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News - 25.07.11

The winner of Blogger of the Month contest visited Mendoza

The winner of "Blogger of the Month" contest– a means by which Wines of Argentina invites the best wine bloggers in the world to visit our country – made his dream come true and visited Mendoza and Salta.

The winner of "Blogger of the Month" contest– a means by which Wines of Argentina invites the best wine bloggers in the world to visit our country – made his dream come true and visited Mendoza and Salta.

Steve Shanahan   is the first winner of the contest “Blogger of the Month”. The competition was set up by Wines of Argentina and gives away a trip to our country to bloggers who write about wine and gastronomy and deserve to have this wonderful experience for the quality of their publications. His post on "The Two M's of Argentine Wine in Canada" was chosen by the panel of judges, and he won the grand prize. Steve is the creator of the blog (since 2009) and winner of the contest for the month of December, last year.

After visiting Mendoza and before doing more traveling around and getting to know the wineries of northern Argentina, he spoke with Wines of Argentina over dinner at the exquisite Margot Deli restaurant.


What’s your impression of the trip?

I definitely didn't expect to find this scenery and meet the people who work in this country. You’ve turned a desert into a great city and that has let you obtain products of incredible quality. The passion of your inhabitants and how much you’re in love with your land has really caught my attention. No one wants to go live in the Capital! You have made great progress in terms of innovation, and I think this will be part of Mendoza’s future. I think people have adapted to this land, and they show their passion in everything they've created. For you it’s a pleasure to offer your wine and your variety. There are thousands of grapes and thousands of producers. In this dry land, you have wonderful people.


What do you think of our wines?

I had heard about Malbec, but when I got here I discovered that there are also some excellent whites like Sauvignon Blanc and other red varieties like Syrah and Bonarda which are very interesting. I can see that Argentina has its eyes open and great potential under development. When I talk to people, it’s all about putting passion into their products.


What do you think of the work that the industry is doing to promote our wine all over the world?

Wines of Argentina does a very good job. Compared with other organizations, they've focused more on people who live in the terroir, who understand their land. Abroad, the term terroir is used in a geographic sense, but here the human factor is highlighted very effectively. In Mendoza, I’ve seen that people take the terroir and make it their own. They get to know its characteristics. They innovate. They create a product, and the most important thing is how they transmit it; it’s really wonderful.


Have you visited Argentina before?

This is my first time in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s been a very good experience. Before traveling, I never thought I was going to have this opportunity to visit Argentina and talk to the people here. The world needs to understand more about what all of you do: it’s not just people doing business; it goes beyond that. It's people with a history, with a love for what they do, putting it all into their wine. Now we’re going to visit Cafayate, and I’m happy that I’ll be getting to know more about all the good things I’ve heard about that area.


What will happen when you go back to your country?

This trip has been really wonderful, and it's an honor for me. I feel indebted to you. Wine is better when you understand its history. Now when I choose a bottle, I’ll remember all of this that I've lived. The best thing about having a blog is the opportunity to share knowledge and experience. I’ll obviously share new viewpoints and everything I’ve learned. Now I know much more about Argentina, Mendoza, and their different regions. I’ve gotten to know how valuable it is to see everyone work together, to feel how they cooperate beyond their individual production. There’s really a spirit of working together. It will be much easier to face all the emerging markets together than doing it alone.


Finally, Steve Shanahan praised the white varieties that Argentina makes, like Viognier, Torrontés, and Sauvignon Blanc. He assured that he would continue recommending on his website all the new things that he has tasted: "If anyone asks me about what wines to drink, now I will tell them to check out the Torrontés, which are quite intense, and I’ll also recommend that they get to know other products which have turned out very well in this land. These are excellent products, and I understand that if you work at it, here you can make wines from different varieties. In Argentina there is definitely much more than just Malbec."