Sep 282015
 

Pepe Galante, father of modern wine in Argentina

This week we’re spending a bit of time with Pepe Galante, the father of modern winemaking in Argentina. Of course, one of the charming things about Pepe is that he claims in all seriousness that this title belongs to his mentor, Francisco Oreglia, the author of the first books to focus specifically on winemaking in Argentina. Oreglia was Galante’s instructor at the Enology School at the Universidad Juan Agustin Maza (UJAM)—and he immediately recognized Galante’s skills and enthusiasm. He offered Pepe a job teaching at the school right after graduation, and Pepe still loves that part of giving back to the industry.

What impresses you the most when you meet Pepe is how quiet and understated he is—even a bit shy. For someone who has traveled the world and brought Argentine wines to the attention of the world, he still comes across as someone who takes each day as an opportunity to learn something more. In fact, when he talks about the young winemakers in Argentina today, most of whom have been his students, he talks about what they can teach us, not the other way around.

And then you taste his new wines from the spectacular new project in Argentina: Salentein. They are simply wonderful wines. Yes you expect great Malbec and delightful Torrontes. But you don’t expect world-class Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. Or superb Shiraz from San Juan.

Makes for a pretty darn enjoyable evening—drinking wines like that alongside a living legend.

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