By Authentic Foodquest

When we asked our Argentinian friends in preparation for our quest for authentic food in Argentina:

Who best represents authentic Argentine cuisine?

From whom can we learn more about authentic Argentine cuisine?

Who knows best about gaucho grilling?

The unanimous answer we got was: Francis Mallmann.

After reading about Francis Mallmann, and watching his videos about Argentina cuisine and cooking, we were hooked. Francis Mallmann’s personal story as a chef is truly inspiring. As the author of Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, we wanted to understand these unique grilling techniques in the country famously known for it’s beef.

In addition, his focus on authenticity and his return to Argentine cooking roots was another reason we wanted to connect with him.

Indeed for us, when we talk about Authentic Food Quest, we define it as: the search for real, simple and traditionally rooted food.

When we were in Buenos Aires, we decided to reach out to Francis Mallmann with a simple request for a conversation about Argentina cuisine and authentic food.  We didn’t expect a... (Read More)

By Grape Collective

Susana Balbo has played an important part in establishing Malbec as the international commercial hit. She is one of Argentina's great entrepreneurial stories. In 1981 she became the first woman in Argentina to receive a degree in enology. Before launching her own company she worked in Cafayate, Salta province at Michel Torino winery where she helped to put the Torrontés varietal on the map. Afterwards she worked at many well-regarded wineries including Catena Zapata and consulted internationally in Spain, Chile, Italy, Brazil, Australia, and California.

After a first failed attempt to start the Lovaglio Balbo Winery in 1990 (which closed in 1994), she bounced back in 1999 when she launched... (Read More)

By Grape Collective

Trapiche is one of Argentina's oldest wineries. It was established in 1883 at the foothills of The Andes in Mendoza. It is the largest exporter of Argentine wine by volume and is in over 80 markets. Led by winemaker Daniel Pi, Trapiche sources grapes from Argentina’s best winegrowing sites, including more than 2,400 acres of proprietary vineyards and a stable of more than 200 independent growers.

There are few wineries out there producing wine at an $8 price that can compare to the quality of Trapiche. And with their single vineyard, Icsay, Finca Las Palmas and Gran Medalla series, they are also making interesting wines at the higher end. We talk to winemaker Daniel Pi about making value wines and the history of Argentine Malbec in Argentina.

Christopher Barnes: Daniel, tell us a little about Trapiche. 

Daniel Pi: Trapiche was founded in 1883. It's one of the oldest continuously running wineries in Argentina. When it was founded, the Argentine wine industry was very robust due to the establishment of a railway line to Mendoza. Many immigrants arrived from Spain and Italy. Some came from France as well. That was the beginning of the wine industry in Argentina. We became one of the biggest wine producers in the world. Actually, Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world.


Also, we are one of the best wine drinkers in the world. That's why Argentina is so well known in the world today…because of Malbec. Malbec came from very old vines in Argentina. The industry began more than 130 years ago.

Has Malbec always been an important grape for Trapiche? Or is it something more recent, since the explosion... (Read More)

By Los Andes

Es dueño de una bodega familiar que tiene más de 30 años en el Valle de Uco, Altocedro. Sin embargo, le dio una vuelta de tuerca al negocio de la familia y reenfocó los esfuerzos en vinos de alta calidad, que logran muy buenas referencias en el exterior.

Al margen de su situación personal, Karim Mussi Saffie reconoce los problemas que atraviesa la industria y estima que la mala gestión económica y algunas políticas de Estado han llevado a la vitivinicultura a la crisis.

-Para lo que resta del año, ¿qué expectativas tiene de colocación en el exterior?

-Siempre el cierre de año se presenta con mejores ventas, especialmente a partir de setiembre. De todas maneras, hemos trabajado muy duro en el desarrollo de nuestro plan comercial para evitar esta estacionalidad. El 80% de nuestros productos lo exportamos. Y tomamos al mercado interno como un... (Read More)

By Los Andes

Michael Halstrick es presidente de bodega Norton. Asegura que, para seguir creciendo, todos los eslabones de la cadena tienen que ser rentables.

Este año su empresa ha sido una de las pocas bodegas que aumentó los precios de sus uvas varietales. Cree necesario seguir enfocándose en la calidad y asegura que inundar el mercado con malbec o venderlo por debajo de los 10 dólares la botella puede ser contraproducente para la industria.

- Desde 1989 la vitivinicultura argentina ha tenido muchos cambios. ¿Qué visión tiene de la industria?

- Es verdad, es una experiencia que nos ha tocado vivir en la empresa. Por ejemplo, ha caído el consumo en el mercado interno pero ahora se toma vino de mayor calidad. Nuestro negocio en Norton son los vinos de calidad, por lo que hemos crecido, a lo que hemos sumado proyectos de innovación, lo que ha traído nuevos consumidores.

En Argentina teníamos, en la década del 80, un estilo de vino muy relacionado con los toneles grandes. Se tomaba genéricos, con un estilo antiguo. Fue a partir de los 90 cuando llegaron las inversiones, se tecnificaron las bodegas y empezaron las exportaciones, que la vitivinicultura empezó a cambiar.

Ahora a partir de 2000 creo que hubo un punto de inflexión cuando se produjo el gran crecimiento en las exportaciones. Hoy el vino argentino tiene su propio lugar en el mundo del vino y también entre los críticos.

-¿Cómo analiza el comportamiento de las exportaciones?... (Read More)

By Sorrel Moseley-Williams for Buenos Aires Herald


From: Seattle, Washington
Lives: Mendoza city
Education: English; writing and literature at Williamette University
Profession: Certified sommelier
Book: Animal Farm
Film: Minions
Gadget: My mobile phone

Following graduation, Alex Holland and his half-Argentine wife decided to visit her homeland on holiday. But a last-minute change of plan meant they decided to sell all their possessions and trying their luck in Argentina. After travelling around the country, they ended up in Mendoza – and fell in love all over again. That was three and a half years ago.

Alex says: “The first time I came to Argentina was March 2012 as my wife is half Argentine and we decided to come and visit after graduating. We came across a good deal so we thought we’d come and check out where she grew up. The plan was to visit for a month, but then we had a crazy idea the week before we left, and sold everything in our apartment with the idea of trying our luck. We thought the worst-case scenario, if it all went wrong, would mean just moving back to the US.

“She was born in Peru but brought up in Buenos Aires and went to the States when she was 13. I grew up in Seattle and she moved to Oregon and we both didn’t have as much sunshine as we wanted.

“When we arrived, we first went to Buenos Aires and that was a crazy lifestyle. Then we went south to... (Read More)

By Penn Live

This post began a couple weeks ago with a note from Jennifer O'Flanagan of Feast PR, a Brooklyn-based marketing and public relations consultancy specializing in building fine wine, beer, and spirits brands through a personal storytelling approach that connects with target trade and consumers.

She wrote: Aurelio Montes Jr. is making waves as winemaker of Kaiken Winery in Argentina, the son of Aurelio Montes Sr. of the acclaimed Montes Winery in Chile. After taking over the reins from his father at the Argentine estate in 2012, he has evolved the style of wines to be leaner and more terroir driven, and is expanding the exploration of Biodynamic Viticulture at the main estate in Mendoza. Aurelio believes that Argentina has potential to produce much more than Malbec – and produces a beautiful Terroir Series Torrontes from Salta, Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc from Gualtallary, a beautiful Terroir Series Malbec blend with Bonarda and Petit Verdot, as well as the hallmark Ultra Malbec and Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon. He's also experimenting with a range of other grapes, and will introduce a Cabernet Franc in 2016.

Originally constructed in 1930, Kaiken Winery features original stone/Spanish construction, cement tanks, and wine paintings by contemporary local artist Mema Hannom. This "nest" of production harmoniously features Feng Shui environmental and atmospheric elements including chiming bells and Gregorian chants playing in the cellar, the placement of tanks toward the east, and a golden painting at the west side of the winery, symbolizing the setting sun. A statue of Virgen de la Carrodilla (a mythological Spanish figure renowned locally as the wine virgin) stands outside of the winery to guard over and bless the fruit cultivated here.

Kaiken offers several lines of wine: The flagship Ultra line showcases bold yet elegant and expressive Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. The new Terroir Series line – featuring Torrontes, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec/Petit Verdot blend and a Malbec/Bonarda/Petit Verdot blend – showcases the teams' recent focus on producing wines from wild new regions and varieties beyond Malbec.

Assisted by O'Flanagan, the following is an interview with Montes Jr. Thanks to O'Flanagan and the others who have worked with me on these interviews with winery owners and winemakers from around the globe. I think it would be fun moving forward to engage regional winemakers to provide the questions, adding a valuable dimension to this series of interviews.

Question, Two things before we talk about what you're doing now. The changes you made after you took over, were they largely done in the vineyard or the cellar?
(Read More)

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