Bali's very own Hatten Wines have returned from the 2014 Wine & Spirits Asia Wine Challenge (WAS Wine Challenge) in Singapore with two bronze medals for their crowded trophy case.
Hatten Wines Tunjung Sparkling méthode champenoise and its semi-sweet muscat, Alexandria - have been winners of past awards and accolades - and now have managed to help celebrate Hatten Wines' 20th anniversary by once again winning international honors for Bali's seminal wine-making sector.
IB Rai Budarsa, owner of Hatten Wines, said: “I am very proud of these medals once again. We are entering these international competitions merely to tell the world of wines that we exist and we make wine in Bali. By participating in these competitions, we intend to be a proud ambassador of Bali. When we win medals, the effect is much greater than just a wine medal, it’s my staff in Kuta, Sanur and my vineyards people, the farmers we work with who get celebrated. Amongst wines of so many ‘wine countries’ we prevail.That is extraordinary.”
WSA Wine Challenge is a well-established competition in Asia where wines submitted from around the world are evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges that represent accurate characteristics of the Asian palate. The previous edition held in the year 2010 and 2012 have seen labels from a multitude of wine-producing countries and regions taking part, making it the key platform for international wineries, producers, importers and traders to have their wines appraised As Asia's interest and consumption of wine increases with each passing year, every new Challenge is greeted with much anticipation by both consumers and producers of wines.
Among those enlisted to evaluate wines at the 2014 WSA Wine Challenge were:
- Annette Scarfe MW, was the Chief Judge of WSA Wine Challenge 2014. Based in Singapore for 18 years, she is a wine buyer and a respected restaurant consultant with clients in London and across Asia. She runs regular tastings and masterclasses for both trade and consumers and is a Spanish specialist. Annette is acclaimed as one of the region’s top wine consultants and a highly experienced judge who has participated in numerous competitions held around the world, including China, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand and United Kingdom. She is also a regular member on tasting panels for several consumer magazines, and is a WSET and Bordeaux educator.
- Subhash Arora is a prolific wine writer, author, journalist, international judge, speaker, consultant, educator and a wine club promoter. He is the Editor and major content provider of delWine and is also the India Correspondent of Meininger’s Wine Business International, Germany.
- Fongyee Walker is the co-founder of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting, a fully independent wine consulting company that specializes in wine education and bilingual wine journalism.
- Nikki (Visootha) Lohitnavy, Director of viticulture and Winemaking Operations, GranMonte Vineyard and Wines, Thailand.
- Roderick Wong, President, Malaysia Sommelier Association.
- Yohan Handoyo, wine writer and educator.
- Jean-Bernard Baudron, Training & Development Manager, The Warehouse Saigon Annam Group, Vietnam
- Dr. Michael Lim, Independent Writer and Editor of The Travelling Gourmet™, Singapore.
- Kenny Leong CSW, Independent Writer and Editor, Founder of The Word Count, Singapore.
Defying the popular notion that growing grapes and producing quality wine in the Asian tropics is near impossible, Hatten Wines has managed to establish a successful wine making business, gathering international recognition during their two-decade long journey. Founded in 1994 by Ida Bagus Rai Budarsa, the self-proclaimed "first and only true Balinese winery," Hatten Wines are featured at many Bali hotels and restaurant, as well as hotels and eateries across the Indonesian archipelago.
That widely-held misconception that hot climates are not favorable for grape growing the owner of Hatten Wines is quick to rebut, pointing out: “What is most important for vines is underground water, which we have in our vineyards. The pergola system we use takes care of providing shade to the grapes and workers and allows us to have a few varieties of grapes which are not traditional wine grapes, but have made us some great wines over the last 2 decades.”
Hatten Wines uses local grapes from its vineyards in North Bali's Buleleng Regency to produce its wines.Hatten Wines grows the local black grapes – the Alphonse Lavallée French table grapes and white grape varieties (Belgia and Probolinggo Biru). These varieties are grown in vineyards along the north coast of Bali, and need no dormant periods, as traditional wine vines do, hence the possibility for Hatten Wines to produce wines yearlong. In its winery in Sanur that the expertise of Australian Winemakers James Kalleske is brought to bear.
In 2011, in its participation at the Singapore Wine Style Asia, Hatten Wines was awarded a Silver and Bronze medals for Alexandria, its semi-sweet muscat and the two Pineau des Charentes method wines labeled Pino de Bali. Previous medals and accolades include a commendation for their Rosé wine at a Portuguese competition and a Bronze medal at the London Wine & Spirits Competition in 2003. In April 2012, Hatten Wines brought home a medal at the Wine & Spirits Asia Wine Challenge in Singapore, winning a Silver medal for its dry white wine Aga White.
In recent years, Hatten Wines embarked on another venture, introducing Australian wines to Bali, by importing grape juices that are vinified in Bali. The resulting Two Islands lablel, celebrating the traditionally close relationship enjoyed by Bali and Australia is a popular wine in Bali and across Indonesia for its internationally recognized palate and economical price. The Two Islands range includes a lively and fresh Chardonnay, a floral and fruity Riesling, a ruby red peppery Shiraz and a full bodied, fruity flavored Cabernet Merlot.
Those wishing to know more about wine making in Bali are welcome to visit Hatten's Welcome Center and Observation Deck located in its North Bali vineyards. Hatten Wines wine tasting and wine shop, The Cellardoor, is opened 6 days a week at the Dewa Ruci Underpass in Bali.
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