|Bodegas de Mendoza, Inc. was founded in 2001, after the company owner discovered the wines of Argentina during a vacation visit to Mendoza province in 2001. The Malbec grape, signature red of Argentina, was then relatively unknown outside the home country. This grape, originally from the Cahors region of France, was considered at best of only average quality there, and was used mainly in blends. It was only after being transplanted to Argentina that its true potential became evident - a striking example of the importance of terroir - as the combination of altitude, soil type, warm days, cool nights, and perfect length of growing season - proved a marriage made in heaven for Malbec and Argentina. It is now as much a part of the Argentinean culture as the gaucho, the tango, and the incredible beef that is the backbone of Argentinean cuisine. A dinner excursion anywhere in Argentina is sure to include steak and Malbec wine. |
During the next few years, the quality of Argentinean wines began improving exponentially. Exports increased rapidly following the devaluation of the peso, and the quality/price ratio made the wines very attractive in foreign markets. Increasing worldwide interest soon followed, led by the Malbecs, and soon afterwards by other reds, including Bonarda, Cabernet, Merlot, and others.
Then the whites followed, spearheaded by the Torrontes ( like the Malbec, a virtual exclusive to Argentina ), including Chardonnays with lovely notes of tropical fruit, Sauvignon Blanc, with citrus tones, and others. From Cafayate in the north to Patagonia in the south, a wide range of terroir within a single country is comparable to the whole of Europe.
Up to this point, the international market had pretty much ignored Argentinean wine, but during the early years of the 21st century, what began as a small level of interest soon became an avalanche. As the quality and availability of the wines continued to grow, other countries became increasingly interested and involved in the vineyards and wine production. There were soon over 850 wineries in Mendoza province alone, with others in Salta, San Juan, Rio Negro, and others. The diversity in growing conditions is comparable to that in the U.S. from Oregon to southern California. Virtually the entire grape growing area is located on the leeward ( eastern ) slope of the Andes, and this is in large part the reason for the perfect growing conditions. Almost the entire area ( and especially Mendoza ) is high desert country, with almost no rainfall. Hence, pesticides and fungicides are unnecessary, and all the wines are, for all practical purposes, organic. Being on the eastern slope of the Andes, the vineyards have access to year round streams of snowmelt mountain water, and almost every one has a small lagoon dammed up, with sluice gates to send water to the vines only when needed, in the amount required - a tremendous advantage in the growing of the grapes - and encountered nowhere else in the world. Quality wine always begins with the terroir, and the quality of the grapes. This is the secret to the wines of Argentina.
Bodegas de Mendoza takes pride in having recognized early on the potential of the wines of Argentina, and began a series of personal visits to literally dozens of vineyards and wineries to determine which of them seemed most promising for a possible long term relationship. A number of them have since come to be known as among the best in Argentina, and we have maintained, through frequent repeat visits, a close ongoing personal relationship with the owners and enologists.
Although we have since expanded to include a few wines from other countries, our focus and commitment remains with Argentina. We ship - and warehouse - only under strict control of temperature and other conditions, as we feel good wine deserves proper care. Hence, our company creed - " desde la cepa hasta la copa " or, " from the grape to the glass ".
We believe the quality, value, and diversity of Argentinean wines in our portfolio is unsurpassed in the U.S. market, and we are positiioned to ship most of our wines to distributors nationwide.
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