Paul Hobbs visited Argentina in 1989 and he became immediately interested in both the terroir and Argentine culture, noticing the unique potential for Malbec and other varietals in the region.
In 1997 Andrea and Luis met Paul in California and they decided to found Vina Cobos. Since then, Paul and his Argentine partners have grown their portfolio of ultra-premium wines to include Cobos Nico, Bramare, and Felino which continue to receive even greater accolades.
As a winemaker, Paul is highly regarded for his ability to identify exceptional vineyards, and for his pioneering spirit in working innovatively with new and historical sites and regions.
His success has inspired a wealth of nicknames among the press, from quiet trendsetter to prospector to truffle-hunting dog. Hired by Robert Mondavi for his advanced understanding of oak aging, he went on to become winemaker for Opus One and Simi wineries, and then consultant to Peter Michael, Fisher, Lewis, Catena and others.
He founded Paul Hobbs Winery in 1991 and Vina Cobos in 1999. He continues to be a leading consultant winemaker around the globe. Andrea became an oenologist because of her family background in the wine-making business. She got her degree in oenology in 1996 and just like her father, Nico Marchiori, Andrea has always felt a deep respect and commitment to the land.
In Argentina she started working for Norton winery as head of the Quality Control division. After she graduated, she and Luis Barraud, her husband and oenologist, decided to travel to California, where in 1997 they met Paul Hobbs. That was the beginning of Vina Cobos.
At present Andrea is in charge of vineyard management at Vina Cobos, winery she founded together with Luis Barraud and Paul Hobbs.
Luis Barraud is the fourth generation of a French family that settled in Argentina and has always been involved in the wine industry. This inspired in Luis a passion for the land and for the winemaking process. He got his degree in oenology in 1996.
Luis has worked as oenologist in his family business to this day. He also worked for Seagram as head of the technical division. In 1997 Luis decided to travel with his wife Andrea Marchiori, to California to broaden his winemaking knowledge. There they met Paul Hobbs and they decided to found Vina Cobos.
At present, Luis is President of Vina Cobos and the oenologist responsible for the winemaking process.