As proud members of Relais & Chateaux, our three hotels at Awasi – Awasi Patagonia, Awasi Atacama and Awasi Iguazu – are renowned for the quality of their food and drink, including, of course, their wine.

Credit: Luciano Bacchi. Bitter chocolate and Merken parfait, created by Chef Matias Crosta and his team.

Each Awasi hotel has a resident sommelier. Here we talk to Pablo Castro, the Awasi Patagonia sommelier, about his background and career and, of course, his favourite topic – wine!

How did you come to work in the world of wine?

“Many years ago I helped a close friend to run a small vineyard. I learnt a huge amount about the wine-making process, and there ignited my passion for wine. Later I moved to a much larger vineyard in central Chile, where I worked in their sales team; that move really launched my career in the world of wine. After some time I signed up to the Chilean School of Sommeliers in Santiago before going on to study at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust as well as the Court of Master Sommeliers, from where I formally qualified as a Sommelier at an international level.”

How do you decide which wines to offer at Awasi?

“The most popular and well-known wines in Chile and Argentina are Cabernet Sauvignon or Carmenere in Chile and Malbec in Argentina – these are always popular and guests love to try them when they are in this part of the world. What we strive for here at Awasi is giving our guests a different experience; we like to take them on a wine-tasting journey from the South to the North of the country, sampling a variety of distinct grapes as they go. Each has a unique style with differing characteristics which we aim to match with the extraordinary dishes our chefs can put together.”

Which wines are the most popular?

“Although the wines mentioned above always prove popular, to a large extent the wines are selected to accompany the dishes being served. We like to match up the styles and the wine’s characteristics to complement the food, as well as selecting wines based on guests’ personal preferences to ensure each experience is unique.”

Credit: Luciano Bacchi. Prawn ceviche served on a bed of spinach cous cous and tiger’s milk.

Do we serve any wines that are hard to find elsewhere?

“Indeed, in line with Awasi’s mantra, our aim is to look for small, high quality producers so as to give a more exclusive experience to our guests.”

And finally, what’s your favourite wine?

“I’m a huge lover of the Pinot Noir grape. I’ve been lucky enough to try many Pinot Noirs from all over the world, and whilst the competition is fierce my favourite comes from Viña Calyptra. Calyptra is a small vineyard high in the Cachapoal Valley south of Santiago – the wine it produces is undoubtedly a great representative of the variety.”