I had the chance to make an interview with Francisco Diez Zamudio in Margaux, which is one of the most famous and important regions in Bordeaux appellations. With this interview, we’ll feel the effect of Margaux on Francisco.
Francisco Diez Zamudio is an agricultural engineer coming from Chile. He is newly graduated from Master of Science in Enology and Viticulture. The first year of the master was in Montpellier SupAgro, while the second year was in Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. During the master, he had theoretical and practical classes all about the wine, like they say, from vineyard until the glass. So, the last two years for him were full of new experiences and travelling. After finishing his thesis project in Madrid, he decided to work in Bordeaux so he comes back to France. That is why I would like to make an interview with him, and to share this interesting experience with you. I also made some questions about his wine preferences. We realized the interview in the vineyard of Château Kirwan, where Francisco is currently working. Château Kirwan is a prestigious winery in Cantenac, Grand Cru Classé in AOC Margaux.
N: Can you explain why did you decide to make an internship in Bordeaux?
F: To be honest, this idea didn’t come to my mind, until December 2014. The first time that I came to Bordeaux was last summer, we made an audit in a Château in AOC Pessac-Leognan with my classmates from Montpellier SupAgro. During this stay, I had the chance to visit a lot of vineyards and wineries. I was just impressed with the wine tradition of Bordeaux, but I didn’t think about working here. My second visit to Bordeaux was in December with Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, we made many technical visits in different appellations. After this visits, I started to be excited with the idea, I was sure that I would like to come back and to learn more things about this place, since Bordeaux without discussion is one of the best wine growing regions in the world with a long and successful history behind.
N: How was your experience up to now? What are the things that you have learned?
F: I have been already working here since 3 months, both in vineyard and in the cellar. First of all, I learned how to communicate with employees in French, I learned a lot of technical words which I didn’t know, which helps me to integrate, understand the duties and ask a lot of questions. Moreover, I started to pay attention to different things that I didn’t pay attention during my winemaking experience in Chile. I believe that this experience helped me to have a different point of view and give a new dimension to my knowledge. Finally, I saw here the importance that is given to the viticulture part. Winemaking definitely starts from the vineyard and good practices applied in vines affect directly the quality.
Up to now, I saw the preparations of the vineyard and the cellar for the harvest. Now, I’m really excited for the harvest time. I’ll be glad to experience and be a part of harvest 2015.
N: Did you have chance to taste wines of Château Kirwan?
F: I tasted Château Kirwan 1981, 2000, 2001, 2013, 2014 and the second wine Charmes de Kirwan 1998 and 2013. I really like the style of the wines, they are really honest. I had the chance to discover the differences between millesimes, but all the time showing the characteristics of their terroir.
After these questions about his work, I’ve asked him couple of personal questions so that we can enter the wine world of Francisco.
N: How often do you drink wine?
F: Everyday! (laughing) In the weekdays, generally one glass all the time at lunch time, and sometimes one more at the dinner too. However in the weekends, I can drink a little bit more and enjoy different kinds of wines.
N: What kind of wines do you like more?
F: I prefer red wines, I like the red wines without a lot of barrel sensation but to feel the fruit and the terroir which the wine is coming from. But, I like to try all kinds of wine without any exception! I enjoy dry rosé wines especially in summer, and sparkling wines all along the year.
N: What was the last wine that impressed you and why?
F: In Vinexpo 2015, I had the chance to taste a bottle of Zinfandel from Inglenook Vineyard in Napa Valley, it was from 2012. It impressed me with really high aromatic intensity in the nose and its balanced taste in the mouth, which I can still remember.
N: What is the next destination that you would like to visit in the wine world?
F: Sardinia! During my studies in Madrid, I had classmates from Sardinia and they made a tasting with the wines of Sardinia. I’m impressed with the history of wine in this island and their autochthon varieties. I also would like to see the vineyards in sand without phylloxera. It’s also obvious that it’s a really nice destination with its beautiful beaches and with its rich cuisine which I’d like to taste along with its wines.
I’m thankful to Francisco for this enjoyable interview and the information he provided us, and I left the vineyard, wishing him a successful harvest!
All images © 2015 by Nedret Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.