There’s nothing better than a good glass of wine. We enjoy discussing wine, learning about wine, and conducting research on wine. Uncorking a bottle is always a good idea, whether there’s a special occasion, you’ve had a bad or good day, or you simply have guests over. We’ve all seen how filling the glasses and letting the magic begin improves the mood.
Wine is one of the few beverages that have a sophisticated ritual built around it. From the selection of the bottle to the opening of the bottle, through the pouring and tasting, everything is done with care. The high level of sophistication has indeed deterred many people from drinking wine, but we are very clear on one point: the most important thing is to enjoy it.
This article is dedicated to the world’s most famous wineries and wines which can be found at 8wines, an online platform for premium and hard-to-find wines.. Please continue reading to learn more about their history, see prices and ratings.
Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant who arrived in Argentina at the end of the nineteenth century and planted his first vineyards in Mendoza in 1902, founded Catena Zapata, a family winery. After placing a bet on quality by establishing vineyards at high altitudes, this Argentine winery is helping to fuel the resurgence of Malbec in the country. Nicolás Catena Zapata and his daughter Laura, who are the third and fourth-generation winemakers, are now in charge. Since they took over, the winery has undergone significant transformations that have elevated it to national prominence. All of the company’s products are made with grapes sourced from these five certified sustainable vineyards. Some of the vineyards are also certified organic, so that’s an added bonus.
Catena Zapata Catena Alta Malbec 2017
Average rating: 94
Price: € 30.25
Vega Sicilia (Spain)
The history of Vega Sicilia began in 1982 when Vega Sicilia became part of the Álvarez family. Slowly but surely, this winery has expanded, producing wines from various wine regions and distributing them all over the world.
This winery’s philosophy is based on two pillars: quality assurance for its products and commitment to its customers. Due to this underlying presumption, the Vega Sicilia brand has grown over time and has become remarkably popular worldwide, reaching new countries and resulting in unique wines that can be found here. Tempos Vega Sicilia has wines like Nico, Valbuena, Alión, and Pintia.
Vega Sicilia Pintia 2016
Average rating: 95
Price: € 52.88
A total of one and a half million bottles are sold each year. Moreover, it was not just any wine, but one from one of the most prestigious brands in the country. In this case, we’re talking about the Marchesi Antinori, one of the oldest, most prestigious, and most profitable wine companies in Italy. The Antinori family opened a new winery and museum in the Bargino valleys in 2012, a location 30 kilometers from the center of Florence, to provide visitors with an emotional experience dedicated to the flavors of Chianti wine which is considered the symbol of Tuscany. A route through the vineyards begins with selecting one of the three different types of tours available in the area. It is no coincidence that when the name Antinori is mentioned, sommeliers all over Italy stand up and take notice.
Antinori Cervaro della Sala 2019
Average rating: 96
Price: € 53.32
The Gaja family began making wine in the Piedmontese Langhe hills in 1859, with Giovanni Gaja (great-grandfather of the current owner) serving as the founding member. Its current portfolio consists of 20 labels originating from three different regions of Italy: Barbaresco, Montalcino, and Bolgheri, all of which is home to vineyards that produce grape varieties such as Nebbiolo; cabernet sauvignon; chardonnay; and sauvignon blanc.
The Gaja family places a high value on the preservation of the ecosystem; as part of their work team, they have biologists and environmentalists who are attentive to the delicate balance of all the factors that influence the health of the soil for the vines.
Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino 2016
Average rating: 93
Price: € 60.00
Errazuriz was founded in 1870 by Don Maximiano Errazuriz, a visionary, innovator, and trailblazer who planted the first French vines in the Aconcagua Valley. His passion and ingenuity were passed down to succeeding generations, who consolidated the winery and elevated its wines to global renown in little more than a century. This family winery’s history, which is currently one of Chile’s most important references in the booming wine industry, is chronicled here for your enjoyment.
Errazuriz Aconcagua Alto Carmenere 2019
Average rating: 94
Price: € 22.30
Villa Maria (New Zealand)
The 21-year-old George Fistonich began his vineyard business by leasing five acres of property from his father in Mangere, Auckland, and planting an acre of vines. George’s first wine, Villa Maria, was made with grapes from this block and released in 1962. During the 1960s, George Villa Maria ran Villa Maria as a one-person display with the help of his wife, Gail. With dry red and white wines, George used grapes from all over the greater Auckland region.
George started hiring employees in the early 1970s, and the business proliferated after that. Villa Maria produces 28 different cultivars of grapes and exports wine to over 60 countries around the world today with over 250 current workers.
Villa Maria Clifford Bay Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Average rating: 94
Price: € 18.91
The Bottom Line
Perhaps, after getting yourself a bottle of these wines you will agree with Maya’s (Virginia Mardnes) speech on wine:
‘’I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I’d opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your ‘61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline… And it tastes so good.’’
A bottle of wine is much more than just a combination of liquid, bottle, cork, and label. Several processes culminate in the bottle, starting with the vineyard and all of the cultural activities (such as pruning and irrigation), followed by crushing and fermentation, conservation, aging, bottling, and so on until it reaches your hands. All of these processes require human intervention, and even the slightest change can significantly impact the final outcome.