Oliver Murtagh, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers & Andrew O' Gorman making presentations to Julie Dupouy - Young at the Palace Bar, Dublin on winning a bronze medal at the World Sommelier Competitions in Argentina. All 3 traveled to Argentina.

Oliver Murtagh, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers & Andrew O’ Gorman making presentations to Julie Dupouy – Young at the Palace Bar, Dublin on winning a bronze medal at the World Sommelier Competitions in Argentina. All 3 traveled to Argentina.

AI2016 all competitors



Presentation by Oliver Murtagh President Irish Guild of Sommeliers of a bottle of CONNEMARA TURF MÓR SMALL BATCH Irish WHISKEY

Presentation by Oliver Murtagh President Irish Guild of Sommeliers of a bottle of CONNEMARA TURF MÓR SMALL BATCH Irish WHISKEY to Andreas Rosberg President Argentina Sommellier Association



  • Nose: Really deep and heavy Peat nose with slight hint of orchard fruits.
  • Taste: Deep strong almost, but not quite overpowering Peat and Turf. Creamy smooth mouth feel with no alcohol burn despite the cask strength
  • Finish: Extremely long and pleasant peaty finish.
  • Name: Connemara Turf Mór Peated Irish Whiskey ABV: 58.2%
    Age Statement: No Age Statement
    Whiskey Type: Peated Double Distilled Irish Whiskey
    Cask Type: Matured in bourbon barrels and sherry butts

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AS3Teatro de la Independicia, Mendoza, Argentina. Best World   Sommelier Argentina 2016LtoR Mike O' Connor, DIT Cathal Brugha St., Julie Dupouy winner, Oliver Murtagh, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers, Pedro Julian Jiminezes Lopez runner up, Mary O' Callaghan, Andy O' Gorman.Somm

AS5AS7P1040265 (2)P1040266P1040479 (1)P1040488


Wines of Argentina today

Andrew O’ Gorman

Email [email protected]



Wines of Argentina is the organization that, since 1993, promotes the Argentine wine brand and image worldwide, spreading knowledge of the winemaking regions of Argentina. In addition, WofA contributes to direct the country’s export strategy by studying and analyzing changing trends in consumer markets.

Its aim is to contribute to the consolidation of Argentina as one of the main wine exporting countries in the world and to the global success of the Argentine wine industry by enhancing its positive image in the wine trade, among opinion leaders and consumers. It currently provides services to member wineries from every Argentine wine region and helps them to promote their products around the world. It organizes numerous events such as fairs, trade shows, tastings and other activities in the USA, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

In view of the impressive growth of the wine industry in the last decade, Wines of Argentina detected the need to create a new identity, reflecting the professionalism, development and prestige of Argentine winemaking in the world.

In 1993, the Argentine Winemaking Association created the antecedent to today’s organization: “Argentine Top Wines,” an association formed by little more than a dozen exporting wineries producing wines that were prestigious at home and were starting to earn some recognition abroad.

Two years later, in 1995, an “Agreement for the Promotion of Fine Argentine Wines Abroad” was signed by the Federal and the Provincial Governments (including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fundación Exportar, Pro Mendoza and Promex, of the Ministry of Agriculture), as well as by the exporting wineries of Argentina.

It was decided that a country brand would be used by this industry for promotional purposes at international events and fairs. That is how Wines of Argentina was born.

WofA’s first PR and Press office opened in the UK in 1998, and in that year the first Annual Tasting was held in London with the participation of 35 wineries under the sponsorship of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Fundación Exportar.

In 1999 a Special Fund was created for the promotion of Argentine wines in the UK and USA markets.

In 2002 a first seminar and workshop was organized by WofA with the purpose of defining the new profile of the organization and identifying the necessary resources to reach its objectives.

One year later, a study was carried out to define the attributes of the Argentina brand and the positioning of our wines abroad. As a result of this, a new institutional image was designed in 1999 and a first advertising campaign was launched in the USA, England and Brazil.

Today Wines of Argentina is present in 50 countries and more than 72 cities all over the world through different actions. That is why the aim for the near future is to keep on building the Argentina brand in the wine market by means of communication actions, training, spread of knowledge and a constant search for excellence in the promotion of Argentine wines.

The Catena family have been producing wines in Mendoza in Argentina for many generations but in the 1980s after Nicholas Catena visited California, he had the vision to see that unless Argentina could produce world-class wines, its produce would be commoditised and worth very little to the company.

After many years of trials and analyses of soils, climates and altitudes, the 1994 Catena Alta Malbec received 94 points on the Robert Parker 100 point scale. In 2009 Nicholas Catena was the first South American to be awarded Decanter’s Man of the Year. Argentina may have arrived, but it was and still is far from a finished product.  Malbec is now seen as its signature grape, and experimentation continues at great pace to develop its industry as a whole.

Earlier this year Marcelo Belmonte, viticulturist for leading Argentine producer Trapiche, gave a masterclass in Dublin at which he showed nine single-vineyard Malbec wines. Each retails between €30 and €40 and each showed how extreme location and climates need to be understood so that world class wines can be produced through the Andes.

The Catena family has through Laura Catena, recently launched the “Atland: A Limitless Argentina “range, showcasing each of the four main wine producing regions: Mendoza, Patagonia, La Rioja and Salta.

Brands such as Michel Torino have consistently shown how exciting high altitude wines can be. Dona Paula continues its climb up Ireland’s  top 50 wine brands , while at the same time showing off  an amazing  crisp, cool climate Riesling at a tasting last year (2015).

Argentina has achieved extraordinary success in the past two decades by exploring its valleys and mountainsides to find the best sites possible.

Tom Lynch from Dublin produces his El Comandante label in Argentina.



Hotel Sheraton Mendoza.

Thursday, 14th April

A 4 course dinner & tasting hosted by Gabriel Roitman, Mendal wines with winemaker Roberto De La Mota. A special invitation was extended to the Irish Guild of Sommelier delegates by Noelia Niera and Marcos Anzorena of the Wine Shop in Hotel Huentala, Primitivo de la Reta 1007, 5500 Mendoza

Hotel Huentala

Friday 15th.

Huentala Wines tasted in Hotel Huentala Restaurant, Primitivo de la Reta 1007, 5500 Mendoza, Argentina included Malbec 2013 and 2015 with Noelia Niera

The Irish Guild of Sommeliers delegation stayed at this Hotel for 3 days prior to the official programme.

Wines Huentala

In Mendoza, Tupungato, at the foot of the Andes is Gualtallary area, a natural paradise chosen to develop Huentala Wines. The project consists of 230 hectares of vineyards exclusive, themed hotel surrounded by a dream landscape for those who appreciate the good life and a winery to produce wines of high quality. With more than 300 sunny days a year to 1,300 meters above sea level, a marked temperature range which causes a gradual maturation and resulting in complex wines with personality stands out. Since 2010 we elaborated with grapes from our own vineyards under the control and standards of the best winemakers in Argentina with great international prestige that pervade their stamp on each bottle, making each crop has its own essence. The hotel has exclusive rooms and a hall for social and corporate events. A relaxation area with an exceptional view that you can enjoy all the beauty of its unique landscapes.




Winery visits 15th – 19th April


Friday 15th

Opening ceremony at Park Hyatt.

Bodega Trapiche ; welcome with Trapiche Vino Spumante extra brut, tasting & dinner,

Argentine cuisine with a bit of history,  chef Lucas Bustos,

Meet Marcelo Belmonte, Viniculture Director, who gave a Malbec master class at Comans trade fair in Dublin 2015



Saturday 16th.

Bodega Locra : morning tasting of Mauricio Locra & Enrique Foster new vintages plus full range of sparkling & vintage wines with Mauricio & winemaker Gabriela Zavala, the harvest was in progress.

Bodega Catena Zapata:  Greeted by quartet and glass of sparkling, welcomed by the Catena Family, Nicolas, Laura & Silvana, toured the cellars, followed by lunch cooked on open fires, wines served : Chardonnay 2013, Malbec 2001 & Saint Felicien Semillon doux 2012, Chief winemaker Alejandro Vigil


Moet & Chandon cocktail reception. and announcement of 15 Semi Finalists




Sunday 17th.

Bodega Terrazas de los Andes : tasting of high altitude wines in the cellars followed by beef lunch with Malbec Reserva 2014, in magnum  to finish single vineyard El Yaima 2014 presented by Estate Director Herve Birnie- Scott..

Argentine wine fair at the Sheraton Hotel: followed by Malbec World Day celebration organized by WofA at  Nava Cultural Centre.


Monday 18th

Day in the Uco Valley  : Clos de Los Siete ( five individual wineries ) ” A star shining on the horizon ”

1100 meters above sea level, Presentation tasting: Bodega Diam Andes ,Rolland, Monteviejo, Cuvelier Los Andes & Clos de los Siete. Buffet of local cheeses & fruits .


Familia Zuccardi Winery for lunch and tasting: words of welcome from Jose Alberto Zuccardi, Director & Sabastian Zuccardi winemaker of the year 2016


Rutini Winery : Sparkling wine reception, cheese and oregano empanadas & Gazpacho,

Lamb, goat, beef ribs split chicken & vegetables roasted on open fire.

wines : Chardonnay 2014, Malbec 2013, Antologia xxxv 2010, Vin dux Natural 2012, Encabezado de Malbec 2013

Grappa Rutini, head winemaker Mariano Di Paola.


Tuesday 19th

Auditorio Angel Bustelo  : Seminar and tasting

( 1 ) White and Sparkling wines from Argentina, 8 wines poured ( 2 panels of 4 winemakers )

( 2 ) Ageing potential of Argentine wines,   8 wines poured 1942 – 2014 vintages, ( 2 panels of 4 )

This was an excellent seminar.

Gala Dinner and Medal presentation : Bodega Los Toneles.

All winery visits were excellent and their tastings, presentations and hospitality were of a very high standard.







Taste to the Test – Sommelier Julie Dupuoy on Winning … – TheTaste.ie


May 31, 2016 – Taste to the Test – Sommelier Julie Dupuoy on Winning a Place Among the World’s Best … When Julie Dupouy earned her place among the world’s top three …. Next story Neil Mulholland – Leader of the Pack at Peploe’s … TheTaste.ie is a new online magazine dedicated to Ireland’s growing foodie culture.

Ireland’s top sommelier crowned third in the world – Irish Times

Julie Dupouy took bronze in gruelling world championships of 60 wine experts

Julie Dupouy, Best Sommelier in Ireland, and newly crowned third-best sommelier in the world. Photograph: Irish Guild of  Sommeliers Julie Dupouy, Best Sommelier in Ireland, and newly crowned third-best sommelier in the world. Photograph: Irish Guild of Sommeliers

Irish sommelier Julie Dupouy has been named the third best sommelier in the world. One of just four women in the semi-final and the first ever to reach the final of the world championships, Dupouy was crowned by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale at the final in Mendoza, Argentina earlier this week.

Dupouy, who was representing the Irish Guild of Sommeliers, works in the Greenhouse restaurant in Dublin as well as running an independent consultancy, DowntoWine. She is now also officially the best female sommelier in the world.

This is the most challenging and prestigious competition for sommeliers, held every three years, where contestants go through a series of rigorous tests, written and practical, that includes blind tastings, the serving of wine, spirits, beer and coffee, and matching drinks to various menus.

From 60 sommeliers all over the world, 15 go through to the semi-finals. From this elite group, three are selected for the final.

To reach the world championships, she first won Best sommelier in Ireland in 2015, while her previous accolades include being Ireland’s best sommelier in 2009 and 2012, and she was a semi-finalist in Best Sommelier in Europe 2013.

Originally from France, Dupouy has lived in Ireland for many years, and has previously worked as sommelier for Fallon and Byrne, The Residence Club and two-Michelin star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. She is married to Irishman Paul Young, manager at the Greenhouse. The overall winner of the competition was Sweden’s Arvid Rosengren.

Irish Independent – Liam Campbell

Julie Dupouy represented Ireland at the World’s Best Sommelier Competition in Argentina recently. More than 1,000 entrants from restaurants and wine-bars have taken part in the qualifying events. Held every three years, it has never been won by a woman. Tantalisingly, this year, Julie finished in third position and was awarded the bronze medal, the highest position of all the women contestants. (21/5/2016)

Sniff out your perfect match

Pairing the right wine with food can be a terroir, so let experts guide you by the glass

Katy McGuinness

The Sunday Times

Greenhouse’s Julie Dupouy is officially the third best sommelier in the world PAUL SHARP

For many of us, when it comes to matching what we drink with what we eat, “white with fish, red with meat” is as far as it goes. Some gastronomes, however, insist we are missing out if we don’t explore the world of wine pairing, based on the premise that drinking a particular wine with a particular food can enhance the experience of both, creating a thrilling combination that is more than the sum of its parts. Full article on Sunday Times.








Mendoza is the capital city of Mendoza Province, in Argentina. It is located in the northern-central part of the province, in a region of foothills and high plains, on the eastern side of the Andes. As of the 2010 census Mendoza had a population of 115,041 with a metropolitan area population of 1,055,679, making Greater Mendoza the fourth largest census metropolitan area in the country.

Ruta Nacional 7, the major road running between Buenos Aires and Santiago, runs through Mendoza. The city is a frequent stopover for climbers on their way to Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres) and for adventure travellers interested in mountaineering, hiking, horseback riding, rafting, and other sports. In the winter, skiers come to the city for its easy access to the Andes.

Two of the main industries of the Mendoza area are olive oil production and Argentine wine. The region around Greater Mendoza is the largest wine producing area in Latin America. As such, Mendoza is one of nine cities worldwide in the network of Great Capitals of Wine, and the city is an emerging enotourism (Wine tourism) destination and base for exploring the region’s hundreds of wineries located along the Argentina Wine Route.

Mendoza and Wine

Counting with a cultivated area which represents 70% of the national vineyards, Mendoza is the most important wine centre of the country and one of the Great Wine Capitals.

One of the most attractive tourist proposals of the province are the Wine Routes , which invite visitors to discover ancient cellars, impotent architectural projects and taste excellent yields which are product of carefully chosen grapes.


During the tour you can find wine houses, museums and theme bars, all of them settled in the Central, East , Uco Valley and Southern regions, in addition to discover the history and culture that identifies each area. The circuits can be contracted through local tour operators or visiting each hold (in this last case is recommended prior contact).

Along with Melbourne, Bordeaux, San Francisco – Napa Valley, Porto, Cape Town, Bilbao – Rioja and Florence, Mendoza is considered one of the eight wine capitals worldwide


Moet and Chandon Champagne are one of the main sponsors of the world competition and a particular word of thanks to John Cassidy, Sales Director, Edward Dillion and Company Limited agent for Moet and Chandon Champagne in Ireland for their sponsorship.

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Thanks to Mike J. O’ Connor, Assistant Head of School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, College of Arts and Tourism, Dublin Institute of Technology for making the facilities of the College available for the running of National Sommelier selection process. The Guild had a choice of using either the two College Restaurants.




Single cask Teeling has spent its final few months in a white Burgundy (Chardonnay) cask. The whiskey has definitely taken on some wine notes with flavours of pineapple, vanilla and honey dominating what is a fresh, fruity and ultimately very enjoyable palate.

A tasting of this whiskey took place in Mendoza during the World Sommelier Contest.

Thanks to Jack Teeling Managing Director, Teeling Whiskey Co. for suppling the whiskey.

Teeling Whiskey Revival

Teeling Whiskey Revival

Teeling Whiskey Revival

The Revival bottling consists of 15 Year Old Single Malt Irish whiskey distilled in 1999, matured exclusively in ex-Rum casks and bottled at 46% with no chill filtration creating a truly unique Irish whiskey taste experience. This celebratory bottling is limited to only 10,000 bottles and will be available through the Teeling Whiskey Company’s distillery gift shop as well as domestic and international distribution partners.

A presentation was made of this whiskey.


Thanks to Oliver J. Murtagh, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers for his help and assistance in compiling reports/information while in Mendoza and since  returning from Argentina. Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary, Irish Guild of Sommeliers Email [email protected]

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Sorrel Moseley-Williams
Sorrel Moseley-Williams

MENDOZA – Huddled together in small groups, mentors rub backs and mop their wards’ brows, sommeliers easily distinguished from other revellers at a Moët & Chandon cocktail party thanks to perfectly pressed black suits and aprons. The tension and nerves crackled like an Andean electric storm around the Park Hyatt Mendoza hotel as 60 competitors from around the world chewed down cuticles, waiting to find out whether they’d earned one of 15 coveted places in the A.S.I. Concours du Meilleur Sommelier du MondeArgentina 2016 (A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World) semifinal.

examen (7)
Martín Bruno from Argentina at the exam. Ph: AAS

A number rather than a name, #16, #17, #49 #27, was called out, meaningless unless you were the chosen one. Fortunately, Argentina’s great somm hope Paz Levinson’s (#49) destiny was cemented quickly, the second to be given a green light into the semis. And with the world’s top 15 anointed on Saturday night, the finest noses and palates then kicked off this physical and mental Olympic Games for somms with a 60-minute written exam at a particularly early 7.15am just hours later on Sunday. And that’s where the rollercoaster ride began: the 15 undertook a fast and furious series of practical tests designed to sort the Two Buck Chucks from the Burgundy Grand Crus, narrowing numbers down to just three finalists.

The fifteen semi-finalists of the Best Sommelier of the World Contest  Argentina 2016
The fifteen semi-finalists of the Best Sommelier of the World Contest Argentina 2016. Ph: AAS

Separated from the masses on a mezzanine, candidates – Paz Levinson from Argentina; Robert Andersson from Sweden; Christian Jacobsen from Denmark; Heidi Mäkinen from Finland; Piotr Pietras from Poland; Rassavkin Alexander from the Russian Federation; Henrik Dalh Jahnsen from Norway; Gareth Ferreira from South Africa; Hiroshi Ishida from Japan; David Biraud from France; Elyse Lambert from Canada, Julie Dupouy from Ireland; Raimonds Tomsons from Latvia; Satoru Mori from Japan; and Arvid Rosengren from Sweden – anxiously awaited their turns to complete timed practical tests and hypothetical situations. Such as:

Part one, taste, correctly name and allocate vintage, and offer pairings for a white and a rosé in front of scary judges and a crowd of onlookers first.

Part two, pairing two wines to a smoked salmon blini in front of scary  judges, dealing with their mean questions, then correctly describing a wine – with more than 10,000 varietals in the world, that should be a walk in the park, right? – before attempting to convince more mean judges why they should include it at a party.

Part three, fortified wine (port, sherry, madeira or marsala, for example) knowledge and service. Naturally, protocol is highly valued when it comes to serving scary judges.

And part four, selling a visit to Argentina for a fictitious wine club to, yes, scary judges.

examen (6)
The exam. Ph: AAS

Whisked in and out of four rooms, the whole semifinal shebang lasted around 25 minutes per somm; remember, candidates have to undertake this in their second language, which can either be English, French or Spanish. Poland chose English, as did Japan and Argentina.

Speaking of Argentina, our great somm hope Paz put in an impeccable performance. I’d never seen her in action until today but she was utterly charming, relaxed, knowledgeable and adorable. If nerves were hovering, she left them back in Paris, where she resides.

Paz Levinson compitiendo en la semifinal 2
Paz Levinson competing at the semifinal. Ph: AAS

In order to keep candidates’ minds off the tough five-day contest, they’ve been whipped around the Mendoza countryside to various wineries to sample Argentina’s finest grape-based wares and tuck into yummy food. In fact it’s been more like being on the Francis Mallmann diet, given that the legendary chef is catering for three such events, which included a lavish Roman-style banquet with somms reclining on large pillows around low tables, vegetables trussed up bondage style on wires and cooks spit-roasting whole pigs by hand. Somms and their delegations have also visited two wine fairs, one at the Sheraton featuring a mere 800 labels and a special event dedicated to Argentina’s favourite red grape at La Nave in honour of Malbec World Day.

examen (3)
The competitors. Ph: AAS

Regardless, even the stunning Mendoza countryside teamed with fabulous vintages won’t keep Paz and company’s collective minds off the final. Only three sommeliers will make it to the last round, and only find out a few minutes before they have to compete. A physical and mental battle that only the very best oenological Olympian will win.

Some #BestWorldSommARG2016 fun facts

  • Bolivia’s candidate Bertil Levin Tottenborg is actually from Denmark
  • New Zealand competed for the first time ever in 2016 with Michael Bancks
  • Argentina’s Martín Bruno shares the same birthday as me
  • The UK’s candidate is French-born Eric Zwiebel
  • And Ireland’s is French-born Julie Dupouy
  • Monaco’s Dominique Milardi is the eldest competitor at 50
  • And Norway’s Henrik Dalh Jahnsen from Norway is the youngest at 24
  • Wine unites us: Mauritius’ Jorald Julie saw my name badge at the Sheraton wine fair and told me we had a friend in common, Malene Ginete from the US embassy in South Africa, who told him to look out for me
  • More than 14,000 wine glasses have been washed and polished by sommelier volunteers for events.

Posted by

Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommelier Email: [email protected]