Made in Mendoza: A winemaker's dream

 Argento

Silvia Corti is the Head Winemaker at Argento, one of Bibendum's most established Argentinean wine brands. We spoke to her about what inspires her, what she does as a winemaker and just how different each region of Mendoza is.

Silvia Corti

Why did you want to become a winemaker?

My grandparents introduced me to winemaking as a child growing up in Mendoza. I used to help make our family wine from their vineyards in Agrelo by helping to pick the grapes and filling bottles when the wine was ready. I loved the way it brought our family together, and I knew from an early age that I wanted to be winemaker. Ever since beginning my career as a winemaker more than 15 years ago, I continue to choose to be a winemaker again every day – it’s in my blood and part of my DNA.

Can you describe a typical day?

During harvest, my day starts at sunrise in the vineyard – checking the condition of the vines, the soil, irrigation etc. Typically I drive about 450-500 miles each week to visit all our vineyard areas, checking on the ripeness of the grapes and deciding when to pick them. I spend a lot of time in the car, but the Mendoza scenery is beautiful, so I can’t complain!
After that I go to the winery and taste all of the fermentation tanks, making decisions about the fermentation program, skin contact, temperatures etc. I also spend a lot of time in the laboratory deciding on the final blend of each wine, taking components from a wide variety of different terroirs and microclimates around Mendoza. For example, with Malbec we get deep colour and great aromatic intensity from the Uco Valley and we get fruity aromatic concentration and velvety tannins from the Central Region.

Argento blends Malbec from different regions to create their wines, which is your favourite region?

Altamira, in the Uco Valley, is my favourite appellation in Mendoza. At over 1,000m above sea level, we can make really concentrated wines with complex aromas of violet and flavours of red and black cherry. Tannins are concentrated and velvety at the same time. We are beginning to work with organically grown grapes from our estate-owned vineyards in this area, which is very exciting for the future.

What part of Argentina do you miss most when travelling?

My husband! I love travelling around the world and talking to people about Argento, but when I’m away, of course I do miss my family and my house.

What’s your favourite grape to work with? What’s your favourite to drink?

For me, Malbec is the most versatile and exciting variety to work with. It’s amazing to see the diversity of Malbec characters that can be achieved from the different terroirs and microclimates in Mendoza. To drink, of course my favourite red wine has to be Malbec, as it goes so well with Argentine cuisine. For whites, at the moment I really enjoy drinking Albariño.

If you could work with anyone to make a wine, who would it be?

I am incredibly lucky to be working with Alberto Antonini, our consultant winemaker at Bodega Argento, but if I could choose another big winemaker to work with, for sure it would be Paul Hobbs, the original pioneer of Malbec production in Argentina.

What’s your ideal food match with Malbec, Bonarda and Chardonnay?

For Malbec of course the best food match is the classic Argentinian asado of grilled steak and empanadas.I love to pair Bonarda with Italian cuisine like pizza or pasta with spicy tomato-based sauces.For me, the best match for Chardonnay is a carpaccio of salmon.

 

Speak to your account manager if you'd like to find out more about Argento.

Date:
23rd June 2014


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