Elqui Wines: The Northern star of Chilean winemaking

Meet winemaker Steffan Jorgensen and Find out about his Unique wines

I wonder if it was a mistake to start my Chilean wine tour in the Elqui valley visiting Elqui Wines. Why? Because I don’t think it can get any better. Why? Because I tasted some mind blowing red wines and learned about a truely unique region.

Let me tell you a little bit about the Elqui valley, the winery and the people behind it as well as show you the wines I was invited to taste. I hope you will get curious about the region as well as Elqui Wines.


If you order your wine here, this is what you will get – from the outside.


The Elqui Valley: Where Vines have to struggle a bit

This valley is the most Northern wine growing region of Chile. It borders the Atacama desert, the world’s driest desert, in the North, the Andes in the East and the Pacific in the West. But how does this influence wine growing? Well, it’s dry, very dry, there is a lot of sunshine which is good for a continuous growing period. But at the same time the Pacific blows its cold wind, known as the Humboldt current, directly into the valley. There are no coastal ranges as in other parts of Chile that function as a barrier. This wind cools down the air and brings freshness and saltiness into the vineyards. Continue reading

Roussillion wine region at its best

Meet winemaker CaRrie Sumner: From New York to the South of France

Carrie Sumner and her husband Marcel Bühler run Domaine des Enfants in Maury, in the Roussillion wine region in South of France. The closest biggest city is Perpignan. For a long time, wine making in the Roussillion was dominated by cave cooperatives. This means that individual wine growers would deliver their grapes to the cooperatives which would then make the wine under a cooperative label.


Carrie testing the reds for the upcoming blending.

In recent years, however, the Roussillion saw a change to this practise. An increasing number of wine makers run their own domaines and sell their wines under their own labels. This gives them more flexibility in the whole process of wine growing and making.

One of these domains is Domaine des Enfants. Carrie and Marcel own vineyards in different parts of the region with different soils and grapes as old as 70 years. This diversity is refelcted in their complex and well-structured wines.

I was lucky to work along Carrie and Marcel for a period of two weeks just before and during harvest 2015. Carrie in particular has been my mentor and my guide, explaining to me the single steps in the wine making process. It was a real pleasure to work along Carrie and be able to learn so much from her. Continue reading

Alejandro Barrientos on being a sommelier and current trends in Argentinian wine industry

“Learning from the best”


Alejandro Barrientos

For many people the 21st of October 2015 maybe be just a normal day like any other normal day. But for me, the 21st of October 2015 is a special day. It is the day I am in Buenos Aires to meet Alejandro Barrientos for an interview. Alejandro, originally from Spain, was introduced to me as one of the best sommeliers in Argentina and I am super excited and a little nervous to meet this great man. And when I finally meet him, I am impressed by his kindness, his modesty, his great knowledge fo wine and sense of humour.

We meet in his wine shop, Sacra Vinotecas, in downtown Buenos Aires. The wine shop is held in white and purple colours, freshly cut flowers are on the tables, wine bottles are displayed along the walls . The atmosphere is elegant but at the same time very personal. Alejandro Barrientos opened the wine shop after having worked as the head sommelier in one of Argentinas best hotels. He and the hotel were so good, that he even served the king of Spain! This information does not make me less nervous, I must admit.

Read on to find out how Alejandro Barrientos has become one of the best sommeliers, what advice he has got for you on becoming a good sommelier, what he has got to say about wine growing in Argentina and overall about his love for wine. Enjoy! Continue reading

Meet the wine maker: Sebastian Müller from Brühler Hof in Rheinhessen, Germany

The organic pioneers among Rheinhessen wine makers

The wine estate Brühler Hof, run by the Müller family, is a Rheinhessen wine institution. In 1989, when Hans-Peter Müller introduced organic production methods other wine makers didn’t even think about organic wine growing, not even in their wildest dreams. But not here. Organic growing is the family’s top priority. You can see this in the vineyard where no chemicals are used and everything is done by hand. Herbs are planted in the middle of the vines to deter insects, for the same purpose pheromones are used instead of chemical aids.

Working the vineyard at more than 30 degrees.

Working the vineyard at more than 30 degrees.

But also the production process is organized in accordance with ecological and sustainable standards. Solar power is used as the main energy generator and many other energy recycling measures are taken. Continue reading

Meet the wine maker: Daniel Ansen from Domaine Ansen

“Stay calm and have faith” – The chemist among Alsacian wine makers

Domaine Ansen is a small wine estate in the village of Westhoffen, Alsace, just a short drive away from Straßbourg. It was established in 2012 by Daniel Ansen. Daniel owns 8 ha of vineyards spread over the wine hills in and around Westhoffen, which he works organically. This means he doesn’t use any chemical additives to make his wine nor does he spray his vineyards with chemicals. He grows all of the varieties that are permitted to be produced into Alsacian wine, with Riesling being his major variety. He produces mostly white wines, Pinot Noir and also Crémant d’Alsace.

Daniel Ansen

Daniel Ansen

Daniel and I are driving back from Colmar, the wine capital of Alsace, where he had wine business to do. He is driving the car, his daughter is sleeping in the back of the car while I’m sitting in the passenger seat enjoying the view of the Vosges mountains. The peacefulness and tranquility of the situation encourage me to ask Daniel for an interview. He kindly agrees. So, lean back and enjoy reading the following interview! Continue reading