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Sophenia – 25 years crafting iconic wines from Argentina

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The pioneering winery celebrates success in the Gualtallary region and looks to the future.

Establishing a new winery’s reputation can take years. Turning a remote region into one of the most important terroirs in the world, decades. However, with Sophenia, Roberto Luka has demonstrated that with a solid plan, and plenty of determination and belief in one’s ability to make exceptional wines, it’s possible to achieve extremely impressive results. Working from Gualtallary in the Uco Valley, Mendoza, in just 25 years Luka pioneered the planting of vineyards, built the first winery in the region, and turned his family winery into a beacon of success on the Argentine wine scene.

The dream of unique wines

After running one of the most famous wineries in Argentina for 15 years, Luka decided to embark on his own project in Gualtallary, and founded Sophenia with his best friend, Gustavo Benvenuto, in 1997. The location was carefully chosen, as Luka was well aware of Gualtallary’s potential to yield word class wines and place Argentina capably among the world’s leading producers.

Today, Gualtallary is regarded as the ‘Grand Cru’ of South America and Sophenia has grown to include over 130 hectares of vineyards, planted at between 1000 and 1300 metres above sea level. The winery now sells its wine in over 30 countries, employing cutting-edge technology used by young winemaker Joaquín Martin to keep up with demand. Year after year, Sophenia wines earn excellent scores from some of the most prestigious critics and win awards in competitions across the world.

Looking ahead

Luka now shares leadership of Sophenia with his daughter Eugenia, who has been tasked with leading the estate winery into a sustainable future, whilst maintaining the enterprise’s high standards and hard-earned prestige. ‘We focus on making quality the point of difference in our wines. We know that a great wine depends on painstaking vineyard management, says Eugenia Luka. ‘We achieve that quality in our vineyards by implementing sustainable practices, organic treatments and rigorous processes in which human values are prized as much as technical know-how.’

Roberto and Eugenia Luka

In 2019, Sophenia embarked upon a cultural transformation that culminated in earning the Sustainable Practices Certification from Bodegas de Argentina, with the highest possible scores and praise. In 2022, the vineyard became the largest organic certified establishment in Gualtallary. ‘I am proud and moved by what we have achieved over the years, leading the way for high-end wines in Argentina,’ remarked Roberto Luka during recent anniversary celebrations. ‘Our wines have received top scores from international experts and my daughter, Eugenia, will ensure that we continue to improve, safeguarding Sophenia’s future.’

The celebrations were also marked by the launch of Sophenia 25 Years, a limited-edition red blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 14 months in French oak before being bottled in magnums. ‘Creating this wine to celebrate Sophenia’s first quarter century was a joyful experience that took us back to when we first planted the vineyard, built the winery and set out on our way. But it was also an opportunity to contemplate the path we still have to travel,’ concluded the winery’s founder, overflowing with pride.

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