Uncorked: Valentina ArgiolasBy Natalie Wang
Valentina Argiolas is part of the third generation to run the benchmark Sardinian winery Argiolas. Having estates in Trexenta and Sulcis, the winery is dedicated to cultivating and preserving indigenous grape varieties in the region. During her trip to Hong Kong, the vintner chatted to dbHK about a special bottle of Turriga 2008 that combined three of her passions aside from wine: music, literature and fashion, and the “liquid gold” of Château d’Yquem that sparked her love for wine.
What vintage are you?
1977. My father bottled a special Malvasia Nera for my birth.
What bottle sparked your love of wine?
When I was 16 during my first wine trip in Bordeaux, I had a bottle of Sauternes by Château d’Yquem.
What would you be as a wine?
I would like to be a wine with a great balance and elegance, capable of ageing well.
Where are you happiest?
When wine meets with different arts: in 2011 we created a limited edition of Turriga 2008 in a special box designed by a famous Sardinian stylist, Antonio Marras. It also comes with a novel by a Sardinian writer, Marcello Fois, together with the music of an internationally known musician from Sardinia, Paolo Fresu. The wine is a link of my passions: music, literature and fashion.
What’s your greatest vice?
I am not a patient person, or verbose or presumptuous. I usually say what I think all the time, but sometime I would be better off if I don’t say anything!
Best advice you ever got?
Try to find a balance in your life. If you are happy and satisfied, the people around you will benefit.
Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?
The bottle that represents the beginning of our history: Turriga 1988.
What’s the best and worst thing about the wine business?
The best things in the last years are different. The two most important things for me are the sustainable viticulture because it helps to preserve the health of the environment, and the rediscovery of traditional varieties because it helps to preserve the biodiversity of each area.
The worst thing is the influence of the global changes in viticulture. An example is this vintage 2017!
What’s on your wine bucket list?
A bucket list that represents a wine trip to the most important wine regions and countries in the world: Sardinia first, and then Piedmont, Tuscany, Sicily, Priorat, Rioja, Douro, South Africa, Napa Valley, Mendoza, Alsace, the Rhône, Burgundy etc… A wine for each region.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I am very keen on literature. A dinner with an important writer to talk about books while drinking a glass of red wine.
Personal satisfaction (Parker points – out of 100)?
I am a very tough judge of myself. I’ll reach a good point in my personal satisfaction if I will be able to have a positive influence in the Sardinia wine business and in the society.
Which wine would you like served at your funeral?
A glass of Cannonau, the wine symbol of longevity for Sardinian people. The same wine that we drank during my grandfather’s funeral, when he was 103!