Over the past few months, my wife and I have had the once in a lifetime chance to spend many hours with The Vines of Mendoza’s Wine Director, Mariana Onofri. Neither of us will ever forget what she has taught us and feel truly lucky to be able to learn so much from her.
Mariana possesses a natural talent for making difficult wine processes easy to understand. Her relaxed personality always put us at ease as we were guided through different exercises to awaken our wine tasting senses. We left our sessions with her astounded by her knowledge and feeling connected not only to her, but also the wines that she knows so much about.
Mariana developed these skills through years of education and hands-on experience. After graduating from the National University of Cuyo with a degree in English Language and Culture in 2001, Mariana spent four years as a bilingual tour guide in Mendoza.
During that time she also pursued her passion for wine. She attended the International School of Tourism and graduated with honors and a degree that set her on her way to becoming a sommelier. She furthered her education at Mazza University, receiving an MBA in Wine Management in 2007. During this time she also worked at Jean Paul Boundoux at Vistalba Winery, Carlos Pulenta’s Winery and La Bourgogne Restaurant in Uruguay.
After years of learning about wine in Mendoza, Mariana expanded her education and expertise in France. She did an internship at Chateau La Gay/Chateau La Violette in Pomerol, Bordeaux, France. She took a Wine Aromas Seminar with French aromas expert, Alexandre Schmitt. Then she returned to Mendoza, where she has worked for The Vines of Mendoza since 2009.
Mariana continue to draw on her past experiences and build new ones as she adds her talents to The Vines team.
Ross Szabo is passing through Mendoza after 2 years in the Peace Corps in Botswana.