(Decanter) Awarded first place in the national sommellerie competition in her native Argentina three years ago, in February this year Valeria Gamper won the ASI Best Sommelier of the Americas contest 2022, which was held in Santiago, Chile. A WSET diploma student, she currently works at two-star El Molino de Urdániz in Pamplona, Spain.
‘My earliest wine memory is of taking a very basic three-part course as part of my hospitality degree many years ago. I remember trying one very unglamourous white – whose name I’d prefer not to mention! It was a Chardonnay. Bear in mind, I didn’t really drink wine, not even a glass with meals, back then, But something within made me think: “Wow there really must be something more to this.”
‘It’s an honour to win the Americas contest because I was competing against the best sommeliers working across both continents. We all got on really well, they’re all lovely people. It’s a privilege because at the end of the day only one person can win a competition, but it’s also a great responsibility to represent Argentina in the world competition in Paris in 2023. It’s a great feeling – but I need to keep moving forward.