In 1928, Italian immigrant Valentin Bianchi founded his eponymous winery in the southernmost part of the Mendoza region, right outside the town of San Rafael. To honor its 90th year as among the best-known of Argentina’s wineries, the second and third generations of the family have bought 420 acres in one of the most prestigious Argentine wine regions – Vista Flores within the Valle de Uco – along with a winery they have renovated and named in homage to one of Valentin’s sons, Enzo Bianchi, who was chief winemaker for 50 years.
The new winery and vineyards also signal the start of a growth project for Bodegas Bianchi, to both expand its existing wines and offer new varietals and styles of wine according to the terroir’s potential and the expertise of a new winemaking team, headed by Chief Winemaker and Agronomist Silvio Alberto.
“Our arrival in the Valle de Uco, one of the most important high-quality grape production areas in the world, reinforces our commitment to enhance our ‘top-tier’ range of Bianchi wines, as well as introduce new varietals and wine styles that would not be possible in Bianchi’s birthplace region of San Rafael,” says Rafael Calderon, CEO of Bodegas Bianchi.
According to Silvio Alberto, “The time is right for a ‘style update’ of our wines and Valle de Uco is the ideal location for this project. I am confident that we will be able to elevate our super-premium and icon labels, Particular and Enzo Bianchi, to show that Bodegas Bianchi wines rank among the highest-quality coming from Argentina.”
Silvio comes to Bianchi after many years of making wines, creating new labels and developing major wine projects for many in the Argentine wine world, none more prestigious than Achaval Ferrer, where he not only oversaw the vineyards and winemaking but also became its president and CEO.
“The new Enzo Bianchi winery was conceived in harmony with the natural surroundings, reflecting a respect for the environment,” Silvio says. It has the capacity to make 500,000 litres, with storage space for 400,000 bottles, and a traditional Argentine “country house” on one side that will be utilized for tourist reception and hospitality.
The vineyards are at 3,600 ft. above sea level. Overall, 100 acres have been planted so far, with varieties that include malbec, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petite verdot and viognier.
Bodega Enzo Bianchi is introducing a special trip irrigation system, allowing more accurate water control for each vine, ensuring precise irrigation and avoiding “water stress,” the company says. The water comes from Andean snowmelt that is collected at a reservoir via channels.
In addition to the Enzo, Particular, Famiglia, Valentin Bianchi, Don Valentin Lacrado, Elsa and New Age labels currently produced in Bianchi’s main winery in San Rafael, a new label called Gran Famiglia will be the first wines brought to the US from the Valle de Uco winery, through Valentin Bianchi’s long-time exclusive importer, Quintessential.