During the winter, when Wine Cave and vineyard work is a little less demanding, Maggie and Mark steal away to South America, where the weather is warm and the grape growing season
south of the Equator
is in full swing, .
But, instead of sitting on a sandy beach in Rio, the Malicks throw themselves into wine research.
The duo, who traveled this time with Wine Cave team member Leslie Fleming, and her husband, Barry, went in search of Tannat.
Wineries in Uruguay require a reservation and many have restaurants that pair their wine with multi-course lunches. They toured dozens of wineries; met winemakers and; spread good will wherever they went.
They visited Manuel at Los Nadies Winery; he had visited the Wine Cave last summer. They made new acquaintances like Pablo and his chef wife; Nico and sommelier Libor, who run the Montevideo Wine Experience, which specializes in Tannat. Maggie also encountered many fellow women winemakers throughout their Uruguay travels.
The two couples also enjoyed wine from a veranda set in the middle of a vineyard and soaked in the wine cellar at Bodega Juanicó, filled with bottles from generations of Tannat growers.
During a similar trip in 2017, Maggie and Mark tasted a Tannat/Viognier red wine blend that inspired a soon-to-be-bottled Virginia version created by Maggie. She will be offering barrel tastings of this brand new red wine, which is co-fermented and believed to be the only Tannat/Viognier blend in Virginia, at the Saturday, Feb. 2, Loudoun Wineries Association event.
You can buy $55 tickets at the door of select participating winery locations.
The Malicks are now back in the U.S. and they still feel inspired by their trip, Maggie says she is mulling the prospect of making a Port-style Tannat liqueur in 2019. Stay tuned!