By Marcy Clark
At our Women’s Mafia Fashion Show & Fashion Week Kick-Off Event on February 9th we were lucky enough to share with our guests a lovely new find – sustainable, bio-dynamic wine from Doña Paula Winery, a great new event partner of ours. The wine was delicious and we love that it was in sync with our venue (Tela Design Studio is known for their Organics line).
We were fortunate enough to get to interview Edgardo Del Popolo, Doña Paula’s Head Viticulturalist and Operations Manager. He shed light on making great wine and maximizing your enjoyment of fine wine. Enjoy our TALENT profile with Edgardo below!
Women’s Mafia: You are noted for using sustainable agriculture in you vineyards. This has been proven to be good for the environment. It is also, I suspect, good for the quality of the wine. Can you expand on this?
Edgardo Del Popolo: Sustainability is Doña Paula’s way to work hand in hand with the environment and allows us to express the nature through the wines we make. The attributes of wine that come from sustainable vineyards can’t always be tasted, it’s like an interpretation of an artist’s work, you will enjoy it more if you are able to understand it.
If you can play with the natural resources without being aggressive and giving back to the environment what you are receiving from it, like a self-sufficient circle, you will realize how easy is to keep everything in control without using chemical products or inorganic fertilizers.
WM: When did you realize you could make your passion your career? Or was a life without making wine non-negotiable?
EP: My grandparents and uncles came to Argentina from Europe and worked in the vineyards. As a child I was able to watch and learn from them, observing that as their only way of life and being happy doing it.
Years later, I realized that being a professional I would be able to add more precision to my natural born observation and I decided to study viticulture and enology. Now, I could not imagine myself involved in a different activity unrelated to vines and wines.
WM: What is special about Argentina that makes wine from this country so exceptional?
EP: The climate, soil and people are exceptional. Our climate is one of the few continental climates in the world of wine, influenced by the altitude. With 360 days of sun in a year, warm days and cold nights are ideal to create the best quality grapes. Additionally, the combination of Argentina’s specific type of soil and the pure snowmelt from the Andes creates the perfect marriage that finally ends in the best wines.
In Addition, The heritage of Argentina’s European immigrants along with its culture of making and drinking wine adds to the success of the wine.
WM: Several of your wines have won awards; do you have a personal favorite?
EP: It’s hard to choose just one. I like the Sauvignon Blanc Los Cardos from our vineyards in Uco Valley in Mendoza, because it’s one of the best examples on how to make a beautiful wine in a challenging climate. Additionally, I love our Doña Paula Seleccion de Bodega Malbec with its blend of the best malbec grapes coming from our oldest vineyards.
WM: As part of your work, you have participated in many wine conferences and seminars. Do you have any suggestions for someone who would like to learn more about wine appreciation?
EP : I suggest attending the tasting events offered by wine schools, wine magazines or local wine shops. Additionally, taking wine courses and being a member of wine societies and clubs similar to those organized by Decanter Magazine will also help to increase an individual’s appreciation for wine.
One great idea is to organize an at home tasting with friends. Purchase wines from different regions, varietals and styles and provide information from the Internet. (producer, region, varietals…) Of course if it’s possible to make a trip to a wine region, a winery tour is essential.