the wines, sparkling wines and grape liquors competing in the contest.