Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hand of God Wines: A Chat with El Jefe

"Creating unforgettable moments"

Hand of God Wines

Tom Wark (of Fermentation Wine Blog fame) wrote an article called "Top 10 Things I learned at the Wine Bloggers Conference," and at number 8 he listed:
“#8. There are wines coming out of Argentina called “Hand of God” that are very important.”
Hand of God Wines is a collaboration between Jon Staenberg and Santiago Achával ("The Master of Malbec"), who met at Stanford Business School, went their separate ways, then reconnected and decided to partner on making truthful Argentinian wines. With an initial focus on Malbec and a blended red wine, Hand Of God Wines uses low-yielding fruit and minimal intervention to produce limited quantities (each of the Old Vine Malbec bottle are numbered) of wine that reflects the character, or terroir, of the site.

Two vineyards make up the fruit sourced for Hand of God Wines. Sobremesa Vineyard, established in 2007, is positioned 3,445 feet above sea level in the shadows of the tree-barren Andes range. The vineyard is planted with Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Sauvignon Blanc. Located in the Cruz de Piedra area of the Maipú region, Stolen Horse Vineyard was planted in 1922 with 8 acres (3.2 hectares) of Malbec, making these old vines over 90 years old. Its elevation is 2,887 ft.

Hand of God Wines currently has 2 red wines available for purchase: the 2010 Old Vine Malbec and the 2010 Fingerprint Series Red Wine (55% Malbec, 35% Syrah, 10% Petit Verdot). We recently ordered a bottle of each, so tasting notes are forthcoming. A white wine, the 2011 Fingerprint Series Único (35% Viognier, 35% Marsanne, 30% Roussanne) is set to be released this fall.

Jon and I connected via Social Media in the run-up to the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton, BC. Somehow, our paths never crossed at the Conference, so, even though I was really looking forward to tasting his wines, it never happened. After the Conference, we continued our dialogue, trying to figure out how we could work together. A suggested email interview led to a decision to chat, which led to a live Google+ Hangout On-Air. It was my first and, as one can see, I have plenty of things to work on as a live interviewer. However, Jon picked up the ball and ran with it, and I think we ended up with a pretty good result. Watch it here or on our YouTube channel:

Hand of God Wines: A Chat with El Jefe video

To receive 20% off your first case order, sign up for the Sobremesa Circle Wine Club! It’s free to join and you’ll receive great benefits, such as exclusive invitations to Hand of God events and access to wines only offered to members. More information can be found on the Hand of God Wines website (where you can also buy the wine) and by following on Twitter.

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