I spent an afternoon with JULIO VIOLA, recently, Thanks to NORA FAVELUKES OF QW Wine Experts (www.qwwineexperts.com). We discussed his vision.
This is what I learned:
+ JULIO VIOLA originally developed housing projects before developing VINEYARDS.
+ JULIO VIOLA studied computer models before settling on PATAGONIA for his vineyards.
+ In 1995,with the aid of the Government, Julio received a loan to help him purchase 3,200 hectares (7,500 acres) of desert, arid land in PATAGONIA. There was no irrigation.
+ Julio went to Israel to study irrigation.
+ Julio built a 12.5 mile irrigation canal to bring water from the NUEQUEN River to his vineyards.
+ By 1999, Julio had installed 3,800 miles of irrigation pipes, creating seven pumping stations.
+ In 1999, his first vineyards were planted for production.
+ On his property, JULIO VIOLA created several vineyards, built complete wineries and sold them as 'turn-key' operations.
+ He maintained the largest vineyard and named it "BODEGA DEL FIN DEL MUNDO".
+ Today, there are seven vineyards which JULIO VIOLA built that produce wine from PATAGONIA.
+ The first harvest at Bodega DEL FIN DEL MUNDO was in 2002, producing 3000 bottles.
+ Today his vineyard produces 11 million bottles.
+ 85% of the grapes are RED Varietals: MALBEC, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, MERLT, PINOT NOIR, TANNAT and CABERNET FRANC.
+ 15% of production is made with White grapes: SAUVIGNON BLANC, SEMILLON, VIOGNIER and CHARDONNAY.
+ PATAGONIA is recognized as a Region, thanks to JULIO VIOLA.
DEL FIN DEL MUNDO means 'The Vineyards at the End of the World"
Drip hoses provide water to the trained 'Low Trellis System' vines. Water comes from the Neuquen River, after the summer melts the ice from the Andes Mountain Range. There are two harvests, February and April. Temperatures can range 50F degrees in one day. State-of-the art technology coupled with 200 stainless steel tanks, 104 concrete pools, 2200 oak barrels and four French Oak Casks of 6000 liters make-up the SOUTHERN MOST VINEYARD IN THE WORLD.
According to DIEGO ARGUINDEGUI, Director of BODEGA DEL FIN DEL MUNDO, The PHILOSOPHY of the vineyard is to " Keep up the quality of our products by using LAST generation(Old World) technology and making the best use of our PATAGONIA terroir".
The wines I sampled illustrate their philosophy. Old world flavor, new world technology.
POSTALES 2010 is a mix of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. An intense floral, fruity aroma was coupled with citrus notes. My palate exploded with peach and melons followed by balanced acidity. At $11.99 a bottle, this stainless steel wine is a STEAL!
RESERVA DEL FIN DEL MUNDO "PINOT NOIR" 2008. Aged for 12 months in 70% French oak and 30% American oak, I found this dark fruit, vanilla based wine to open-up gradually, sip by sip. The intense aromas of raspberries and blueberries opened my senses. At $18.99 a bottle, I urge you to cellar this wine for 4-5 years.
RESERVA DEL FIN DEL MUNDO "MALBEC 2007". This wonderful MALBEC is aged for 12 months in French/American oak and explodes on your palate with dark fruit in the mouth followed by intense vanilla and chocolate tones. Balanced and elegant, a near perfect MALBEC. This is possibly the BEST MALBEC in the market for $18.99 a bottle. This is a MUST BUY.
"RESERVE 2006" is a combination of 36% MALBEC, 31% CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 23% MERLOT and 10% CABERNET FRANC. At 14.4% alcohol, this 12 month oaked wine shows signs of high complexity and intensity. It is a world class wine with aromas of currants and plums followed by chocolate, leather and tannins on the palate. "RESERVE 2006" has an exceptionally long finish. At $29.99 a bottle, you feel like you are in Bordeaux.
FIN Single Vineyard "TANNAT 2008". Aged for 18 months in French/American oak, this 14,5% alcohol violet wine is spicy with hints of vanilla, tobacco and coconut. The aroma of strawberries and raspberry jam intoxicate your senses. At $39.99, this full-bodied, complex wine is a good VALUE. Drink it today or hold onto it for 5-6 years.
"SPECIAL BELEND 2007 DEL FIN DEL MUNDO. Aged for 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, this elegant, soft wine is a joy to drink. Powerful aromas of red fruit jam, spice and jelly open your palate followed by a velvety, round, complex flavor that leads you into a long finish. This blend, at $44.99 is a SPECIAL WINE that deserves to be in your wine cellar. The wine is ready to drink and should be decanted or can be aged in your wine cellar for up to ten years. This is anothe MUST BUY wine from the Vineyards of DEL FIN DEL MUNDO.
PATAGONIAS unique cool-climate, desert conditions and special 'terroir' produce some of the WORLDS BEST WINES that are priced under $50. Volume producers, like JULIO VIOLA, have put THE END OF THE WORLD wines on your wine shelves.
Isn't it time to BUY these wines and tell the story of JULIO VIOLA....
Learn more about BODEGA DEL FIN DEL MUNDO at: www.bodegadelfindelmundo.com
PHILIP S. KAMPE
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