Vignettes of an evolving wine industry: Interview with Jennifer Desmond

Wines of Chile’s New York Brand Ambassador Jennifer Desmond first became interested in wine while living in idyllic Tuscany as an exchange student during high school.

“My host family made a small amount of wine for their home, and this is what initially led me to the industry,” she recalls. “Being from a mountain town in the Sierra Nevadas of California, I had not been exposed to people living so closely to the source of their food before; our winters would not permit it. In Italy, I fell in love with the romance of it all. As I aged, I fell in love with the taste [of wine].”

Desmond’s fascination with wine evolved into a career, as she achieved a variety of prestigious academic honors, including earning a Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and attending the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Bra, Italy.

Desmond specializes in event planning, and has worked with a variety of reputable wineries and wine producers to facilitate superior gastronomic experiences. Furthermore, as the Brand Ambassador for Wines of Chile in New York, Desmond now promotes Chilean wine with pleasure.

“I just recently started working with Chilean wines, and am honored to be able to represent them in New York,” she says. “My job is to spread the word about Chile’s greatness to accounts in the city.”

Desmond is incredibly passionate about spreading the word on Chile’s quality, and notes that “Chile has evolved tremendously over the past decade, and the wines are becoming very, very good.”

“Chilean winemakers are starting to harness the potential for Chilean wines,” she continues, “through better understanding of the climate and terroir. With time I believe that they will rival some of the greatest regions in the world.”

Throughout her professional activities, Desmond continuously encounters positive feedback about Chile’s wines.

“Many of our customers are just beginning to realize that Chile is producing first class wine,” she notes. “For so many years it was a region known for bulk production, which is an unfortunate hurdle we have to overcome.”

With Jennifer’s active and enthusiastic representation in New York, Chilean wines will continue to be exceptionally endorsed and distributed, but if you find yourself in NYC, Desmond recommends visiting Riverpark restaurant for a first-hand taste of Chilean wine along with a fantastic cuisine.

“Shisha, the chef and owner, is Chilean and he has an excellent selection of Chilean wines,” she raves. “Plus his food is sublime!”

Although she hopes to visit Chile for the first time next year, Desmond is utterly keen on Chile, Chilean wine, and her new position with Wines of Chile. “Chile has the world’s most perfect growing climate,” she emphasizes. “Period.”

This romantic relationship between the wine and the natural environment has been Desmond’s primary inspiration as a wine professional.

“It’s all about the connection to the soil for me,” Desmond says. “It’s earthy and grounded to work with something you make from soil, which stirs me.”

By Gretchen Stahlman, written for Wines of Chile
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