Dokdo Winery – Korean wine?

November 29, 2012

Korean wine

During a recent visit of the Korean parliament in Seoul, I came across the above poster. The advertisement was not about soju, the popular rice wine, but a wine made from grapes.

I was puzzled. Do they grow wine grapes in Korea? When approaching the display, things became a bit clearer.

The award winners

As it turned out, the display was about the islands of Dokdo, which are claimed by Korea and Japan in a territorial dispute arousing nationalist feelings in both places. The display was a kind of political statement.

A winery in the Napa Valley in California was bearing the same name, Dokdo Winery or Dokdo Vineyards. This brand was created by a Korean-American dentist Ahn Jae-hyun living in the Napa Valley, California.

Established in 2007, the winery produces about 20,000 bottles a year. Dokdo wines had also won a gold medal at the 2012 Korea Wine Challenge.

The 2012 Korea Wine Challenge

According to the wineries website, the new product was introduced into the market to draw people away from the controversial debate over which country – Korea or Japan – owns the rocky islands.

“Instead of appreciating the beauty of Dokdo, the world has been too busy fighting over it. The island should not be fought over; it should be shared,” the website said.

Unfortunately, I had no chance to sample the wine.

True is also, that Korea is an emerging market as far as grape wine is concerned. With rising incomes, wine consumption is also rising. In fact every restaurant I visited during my brief stay offered a selection of various wines, often from France but also from other wine producing countries.

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Trivento – Wine from Argentina

February 9, 2008

You might remember that the other day in Kuala Lumpur I could not taste the wine on the menu, a ‘2005 Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec’ of the Maredo Restaurant because it was sold out.

Guess what? I found the brand in Vin +, a small wine shop in Kemang, Jakarta. I bought one bottle only to try it out.

trivento-malbec.jpg

The Trivento 2005 Golden Reserve Malbec

You might wonder about the results?

Today I went again and bought a whole case of it. It is a most delicious wine and retails for about 235,000 Indonesian Rupiah which is equivalent to about 17 € or 28 A$.

It is a deep, red, ruby wine with a wonderful nose displaying aromas of mint, cherries and chocolate. The wine was matured in new French oak for a year and was aged for another year in the bottle before its release. Its a pity that Malbec has this short, dry finish but the aromas compensate you for that. However, for non-Malbec lovers there are Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon wines on offer as well.

Moreover, I also bought from the Trivento product range a ‘2006 Reserve Chardonnay’, a ‘2006 Tribu Torrontes’ and a ‘2005 Reserve Malbec’. More about these wines later.

Trivento Bodegas Y Vinedos (www.banfivintners.com) was founded in 1996 and is located in Mendoza, Argentina. Most of its vineyards are to be found on high altitude in the best zones of Mendoza (up to 1100 meters above sea level). Trivento Vineyards possess a modern winery with a capaity of about 27 million litres of wine. It has all the modern equipment used nowadays to make wine. The winery is surrounded by about 10 ha of vineyards.

Tomas Larrain holding a degree in agricultural economics from the Catholic University of Chile is the general manager and Federico Galdeano, a native of Mendoza with extensive experience in the Napa Valley/California and Tuscany/Italy, is the wine maker.

By the way I now found out that the rumour – that the Argentineans drink their best wines themselves and export only the rest – is false. They do export some of their good wines!