One of the most eminent wine families in Argentina, Bodegas Bianchi has been leading the wine industry of San Rafael since 1928, when an Italian immigrant, Valentín Bianchi, first founded the winery. Since then, four generations of the family have been at the company’s helm, leading its expansion into the esteemed Uco Valley sub-region of Los Chacayes.
A family with tradition at heart but not afraid of innovation
San Rafael, Mendoza’s southernmost wine region, is associated with its colourful canyons, peaceful pace of life and the wines of Bodegas Bianchi. It is here, some 235 kilometres south of Mendoza city, that the family put this wine region on the map. With their 11-million-litre annual wine production, Bianchi is a major part of the community and instrumental in the livelihoods of many families there.
Vines are fed by the Diamante River, so named after the mountain lake which shimmers like a diamond with the reflection of a nearby volcano, and benefit from the sunny days and cool evenings of this mountain climate. This setting allows Bianchi to produce a wide range of wines including their iconic pink pepper-scented Particular Cabernet Sauvignon, the complex and age worthy Enzo blend from old vines and their voluptuous Maria Carmen Chardonnay.
Los Chacayes – one of the prime terroirs of the New World
The dawn of the 21st century saw Bodegas Bianchi acquire a new terroir, further north, in the emerging wine region of Los Chacayes in the Uco Valley. With 170 hectares, this is a major investment in what the family and winemaker Silvio Alberto see as one of the prime terroirs of the New World.
“Los Chacayes is for me one of the best areas in Argentina for making excellent wine for several factors,” explains Alberto. “We have a lot of rocks in our alluvial soils which give a very fresh style to the wines with a mineral component and expressive fruit notes. And the high altitude, 1,100 m above sea level, also gives us good colour, tannin maturation and wines with nerve.”
In Los Chacayes, another icon wine was born: Enzo Bianchi Gran Malbec, a Malbec which shows the great complexity of the terroir and its ageability too. Recent Uco Valley innovations also include the new IV Generation line with two wines from single blocks, which are fermented in part in ceramic amphorae. This winery, along with the one in San Rafael, is also innovating with new energy efficiency, waste management and social initiatives to ensure that sustainability is a core focus.
It is continuous innovations like these, as well as loyalty to their tradition and heritage, that has enabled Bodegas Bianchi to continue to grow and thrive for nearly a century.