by Fred McMillin
for September 20, 1999


Erudite By Satellite


Sergio Correa Dear Fred,
A decade ago I commissioned a satellite study of our terrain. It helped me to better understand how the property was formed and where the soils and micro-climates differed...

The Rest of the Story

Where was this study carried out? Well, such a sophisticated approach says to me it's probably in California, by some new owner with big bucks, who's determined to select the right varietals for his new property.

WRONG! The letter is from Sergio Correa (see photo) who's talking about his 1,432-acre vineyard in CHILE! Wine science is moving south fast, and this is a fine example. The results said plant SYRAH, so he brought in top clones from both the Rhone and Australia. The vines were ready by 1996. Sergio had been impressed by some of the Aussie Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon blends, so he tried that combination, too. However, Sergio went one step further and added a soft, silky element with 30% MERLOT. The result is a heck of a red unlike anything you've tasted...

1996 Zavala, Maipo Valley,  

Wine of the Day

1996 Zavala, Maipo Valley, Chile
Vina Tarapaca Winery
Varieties—Blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cab.
Winemaker—Sergio Correa. Since he is happy with this blend, it's bound to be good, because...Sergio is regularly selected to be a judge in MAJOR international tastings, including France's Vin Expo and Vinalies Internationales. That's the palate that put together ZAVALA.
U.S. Importer—Beringer. Contact Allison Simpson in the Napa Valley at (707)963-8989, FAX (707)963-1735.


Why a Chilean wine today? This past weekend marked the anniversary of the country's declaration of independence from Spain. Where did the country inflict a major defeat of Spanish forces in 1818? MAIPO!

Note: For much more, see "Hip, Hip, Hurrah For Tarapaca", Winery of the Week, WineDay, Dec. 19,1997.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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