Even before she graduated from South America’s most prestigious school of viticulture and enology Don Bosco, our guest this evening began working for the Catena Family wineries in Mendoza, Argentina.
In 2010, she began making wine at Alamos before taking over as head of winemaking in 2016.
She lives her her husband, who is also a winemaker, and four young daughters who are all growing up and working on their family vineyard as she did.
And she joins me live now from the Alamos Winery, Argentina: Welcome to the Sunday Sipper Club Marnie and Lucía Vaieretti!
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Alamos Malbec 2016
Alamos Selección Malbec 2014
Uco Valley, Argentina
Tatiana Nessier says she was born to be an ambassador for Argentina and its flagship wine, Malbec. She grew up in Northern Argentina’s remote and breathtaking Salta region, well known for its rugged landscape and concentrated wines. She says the spirit of Argentina’s adventurous winemaking is in her DNA.
Tatiana attended an American high school in Venezuela, then returned to Argentina to study international relations at Congreso University in Mendoza. It was there her interest in wine and Argentine Malbec expanded into an all-consuming passion, and it became her professional life.
Tatiana stepped away from her university coursework for sommelier studies at the Escuela Argentina de Sommeliers in Mendoza and earned the title of international sommelier, endorsed by the prestigious CETT (Tourism and Hospitality University, Barcelona, Spain).
In 2012, she began working with Alamos in Mendoza, hosting trade guests at the winery. Today she represents Alamos wines at home and internationally.
“I’ve always thought Malbec from Mendoza was very special and it’s such a part of who we are in Argentina,” Tatiana says. “I really appreciate the philosophy behind Alamos Malbec. They are easy to drink and are filled with the vibrant dark fruit and spice that show everything Malbec can offer from our high-desert vineyards.”
Fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese, Tatiana says she feels privileged to be able to introduce great Malbec to people in the Unites States and around the world. When she is in Mendoza, she takes Alamos visitors into the vineyard for pruning or harvesting lessons to help them learn more about how Alamos develops the distinctive richness of their Malbec.
“Malbec is such a beautiful, approachable wine with so many layers,” she says. “What I really love about my job is the chance to help people here and around the world see what it is we love so much about Mendoza and Argentina and how they can see that in our Malbec.”
Tatiana lives in Mendoza overlooking the spectacular Cordón del Plata with the Uco Valley just beyond. She says it’s the perfect place to gather friends for asado, the traditional Argentine barbecue, and to share her beloved Malbec, the equally traditional wine to pair with grilled meats.
Lucía Vaieretti’s deep bond with Mendoza’s high desert vineyards has been a vital, and joyful, force in her life.
She grew up in Mendoza. Her family has tended vines there for more than 40 years. When Lucía was young, she worked the vineyards with her parents, brothers and sister – picking grapes, pruning vines, sometimes looking for anthills. “Even then,” Lucía says, “I knew we were in a special place.”
Her experience among the vines, and her connection to the winemaking culture of Mendoza, had a strong pull on her, she says. After high school, Lucía attended Don Bosco in Mendoza, the oldest and most prestigious school of viticulture and enology in South America.
Lucía began working for the Catena Family wineries in Mendoza while she was still in school. She joined the company full time when she graduated in 2006. In 2010, Lucía began making wine at Alamos before taking over as head of winemaking in 2016.
“This is such an exciting winery to be part of,” she says. “It’s a winery that shows what Argentina and Mendoza wine can be. When I’m making wines, I’m trying to show the best things our grapes can give, and I’m trying to express the best things about each region. I want wines from Uco Valley (in Mendoza) to say, “This is where you get all this concentration, all this fruit.”
Lucía says that ardent bond with Mendoza keeps growing. “This is a land of very bold qualities. We have sunshine and desert and our water comes from the snowmelt of our beautiful mountains,” she says. “People here really love our land. We appreciate all the beauty here, what we have with our vineyards, and all it can provide.”
Lucía lives in Uco Valley with her husband, Rodrigo Calatayud. He is also a winemaker – they met studying together at the university. They have four young daughters and tend their own 60-yearold vineyard that was planted by Rodrigo’s grandfather. “I love that my daughters get to grow up as I did, connected to the vines and our land,” Lucía says.
Lucía and Rodrigo both have large families and they often gather in the nearby mountains for cookouts and hiking. Plus Lucía plays on a local field hockey team once a week. “It’s a mommy hockey team,” she says. “We’re all moms. We all need the release.”