Along my wine trip to Patagonia, I tasted remarkable wines!
The first winery I visited was Bodega Humberto Canale, the oldest winery in the region with a hundred years of history. It was the only winery of the region that could overcome the economic difficulties of the country and the industry. This winery has always been determined to accomplish their goals driven by their passion and commitment with the community.
Over one million bottles of wine are produced by winemaker Horacio Bibiloni, a Mendocinean winemaker that has fallen in love with the wine potential of the area.The winery also counts with Susana Balbo and Pedro Marchevsky of Mendoza's Dominio del Plata Winery, as winemaking and viticulture consultants respectively. Of all the wines Horacio and Juan gave me to taste, I especially enjoy Marcus Gran Reserva Merlot 2005.
After this welcoming wine tour, I headed towards Bodega Chacra, a winery that is specialized in Pinot Noir. Patagonia is gaining reputation because of this grape and I have to say that once you taste these Pinots you will agree with many experts that say Chacra makes the best Pinot Noir from South America.
Chacra is owned by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, whose family owns Sassicaia, along with two silent partners. Piero arrived to Argentina guided by Hans Vinding-Diers, proprietor and winemaker of Noemia wines, and amazed by the quality of wines Hans was being able to make, decided to start his own winery.
Fortunatelly, Piero, being helped by Hans, was able to buy old vines of Pinot Noir, really scarce in the area. Chacra's old vineyards are farmed biodynamically. Grapes from the 1932 vineyard are used to make their top wine Chacra 32, those coming from the 1955 vineyard are used to make Chacra 55. Their entry level Pinot is called Barda and they have recently made a Merlot named Mainqué.I was able to taste all these awe-inspiring pinots. My favorite… Chacra 55 2008! It has all the elegance, flavor explosion and long finish you would expect from the best world-class Pinot Noirs.
Bodega Noemía located at Valle Azul was the third and last winery I visited in Rio Negro. This winery is owned by Danish winemaker Hans Vinding-Diers and Countess Noemi Marone Cinzano, who is maybe better known as the owner of the Brunello di Montalcino producer Argiano.
Helped by Oscar Ferrari, an Argentine winemaker who is currently the general manager in this winery, Hans was able to buy an old vineyard of Malbec that has given birth to one of the best Malbecs from Argentina.
I definitely fell in love of this tiny winery! Vineyards are also farmed biodynamically and at the winery absolutely everything is done by hand! I tasted A Lisa 2008, their entry level Malbec, J. Alberto 2008 Malbec and their icon wine Noemia Malbec 2007. All of them are worth to taste… they are full, big, juicy and round, with tons of black fruit and spice. Noemia is a perfect exponent of the immense quality Malbecs from Argentina can have.
Hope you enjoyed this virtual trip to Patagonia... Soon I will tell you more about wineries from Neuquén!