10 questions with winemaker Patricia Guzman Rosales
1. What led you to your love for wines and starting a career in winemaking?
I come from a family with a strong connection to the land, and was raised in the countryside. My father was a farmer, and grandfather worked in an Italian congregation responsible for vineyard management and wine production. My time in the university took me back to my roots. I decided to specialise in winemaking and agrarian economy, to be able to first produce wines, and then become a wine ambassador to teach other people around the world about wines.
2. If you had to choose, where is your favourite place to enjoy a glass of wine?
A difficult question to answer, because there are many places and moments to enjoy a glass of wine. For me, it depends on the moment and who you are celebrating with at that moment. But if I have to choose, it would be on the beach drinking a glass of Vina Maipo Sauvignon Blanc or Trivento Reserve Chardonnay. Lately, I has been sharing a glass of Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec over dinner with my family.
3. What's your preference, Old World or New World wines?
I don't have a preference because they both have special conditions to make nice wines. The geography and the people that make the wine from those regions contribute special characteristics to the wine. For example, at the base of the Andes mountain in the Maipo Valley, Chile, they will produce an excellent quality Cabernet Sauvignon, like Protegido from Vina Maipo, and when you cross the Andes Mountains, you can find a great condition for growing the Malbec, and you can find exceptional wine like Eolo from Trivento winery from Luj·n de Cuyo. In the Old World, you have amazing Chardonnays from Burgundy, etc. The good thing from the New World is that we have the perfect condition to make great premium wines that can be exported at more competitive prices.
4. What are your thoughts on the level of appreciation for wines in Jamaica?
I'm happy because I find people have a great interest in learning more about wines, especially premium wines. However, I think that continued education is required to create awareness which will allow persons to experiment with different types and styles of wine. For example, an entry-level wine drinker, once exposed, may have an interest in trading upwards to the premium or super premium category, such as from Vina Maipo entry level to Vina Maipo Vitral Reserva, or Trivento Reserve to Trivento Golden Reserve.
5. Tell us your favourite part about being a global wine ambassador?
As a global wine ambassador/winemaker, in my travels, I use the opportunity to educate distributors, customers and consumers about my company and about the origin of the countries where we produce our wines. For example, through Harbour Wines and Spirits on this trip, I trained the sales and marketing team and held a wine dinner, showcasing the premium range from Vina Maipo and Trivento.
6. What has it been like being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field?
I feel great and have never been concerned about that, because I think that when you have a passion for something in your life like, me with winemaking, then nothing should stop you from achieving your goals. For me, there are no differences between women and men in this field, we are all just great people.
7. What has been your favourite Jamaican dish, and which wine would you pair it with?
I am a vegetarian and tried callaloo for the first time here in Jamaica. I love it and would pair it nicely with a Vina Maipo Sauvignon Blanc. Also, I went to a nice Jamaican restaurant and because I am vegetarian, the chef made a special curried vegetable dish for me which I paired with a Trivento Reserve Malbec. It was awesome.
8. What do you love the most about Jamaica?
The people. They are very friendly, openminded, attentive and enthusiastic to learn about wines. They are also very willing to teach you about the Jamaican food and culture, for example, my colleague took me to a small market and introduced me to some new fruits such as guineps.
9.. This has been your second trip to Jamaica. Tell us where you would like to visit on your next trip?
I would like to come back to experience more of the untouched culture and travel to different parishes. I would particularly love to visit the Blue Lagoon in Portland and bask in nature with a glass of Trivento Reserve Pinot Noir.
10. With a job that requires so much travelling, how do you find time to relax?
I believe you feel relaxed when you take the decision to enjoy the present moment 100 per cent. That makes me feel more connected with myself, and I obtain this through a daily 25-minute meditation with a special technique that anyone can practise to enjoy a better quality of life.