Samanta Bevilacqua says about her current life, ‘I do not have a stable base now as I left Venezuela in the end of 2014 and moved to Madrid for one year, but after I finished my Master I started to work and travel abroad. When I finish a Job I stay in Madrid in a friends house or in Verona, Italy, where my father and stepmother live while I wait for my next wine adventure. Hopefully in the near future I will say I have a base somewhere when I find a permanent job.’ This is her (unedited) entry in our seminal wine competition.
Two things have left a mark in my live: exile and wine!
33 years ago I was born in a very beautiful country named Venezuela, well known for its spectacular rum but not very famous for its wine…
However, coming from an european family, the taste for wine grew inside me. Since I was a child a bottle of wine was the perfect companion for dinner, specially for my Spanish mother and my Italian father! As I grew older, that companion became also mine.
Aftr a degree in journalism and social media, I travelled in Europe and USA and tried typical wines from the areas I visited. I started to read more about wine and I got my first small wine pocket book with lots of recommendations. It was good help.
At the beginning I just enjoyed wine without even knowing that making wine implies years of study, and even a career.
My ignorance guided me: wine was just another alcoholic drink that went very well with my meals, a drink I loved!
This is for wine… but what about exile? Why have I mentioned it along with wine as one experience that has left a lasting mark in my life? Easily said: my beloved country: Venezuela started slowly to go down the drain. Life got very difficult so the daunting idea of emigration came to my mind. Emigration equaled exile because I felt the difficult social situation was kicking me out of my own country.
I remember exactly the moment like it was yesterday! I was at work, in front of my computer… thinking: either I stay and suffer the consequences of a distorted economy and an unrestrained criminality or I leave.
So two questions settled into my mind: Where can I go? What do I really love or like? (focusing obviously in a future work). The answers were two: the first, Spain, because of my double nationality and the second, a study on wine…my passion! So, I investigated and found a Master of Enology and Viticulture at the Polithecnic University of Madrid where I applied a week after.
That is how I came to know the wonderful world of wine which has changed my whole life.
After my Master´s degree I started to travel and work in production with the objective of becoming a winemaker. I travelled around the world to work in countries and wine areas like Malborough in New Zealand, Napa in California USA, Colchagua Valley in Chile, Niagara in Canada, Victoria in Australia and soon I will be in Bordeaux.
The years living in other countries have allowed me not only to understand how to make a good wine depending on geography, climate and techniques, but also to share my wine experiences and learn from others. Besides, wine has broaden my view of the world: meeting other cultures, making new friends and one most important thing: be a more open mind person with a global perspective of life and the world.
And this is how wine was a full helping hand for me and changed my life when I decided “to exile” that clear morning in my office in Caracas.