The last week of April our co-founder Pedro embarked on a wine adventure through the Andes. He had the honor and privilege to meet, taste and get to know more of the South American wine landscape like never before.
First, Pedro visited Mendoza City to learn more about the history of Argentinian wines and to understand first-hand the ongoing transformation of the identity of their wines. On a lazy but productive Sunday afternoon, Pedro set out with a group of wine professionals to visit a remote farm on the foothills of the Andes in Gulatallary. There he met winemaker and academic authority on wine, Mrs. Jimena Lopez - a charming, humble, and passionate winemaker. Along with many other winemakers, Jimena is shaping the wine landscape in Argentina by crafting the genuine approach of making “honest” wines; wines that speak about the history, soil, sense of place and that evoke freshness and drinkability. A philosophy Grand Cata stands behind.
After a horseback riding experience, Jimena and her husband Pablo (chief winemaker of Chandon in Argentina) invited us to do a vertical tasting of Graffito. They opened Graffito’s old vines 100% Malbec and 100% Cabernet Franc going back from 2010, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 to 2017. To listen and taste with them was truly a magical learning experience. Jimena has been making wine since she was 18 years old and has dedicated her life to wine and teaching aspiring winemakers one of the oldest crafts in the world. She’s a scientist and an artist, her approach to wines is simple, take care of the vines and they will take care of you. The afternoon could not have gotten any better after tasting her wines and enjoying it with a traditional asado Argentino!
Jimena’s story is inspiring, she recalls that when she decided to pursue a career in wine she attended the local university and she was the only female in her class:
“I had to do double the work to be successful as a winemaker. In a male dominated industry, I had to prove to myself that I can be the best to compete with my peers. It became a personal challenge, an obsession to learn, travel and develop my own style” A never-endless task that keeps me going.
As we finished the outdoor outing of delicious food and Graffito wines she reflected on the future of Argentinian wines:
“Argentina has a great future, we understand better our soils, have improved winemaking techniques with sharing vast scientific knowledge between industry peers and we are moving forward to diversify the landscape of Argentinian wines. More freshness, balance and sense of place.”
We say thank you, Jimena, for your inspiration, vamos que se puede!