Argentina's Ikal1150 Winery Riding High at Rodeo Houston

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A little-known winemaker called Ikal1150 from a small town in rural Argentina has made a big splash into the Texas wine scene by winning two bronze medals at the 2009 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's International Wine Competition.

Argentina and Texas share a common Spanish ancestry and lasting traditions

A little-known winemaker called Ikal1150 from a small town in rural Argentina has made a big splash into the Texas wine scene by winning two bronze medals at the 2009 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's International Wine Competition.

The sixth annual "Rodeo Uncorked!" competition included 1,879 entries from 583 wineries and 14 countries, all vying for the Grand Champion Best of Show Award. The judges selected the wines to be featured at the 2009 Roundup and Best Bites Competition held at Houston's Reliant Center on February 8, with an expected attendance of more than 4,000 wine and food enthusiasts. The winners of that round will receive custom saddles, chaps and buckles and will be auctioned off at the Champion Wine Auction on March 7.

The winning wines from the Ikal1150 winery were a Malbec 2007 and a Chardonnay 2007. They are produced in the famous winemaking region of Mendoza, Argentina. The area's snow-capped mountains help produce hearty vines and the contrast of sun-filled days and the cool nights allow the grapes to slowly ripen, creating the divine water of the grape. The wines are aged in French oak barrels, which develop their complex nose, signature taste and lingering finish. For more information visit http://www.ikal1150.com or call 1-713-528-7862.

"These winning wines are can't miss picks for entertaining," said Charles "Bear" Dalton, third-year-chairman of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wine Competition Committee, referring to Ikal1150 and the other wines that the judges endorsed with medals.

The unusually named vineyard is rooted in tradition. Ikal means "poetry" in the language of the native Mayans of Mesoamerica, and the bodega (as wineries are referred to in Argentina) is located at an altitude of 1150 meters (3770 feet), giving the winery its name and also its reputation of being like "poetry in a bottle." In addition to the award-winning Malbec and Chardonnay, the winery also offers a Cabernet and is introducing a Pinot Noir and a Torontes later this year. The wines are available in Argentina, Mexico and now Texas and select areas in the U.S.

Argentina is the world's fifth-largest wine producer (behind France, Italy, Spain and the U.S.) and the country's wines are growing in popularity.

"Argentina and Texas share a common Spanish ancestry and lasting traditions," said Daniel Silva president of the Ikal1150 winery. "In Argentina, cowboys are called gauchos, but just like in Texas, they are known for their great horsemanship, hard work and a legendary appreciation for good food and drink."

"The wines of Ikal1150 carry on this proud history of excellence and we are excited about bringing them to Texas to be enjoyed by a whole new generation of wine drinkers," Jerry Ward said.

The Ikal1150 winery was created by the same team that developed the distinguished small luxury hotels Ikal del Mar (now the Tides Rivera Maya) and Esencia in Mexico's Riviera Maya and represents an expansion of the company's reach into other products designed for consumers who appreciate the finer things in life. The wines are imported to the U.S. by Frutizia Wine Group, LLC.

Media Contact:
Michelle Taft
Prohotel International
713-528-7862

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