Vinexpo 2016 Part 2: The People Behind the Glass

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Here’s the thing about me: I rarely get star-struck.

When I do, I tend to babble incoherently. People get giddy with actors, personal heroes (my husband swears he’d probably freak out if he meets Elon Musk)…

I’m a beverage geek, and I get star-struck over legendary winemakers, wine critics, and head distillers.

Here’s how much I could prattle on: During the Vinexpo, I simply HAD to go the Errázuriz booth and check out Seña, the multi-awarded wine I wrote about early this year.

chadwick, baettig

Photo courtesy of Seña Wines

Lo and behold, both Eduardo Chadwick (President of Viña Seña) and Francisco Baettig (Seña Head Winemaker) were there, in the flesh.

I sat on one of their bar stools while waiting for a turn to meet them, explaining to the two lovely ladies behind the counter who I was, and that I wrote an article about their wine (with help from their wonderful colleague, Veronica Steinbrugge).

During the course of the conversation, I found out that the people in Errázuriz liked the article so much that they featured it on their newsletter.

Flabbergasted, I proceeded to thank them (I totally felt unworthy) while they treated me to some of their best wines.

At this point, I broke my promise of not drinking wines during the expo and just drank… Seña across all vintages is just so divine that it would have been criminal to spit it out.

One of the women who poured wine into my glass was Magdalena. Young but not new to Asia, we got to chat about the possibility of her visiting the Philippines to enjoy our awesome beaches and underwater caves…

Then Eduardo himself came to the table.

I rambled about how I was such a fan, telling him that I was from the Philippines, and that I wrote about him but never got to meet him in person, and how it was truly an honor to finally have met him in the flesh…

Then Magdalena laughed and told me, “He’s my father”.

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Eduardo and Magdalena Chadwick, with their legendary wine

It was one of those moments in a person’s life when time stands still, and everything was blurry (maybe it was the alcohol?), and all I could think of was trying to find a way to get my foot out of my mouth (or possibly blame it on the alcohol).

We proceeded to have further conversation, more of their awesome wines (did I mention how magnificent the 2013 vintage is?), and promised to keep in touch.

Willing myself to avoid being too much of a fangirl for the rest of the expo, I went out and decided to look around the Chilean booths.

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Tasting room of Via Wines in Chile (photo from an old article)

I stumbled upon Via Wines, which I’ve featured in a past entry as one of the more breathtaking places I’ve visited in Chile.

 

I told the person behind the table that I have actually been to their gorgeous tasting room on a lake, and that I loved every minute of that gastronomic treat.

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Oveja Negra – Pastures New: One of my new discoveries from an old favourite

The person introduced herself as Adriana Coderch, CEO of Via Wines. We shared so many stories about my trip to Chile (including the flights) over a glass of their Oveja Negra – Pastures New: This lovely and powerful blend of Garnacha, Mourvedre, and Syrah was amazing, and made me crave for one of their tasting room’s empanadas to go with it.

After this, I decided to take a break from Chile a bit (I was beginning to miss South America) and decided to check out some of the spirits.

lookit that scotch

Up front and loving it! (photo from an old article)

After our favourite couple from Singapore* opened my eyes to the beauty of Islay, my world was never the same. I still love my Asian whiskies, Lagavulin, and many others, but I’ve come to appreciate the peaty, intense, smoky notes of a good Islay.

In the article I wrote about whiskies in that region, I posted a photo that had Smokehead in the front. It was my first Islay, and, as they say, you never forget your first. I remember the smoke characteristics from that glass, balanced out with a certain finesse that allows a drinker to enjoy more than a glass of the scotch without getting overwhelmed by the intensity.

Fast forward to the Vinexpo and me finding their booth… I had to stop and talk to anyone there.

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Iain Weir of Ian Macleod Distillers

I ended up meeting Iain Weir, Marketing Director of Ian Macleod Distillers (the distillery that makes Smokehead) and told them how much I loved their whisky. I was treated to a glass and great conversation (including a bit of self-deprecation involving my lack of skills in pronouncing Islay).

 

Fangirled out, I decided to call it a day and return the next day to learn about other wines and spirits…

…Which I’m saving for a next entry.

This is making me think about my other heroes and what drinks I would have with them… Maybe that’s a good idea for an article. 😉

 

*Congratulations to A & B! Cheers to your new life together! Love, light, music and Scotch!

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