Christian CALLEC

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Posted by Christian Callec on maandag, september 26th, 2011

Three days long, the small city of Waddinxveen was the Dutch wine capital. More than 1100 visitors during the WORLD WINE DAYSMore than 100 wine producers from all over the world with more than 700 wines for tasting. Even 3 whole days wouldn’t be enough to taste all the wines presented.


ZUCCARDI (Whether you like or not their wines – but I never met yet someone who doesn’t – the Zuccardi family is a monument in the history of Argentinian wines. I visited the winery (unfortunately much too short and too quick) in 2010 and I was absolutely amazed. A few lines from my article about the visit:

“The welcome at the winery was pretty warm and informal. The whole winery was in a state of hyperactivity and everyone was pretty nervous. It was harvest time and things had to go on the whole night on. It was like entering the studio set of publicity for Bertolli products, with big mama’s working hard and fast and talking loudly to each other with a warm mama smile on their face. I was quite disoriented in time and place… This couldn’t be Argentina, this had to be somewhere in Italy. My feeling grew even more after we met Zuccardi’s director José Alberto Zuccardi himself. I couldn’t believe my eyes, the way he moved, he talked, smiled and laughed, the way he could change in a second from concerned and nervous to warm, welcoming and caring… A real Italian, a real family man. […]

Italy, family, passion, some keywords reflecting perfectly the feeling I had this evening. The winery’s full name, FAMILIA ZUCCARDI, couldn’t be more expressive for that feeling. Papa Zuccardi emphasized it many times in his own worlds:

“At Familia Zuccardi, every one working here is an extension of our own family. We believe that family is very important. If the family members are happy, you feel the passion. Our wines are really bottled passion”.

(Read the whole article HERE)

I just had to greet them on their stand. In the program book, Juan Pablo Penagos (Export Manager) and Sebastian Zuccardi (son and oenologist) were announced. I was absolutely delighted and moved when I saw that not Sebastian but his father José Alberto was present in the stand. It was great to meet him again. It was just magic for a while. A short time, unfortunately, because he had to leave back home on the second tasting day, my first one. What a fantastic and charismatic man. I happen to have 12.5% Italian (Napolitano + Sardinian) blood; I never met my great-grandfather, but in my dreams, he would just be like José Alberto!

Zuccardi-father-and-sonFather José Alberto and his son Sebastian © Zuccardi

I tasted a few wines again, the next day, with Juan Pablo Penagos. Different vintages, always good to check… I was not disappointed. The organic line Vida Organica has a good pleasure/value ratio, but for the real work you will have to spend a little bit more and chose for the Zuccardi A and Zuccardi Q range. In the A range, my favourites were the Chardonnay-viognier 2010, Malbec 2010 and Bonarda 2009… In the Q range, I especially enjoyed the Tempranillo 2007 (very fruity and juicy, beautiful gastronomic wine for less than 20 Euro retail in the NL!) and of course the Malbec 2009 (elegant, soft, full but not heavy, very gastronomic; < 20 Euro retail in the NL!). My absolute favourite remained the same, the icon wine Zuccardi Zeta, this one from 2004, but I have to confess that the 2006 I tasted in Maipú is even better! (around 30 Euro retail price NL). Warmly recommended!)


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