WBWE PRESENTS: MELINA BERTOCCHI
Melina Bertocchi is a prominent international journalist who is currently developing her professional career in Lima (Peru). Besides organizing events related to the wine world and writing for several media sources in Peru and other Latin-American regions, Melina runs her own project: ‘Palabra de Vino’.
While she is preparing her visit to Amsterdam for the occasion of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition, Mrs. Bertocchi was able to find the time to answer a few key questions, an advance of the conversation that we will be able to have with her during her conference speech “Wine consumption trends in Peru”.
What can you tell us in advance about your conference “Wine consumption trends in Peru"?
I will try to be as explicit and clear as possible, in order for the audience to capture the essence of Peruvian wine and moreover, the trends that lead the market nowadays.
It is important to highlight that Peru was the first country in South America where the vitis vinifera arrived, before 1500 with the Spanish conquest. It was long forgotten or kept in a second place due to the importnt pisco industry, which is a wine based spirit. But now, for the past ten years, important investments have been made in order to renovate the vineyards, to have better technology but also a part of the industry is heading to the other big trend; natural wines; vinos de chacra (artisanal wines). This is the piece of the "cake" that is setting a trend in the gastronomic scene. The main restaurants are opening their minds and menus to this proposal for its freshness and authenticity.Plus, even though Peru is not one of the main wine consuming countries on the region, the growth it is experimenting in the past few years is super important. From 1 liter per capita a year to almost 2 liters in less than 5 years. I will explain briefly the reasons for this growth, what do Peruvians drink and how the future looks within few years.
What do you expect from your participation at the WBWE?
I am very happy and looking forward to participating in such an interesting and well-attended event; especially considering it is in a city as cosmopolita as Amsterdam. This is a rather new experience for me, speaking about Wine in Bulk, because even though in Europe it is a well spread trend, well established and recognized; in South America and "the new world", this trend is something new or even more, something that producers don’t talk about and that can be so positive and necessary, when it’s well done and clear. I look forward to learning a lot about this market, about the countries that participate in this important event; and I have a special interest in the tasting. In discovering the style of these wines and the high quality standards they manage for this category.
How do you see the future of the wine industry?
Even more specialized and democratic. That is the trend we have seen in these past few years and I think this is the way it will be in the near future.
People are getting closer to wine, understading its real essence. That is still something to work in. To make wine more approachable; in terms of style as well as money. Each time it is more probable to find a wine that will suit any pocket, especially if people don’t want to spend more than $20 for a bottle.
On the other hand, I think this "back to tradition and back to the basics in wine" will become stronger. Now that we are living in such a particular and difficult times, people want to feel they are giving something to the planet. They want to understand where they come from and how wine is connected to life and its origins.
More specialization will also be a strong point when we speak about wine.
In your opinion, which are the most interesting wines at the moment? And where are they produced?
Living and focusing mainly in the Southern continent, I taste and drink a lot of wines from Chile, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay and I find an incredible development and still a rich potential to work on. Every time it is more evident these two sides or styles in terms of wine production: The more commercial wines, big, bold and a little oaky. Those wines that some people love, mainly the entry level consumer.
Of course, I believe in the classics, those wines are irreplaceable. Eventhough they are mainly in Europe – France, Italy, Spain – we find some classics in South America. For example: Don Melchor from Chile, Nicolas Catena from Mendoza and some impressive tannats from Uruguay.
But the most exciting wines nowadays are the ones that somehow break this paradigm. Wines that keep the fruit, the juiciness, the acidity. The most interesting wines for me are in areas like Valle de Uco in Mendoza, Argentina. This high altitude vineyrds, where the grapes reach the right maturity, keeping a good acidity and as a consequence a long life ahead. Winemakers are beting more and more each time to work in a more natural way, with less oak.
Other projects are the ones developed in Chile in the Itta Valley, with old vines that were abandoned for many years and now examples like Cinsault and Moscatel and giving interesting results.
Also in Peru, some new wines, made from the Quebranta grape in Cañete Valley, two hours south of Lima. There is an enormous universe for authentic wines.
Another one of the most impressive ones for me are in Gredos, in la sierra de Gredos near Madrid. Those Garnachas are unforgettable.
The WBWE organizers are preparing the ground for the 8th World Bulk Wine Exhibition. A trade fair that has been steadily growing not only in terms of the number of exhibitors but also in terms of international participation. In 2015, this exhibition, which assembles 85% of the global supply for bulk wine, brought together professionals from 66 different nationalities and more than 200 companies from 20 countries. These figures are expected to improve this year on the 21st and 22nd of November.
Over the last seven editions, the WBWE made the city of Amsterdam the world’s wine capital and the main meeting point for the wine industry’s key players. Wine-makers, purchasers and professionals attend with one objective: TO DO BUSINESS.
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