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South American Wine Guide: Descorchados


Descorchados, the brainchild of wine writer Patricio Taa and expert taster Patricio Tabia has become the definitive guide to American wines made south of the Equator. First released in 1999, it covers all of the southern continent’s main producing countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay – representing a comprehensive overview of the wines released in a given vintage. ‘The project was born in 1998 when I was studying oenology in Bordeaux,’ explains Tapia. ‘I realised there really wasn’t a guide that could offer a personal but also unbiased view of the wines of South America.’ And thus Descorchados was born, inspired by classic anglophone counterparts, such as  Hugh Johnston’s Pocket Wine Book.

Labour of love

Tapia has been tasting South American wines for over a quarter century. Each year he tastes more than six thousand different wines from 600 different wineries. ‘It’s not easy but it’s an endeavour that really motivates me and gives me much pleasure. It’s a unique opportunity to, year after year, get a truly panoramic view of the South American wine scene.’ This translates into twenty five years of accumulated knowledge and experience, developed not only through tasting but also…

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