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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Touch of Tuscan sun for wine lovers

Touch of Tuscan sun for wine lovers

TALK of Super Tuscans may bring dazzling images to the minds of some, but during a night of heady oenophilia, delicious Italian wines, not delectable Italian men, were the subject of a seminar hosted by Celliers d’Asie at the Angkor Palace Resort & Spa on September 16.

More than 70 Siem Reap restaurant and bar staff listened to Tuscan wine representative Guillaume Blanchard’s presentation on the regions, varietals, denominations, food pairings and terroir of the wines from a market that is often under-appreciated.

The young are becoming more interested in wine"

“We’re trying to improve the wine experience for Siem Reap,” says Scott McNeill, the Siem Reap branch manager for Celliers d’Asie, a wine wholesaler that’s been present in Cambodia since 1993. The seminar is part of a series in Siem Reap.
“This is just the beginning,” says McNeill. “This is part of our work to support the community and bring good quality wine to Cambodia.”

Blanchard represents noted Italian winery Castello Banfi from Montalcino in Tuscany, north of Rome. Italy is the second largest producer of wine in the world and of the 4000 known varietals (grape varieties to non-winos) more than 1000 are grown there. Tuscany is home to the world-famous Chianti, a wine that developed a reputation for mass volume and indifferent quality in the 1970s and ’80s.

But today’s Chiantis are far superior, says Blanchard. With a growing tourism industry, the market for wines in Cambodia will increase.

But producers and distributors are also very interested in the growing domestic market here. According to Blanchard: “The young are becoming much more interested in wine, and we’re very keen to improve their understanding and experience of wines.”

The phrase Super Tuscans was coined in the 1970s to differentiate those wines from the same region that used different varietal blends – not
to describe the descendants of the model for Michelangelo’s David.

After the seminar, more than 130 people joined the Celliers team for an evening drinks party at Nest, where Patrick Charb played solo saxophone as guests enjoyed canapés and several selections of the Banfi estate wines.

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