We’ve updated our South America map. It’s a fairly extensive revision made with the help of Brian Ravitsky, a top South American wine importer and partner in Brazos Wines, as well as with a group of highly respected winemakers in Argentina and Chile. Many thanks to Brian and the winemakers who he got to help: Derek Mossman Knapp of Garage Wines; Sebastian Zuccardi of Familia Zuccardi; Rafael Tirado of Rafael Tirado Wines; Leonardo Erazo of Revolver, Rogue Vine and Altos Las Hormigas; José Lovaglio of Vaglio Wines and David Marcel of Viña Maitia
Brian was also the impetus for this revision. He and his sales team have been using our map for a while but the first version needed some updating especially given recent developments in Mendoza and the official recognition of the Secano Interior region in Chile.
The official trade groups for Chile and Argentina wines used to make good maps but both have scaled back their efforts in the past years. I can understand why – this is the most challenging map of all the maps we make. Since the laws of both Chile and Argentina define most wine regions by political boundaries, the maps would just look like political maps. To make them more relevant to the wine world, we use satellite imagery to determine the vineyards and potential vineyard areas within each region. Here's an example of how one region, Maule in Chile, is constructed:
Looking at the map, it becomes obvious that if we just went by the official specification, a large part of Maule would be in the Andes!
We reprinted three of our most popular maps in the last few months: Italy in August; Spain & Portugal and France in December.
Amazingly, only France had any updates, and they were minor:
1. Bourgogne Vézelay, a subregion of Bourgogne becomes a full AOP.
2. Pic Saint-Loup also gets promoted from a subregion (of Languedoc) to a full AOP.
3. Corrèze is a new AOP in SW France, west of Bordeaux and north of Cahors.
This is the first time we’ve reprinted any of our maps without an update. Hopefully, this is a trend and not the calm before the storm!