Javier Paredes, from Chile's award-winning Torreon de Paredes winery will be in Birmingham Monday, April 23rd to do a wine tasting at the Birmingham Weekly's Avondale Bricks Gallery, 5-7 p.m.
As you can see from the match between the name of the winery and the last name of the winemaker, Torreon de Paredes is a family winery, not part of the corporate conglomerates that make up the majority of wine offerings available in the market today.
Torreon de Paredes is also an estate winery, which means it has its own vineyards and grows all its own grapes. The vineyards and winery are located in the Rengo portion of Chile's Cachapoal Valley, which is itself an offshoot of the important Valle Central. Because of the winery's location at higher altitude near the slopes of the Andes, and resulting cooler climate, it is able to grow grapes of great delicacy and elegance.
The combination of being a family-owned and an estate winery also means that the level of attention and artisanal care that goes into every phase of the winemaking operation from the growing of the grapes to the bottling on the property is superior.
Though not as well known in the U.S. yet, the wines are highly recognized in Chile for their value and quality. Decorchados, the Chilean wine magazine, ranked Torreon's Merlot Reserva as the third-best Merlot in Chile. Third place is not bad, but the number one Merlot in Chile, according the Chilean wine magazine, is Torreon's own Merlot Reserva Privada. Number one and number three is even better.
The winery also makes a delicious Carmenere Reserva that has been served in Birmingham Restaurants such as Little Savannah and Dodiyo's—which according to importer Stephen Humphreys is even better than the Merlot-- and its Sauvignon Blanc has proved quite popular at Jackson's and Dram.
The wines are imported to the U.S. by Birmingham-based
Athens Imports, founded by Birmingham native Stephen Humphreys, who is also
publisher of the Birmingham Weekly.
Athens Imports specializes in high-quality family estate wineries from
South America, and was a pioneer in the export of wines from Argentina, which
is now the fastest growing segment of the market. Humphreys will be doing seminars on the wines
of South America at the Corks & Chefs food and wine festival next weekend in Linn Park, as part of the Magic City Art Connection art fair.
This Monday, Birmingham will have the opportunity to try some of the Athens Imports wines by Torreon de Paredes, with the winery owner and the importer, in Avondale, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Of course it will not hurt the ambiance of the winetasting for it to take place surrounded by a world class Cuban art exhibition, EN CADA BARRIO REVOLUCIÓN, with works by Cuban artists who have shown in prestigious galleries, biennials, and museums such as the Tate Modern in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The works in the exhibition were all brought back from Cuba by Birmingham Weekly publisher Stephen Humphreys.
The tasting is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required at email@example.com.
Birmingham Weekly / Avondale Bricks Gallery
130 41st Street South in Avondale