New Vineyard: Costa Rica Uncorked
In 2015, eager wine enthusiasts can sample the first commercial vintages produced in the high-altitude region of Copey, Costa Rica. After careful research, eminent Napa Valley wine consultant Kerry Damskey chose this area due to its potential for grape cultivation. Just a stone’s throw from Tarrazu, Copey is a rural county known for its flourishing coffee production. The region promises similar conditions found in northern California’s most celebrated vineyards due to its soil environment and annual rainfall, even though the elevation – at 6,500 feet – is much higher than Sonoma or Napa Valley.
A wonderful variety awaits wine connoisseurs, as Damskey planted nearly 10 acres of Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Grenache. For more than two decades, Costa Rica has been a popular retirement destination, resulting in a sizeable international presence, and a growing market for premium wines. If the vineyard proves successful, Damskey hopes to turn out 15,000 cases a year of quality domestic varietals. Zinfandel and Merlot grapes are slated for cultivation in the near future.
While not the country’s first foray into viticulture, the winery demonstrates the growing niche market among Costa Rican residents and expats, who’ve traditionally relied on imported Chilean and Argentinean wines. The past few years have witnessed an increase in local wine tastings, sommelier classes and wine expos, revealing the country’s new love for all things wine. Costa Rica’s other winery can be found in the hamlet of La Garita, where Vicosa Vineyards produces small batches of unremarkable wines, sold under their De La Casa and Teber labels.
Perhaps a vineyard in the cool elevations of Copey, grown under the expertise of a skilled winemaker will yield an award-winner. We are hopeful and look forward to tasting the first glass as soon as 2014!