March 2014 is an eventful month for the wine community in Hong Kong. Important wine industry figures who will be visiting include Robert Parker, Jancis Robinson, as well as Eduardo Chadwick and Steven Spurrier who will be co-hosting a Gala Dinner celebrating the 10th Anniversary of The Berlin Tasting.
Eduardo Chadwick is the owner of Viña Errazuriz and Viña Seña. He was included multiple times in the Top 50 Power List of Decanter Magazine, mainly for his contributions in putting Chilean wines on the map. Chadwick’s credentials include producing Errazuriz’s first ultra premium red, Don Maximiano Founders Reserve. Following this project came his partnership with Californian wine-legend Robert Mondavi in creating Seña, the first Chilean icon wine.
Asian Palate is delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Chile’s iconic wine ambassador one week before his visit.
AP – Asian Palate EC – Eduardo Chadwick
AP: Congratulations on the 10th Anniversary of the Berlin Tasting! How do you feel about this event looking back after 10 years?
EC: Throughout this ten year journey The Berlin Tasting has been a unique experience for more than one thousand world key opinion leaders, wine writers, sommeliers and fine wine buyers. It has enabled them to taste and judge the quality and style of our top Chilean wines in a blind format, without prejudice, and always having as benchmark a selection of top classical world class wines.
Chilean wines were placed at the top three places in 19 out of 21 tastings, achieving a 90% preference rate. It is this consistency across different vintages and aging potential that is so important and has helped establish Chile´s place amongst the world´s greatest wine-appellations.
AP: Do you still believe that Chilean wines are underrated? Has there been an improvement in consumer’s perception of Chilean wines in recent years? What has contributed to this?
EC: After this tastings, the world critics have been very positively surprised, and their perception of top Chilean wines has been significantly enhanced. The growing demand around the world for our Icon wines is also indicative of the consistent improvement in consumers’ perception. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of work to be done. We need to continue educating and broadening the appreciation of our top Chilean wines in order to expand our world consumer base.
AP: What are your thoughts about the current state of Chilean wines in Asia, particularly in China?
EC: Asia, and in particular China is a burgeoning new market with a most significant potential, without any doubt a key world fine wine market. Chilean wines are just beginning to gain notoriety over the last years, and therefore it is so important to introduce our top quality wines, with best image at this early stage of this discovery. Our Icon wines will undoubtedly enhance the image building of Chile, as much as the First Growths of Bordeaux have done for France.
AP: For your portfolio of wines, which are your most significant markets currently? Which markets are you most excited about in the coming 2-4 years?
EC: For Errazuriz, and Seña, our most important markets are the EU, particularly the UK, and also North America. However, we see a great potential in Asia, particularly in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and China, and these are the markets where we will put great focus in education over the next years.
AP: Please share with us your future plans or exciting news about any of your wineries.
EC: We have many plans going forward, such as further developing of our new cool Coastal Aconcagua vineyards, where we are producing very interesting Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc wines of extreme delicacy and finesse. However, this year our focus will be on celebrating a mayor achievement, our 10th Berlin Tasting Anniversary for our Don Maximiano, Seña and Viñedo Chadwick wines throughout the world, and I am most happy to launch these celebrations in Asia, during the next days!