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Graffigna: now from Uco Valley

With its decision to move production to Uco Valley, Graffigna has made a new commitment to producing high-quality Malbec in Mendoza.

Santiago Graffigna left his native Italy when he was just 12 to work at his uncle Juan Graffigna’s winery in Argentina. In 1870 he then set up his own winery.

More than a century later, the winery is the third oldest in Argentina to still be operating. But, crucially, the spirit of innovation that Santiago and Juan brought to Graffigna endures.

Graffigna winemaker Fernando Mengoni tells db that he is “passionate” about the brand’s pedigree: “It is an honour for me to be responsible for wines with over 150 years history – this is something huge.”

Mengoni also explains that the European connection has left its mark on his approach to winemaking: “We maintain the Italian influence through our passion to make high-quality wines with incredible flavour.”

Mengoni’s background has also been informative. Before joining Graffigna in 2019, he worked in wineries across Mendoza, developing organic and biodynamic wines, and also with Paul Hobbs in Sonoma, an experience he describes as “enriching”: “It influenced my working approach, respect for the fruit, and quality across all of the processes related to wine production.”

However, despite influences from Graffigna’s and Mengoni’s pasts, the company continues to look ahead to the future. The decision to make production exclusively in the Uco Valley marks a new chapter in Graffigna’s story.

The Uco Valley has several key characteristics that allow the cultivation of grapes for premium wines. The high sun exposure, facilitated by its more southerly-latitude, prolongs the growing season. The diurnal temperature range, a result of the area’s altitude and latitude, means that the grapes ripen but retain a desirable fresh acidity. Low rainfall and calcareous, alluvial soil and stones provided by the Tunuyán River result in smaller grapes with more concentrated flavours.

These factors result in wines possessing, in Mengoni’s words: “Broad aromatic profiles, ranging from menthol to floral, red fruit and black fruit notes, as well as excellent persistence on the palate.” Floral aromas in particular are a hallmark of the wines of Uco Valley.

Though the Graffigna range includes Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon, its flagship wines are made from the variety which put Mendoza, and indeed Argentina, on the map – Malbec.

Classically paired with steak and beloved by UK consumers, Mengoni argues that a quality Malbec is actually a versatile accompaniment to many dishes: “I’m convinced wine can be paired with almost any food. The most important thing is that wine accompanies great moments.”

And for these moments Graffigna has its Genuine Collection Malbec. Aromas of black and red fruits are complemented by supple tannins and a smooth finish, offering a taste of Uco Valley’s full potential as a wine producing region.

To discover more about Graffigna, click here.

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