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Mendoza Superstars: the fashion for VIP wines

Source: Los Andes Newspaper
By: Damián Weizman
04.27.2011

The fact that Bono filled the stadium of Buenos Aires three nights did not have so much impact as his short break to Mendoza. The U2 leader landed attracted by some comments made by an Irish friend, who told him about the wonderful landscape and the wines from Tupungato.

Yes, in that place other famous people also have invested. That is the case of the fried potatoes baron, Ward Lay, the US owner of the Lays products, and who is going ahead with Andeluna’s project, a well known winery recognized by its great wines.

Motivations are different. Some celebrities look for a wine with a label as a glamorous symbol or to give to their friends as a gift. That is the case of Ricardo Arjona (who bought a consignment of “Santo Pecado”) or the pop queen, Madonna, who is around the area to get bottles with the brand “Evita.”

Other famous people just want to come and invest in land, which allows them to have their own vineyards, a weekend house and that third parties make wines the way they like and deliver the consignment of bottles ready to take them to their cellar in Buenos Aires.

Santaolalla goes for Torrontés. When Gustavo Santaolalla made the first record for Mendoza’s duet Orozco-Barrientos (“Celador de Sueños”), he decided he wanted to have his place in Mendoza, his estate, his wines… About five years ago, he bought a Malbec/Cabernet estate in Lunlunta (Maipú), which he named “La Luna” (The Moon), in honor of his daughter.

Some time later, the wine project had taken shape with the help of his partner Raúl Tilín Orozco. The first wine to see the light of day was named Don Juan Nahuel (because of his son). It was a Cabernet made by the winemaker Juan Carlos Chavero. Then, they added the lines “Celador,” a Malbec that is named after Orozco-Barrientos’s first record and this is its third harvest now. Don Juan Nahuel Reserva Malbec, its high-end wine, was also launched. And this year, he and his partner go for white wines with the Torrontés Celador and Don Juan Nahuel.

Serrat in Mendoza. Familia Zuccardi is the exclusive distributor in Argentina of the Premium wines made by the Spanish winery Mas Perinet, which is owned by Joan Manuel Serrat. In 2002, it was the first harvest of high quality wines, which was launched two years later.

Ricardo Arjona fell in love with Mendoza’s red wines in one of his trips and since then he has asked the winemaker Susana Balbo to make several varietals named after one of his songs: Santo Pecado.

Helmut Ditsch: The Argentinian artist most sought-after abroad loves Mendoza. He spent his childhood in an estate in Montecaseros, San Martín, and with these grapes he launched his wines Cuyucha Mansa some years ago.

This was a top consignment that was totally sold among acquaintances at 200 euros per bottle. After that, he made new consignments and this year he launched his national and popular version: the wine named “El Justicialista,” at 17 Argentinian pesos.

Chayanne bought 30 hectares in the Uco Valley to make his own Malbec. The estate is located in El Cepillo, San Carlos.

Madonna, Coppola and more celebrities: The director Francis Ford, who aims to diversify his production -which is concentrated in Napa Valley, California-, has studied terroirs in Luján and the Uco Valley.

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