Don’t Cry for Argentina

Latest news is that Argentina, as a sovereign country, has decided to devalue its currency while for the Nth time defaulting on its foreign debt and arguing for relief with the international community.

 In fact, virtually all Argentines mock the instability of their governmental incapacity when dealing with economic matters. Sad as it may sound when we realize that about one hundred years ago, Argentina was considered one of the most advanced societies on the planet.

The grounds at Casa Glebinias. The entrance to one of the small cottages.

The poolside in the wonderful garden.

The family that owns Casa Glebinias. Next to me, Gabriel who organized the wine tasting.

Still, it is a beautiful country with extraordinarily kind and pleasant people, where food is excellent and the wines glorious.

In the previous blog, I talked of our visit in Mendoza. Matthew, our incomparable winemaker, and his wife Elena, Francoise and I enjoyed a touch of the Argentine way of life.

We had the good fortune to stay in the private estate  of Casa Glebinias, a wonderful B&B just South of Mendoza with a warm welcome from the family where we were treated to a very good wine-tasting by Gabriel, the son, who is an accomplished wine-maker.

The A16 Winery.

Don Gerardo Cartellone

Our trip was centered on our relationship with Don Gerardo Cartellone of A16 Winery and the superb Apogeo  Malbec  that he has produced and that will be brought in small quantity for our Club Members and friends.

Veronica Cangemi with Francoise and myself in the vineyards at A16.

A superb aria in the winery.

Just before our departure, we enjoyed another “asado” at the A16.   The special guest that day was Veronica Cangemi, a Mendoza born international star of the opera scene since her very young years. She regaled us all with impromptu arias in every corner of the winery and was honored as its “godmother “.  Veronica promised to come and visit Williamsburg on one of her next trips to the US.

If you appreciate beautiful sounds, let me guide you to: (control and click)

It needs no further superlatives. Meeting Veronica and listening to her singing was a rare and precious moment.

Before we returned, Don Gerardo gave us a copy of the book he wrote entitled “Del Camino…?”. Interestingly, it was published as a single volume each chapter first in Spanish and then in English. The English title is “From the Path…?” It describes Don Gerardo’s 700 kilometer pilgrimage walk from the French border to Santiago de Compostela carrying out , in his own words, “a spiritual and personal inner journey”.

Gerardo Cartellone in his winery.

It is both a very interesting book from a cultural point of view and a deeply emotional reflection on his quest for solitude following an intense life change that had devastated him.

There is a neat video that describes his ordeal: (control and click)

We strongly wish to see Don Gerardo achieve his goal of reuniting with his sons.

At Huarpe Winery. In the background, Maximilian Toso, Elena and Francoise. I am talking with Jose Toso, winemaker. Both brothers own Huarpe Winery.

Though with little time remaining, we managed to visit a half dozen other wineries where we tasted excellent wines and enjoyed the collegial welcome of winemakers and winery proprietors, all striving to compete with products that are attaining high recognition. One of these worthy of particular mention is Huarpe located right in the midst of vineyards of large international companies.  Once again, a pleasure to the palate.

The goal for the future will be for Matthew to fly down to Argentina next year  and guide the making of wines based on fruit that will be acquired and  will come to us under his signature.

Patrick G. Duffeler
Founder & Chairman

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