Renowned Argentine winemaker Roberto de la Mota has been seriously injured in a car accident in southern Mendoza.
The accident, which occurred on 24 August, has left de la Mota with seven broken ribs, lung damage and a spinal cord injury. The extent of the latter damage is not yet clear, although it appears that three vertebrae have been affected. De la Mota reportedly lost feeling in his lower body following the accident.
As winemaker for Bodegas Chandon, De la Mota developed the Terrazas de los Andes brand and launched the Cheval de los Andes joint venture with Château Cheval Blanc. In 2003, he launched his own winery, Mendel, and consults for other wineries as well.
‘The doctors say that, within the context, it is really miraculous how well he is improving every day,’ said Anabelle Sielecki, de la Mota’s business partner at Mendel, told decanter.com.
‘Roberto never lost consciousness or his connection to reality. Throughout
the ordeal he has been awake and alert – giving all of us orders and directions. No doubt he has been helped immeasurably by an athletic lifetime spent pursuing outdoor activities,’ she said.
‘We hope to welcome him back to the winery as soon as physically possible and that he will be able to resume his regular lifestyle in the future.’
De la Mota’s wife Beatriz was travelling in the car with him at the time of the crash but escaped without serious injury.
One of Argentina’s most respected winemakers, de la Mota worked his first vintage in 1979, at the age of 19. He then spent nine years at Weinert, working with his winemaking father, Raul de la Mota.
Written by Peter Richards