Argentina Belongs On Your Travel Bucket List and Susana Balbo Wines Will Inspire You To Go!
I was an invited media guest of Folio Fine Wine Partners to taste the Susana Balbo Wines of Argentina. All opinions are my own. As always, I only share with you experiences worth celebrating to inspire you to #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time!
Food Inspires Travel?
Great food and wine inspire travel. Do you agree? My travel bucket list is long and food, wine and spirits are to blame. Actually, the people behind those delicious finds are the ones responsible for my foodie wanderlust.
I’ve been dreaming of Argentina ever since having lunch with Ana Lovaglio Balbo at The Capital Grille in Orlando recently. I immensely enjoyed tasting her family’s fantastic Susana Balbo Wines and this gorgeous lobster salad. But the conversation, was the best part of all.
Ana, the daughter of Susana Balbo, Marketing Manager and General Manager of the winery restaurants, was in town presenting at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. She took the time to have lunch with area hotel sommeliers and F&B directors and I had the great opportunity to tag along for a wonderful afternoon of wine tasting and learning about Argentina.
Susana Balbo: The Woman. An Inspiring Pioneer.
It was inspiring to hear Ana talk about her mother. Susana Balbo is the first woman winemaker of Argentina and a true trailblazer and leader for her family, her winery and her country for over 30 years. I shared an affinity as she reminded me of my mom and her trailblazing past in the tourism industry.
In a male dominated profession, not only did Susana make award-winning wines in a style defying convention, she was the first Argentine winemaker to be hired as a consultant outside of the country and one of the key players to put wines of Argentina on the map. She was elected president of the Wines of Argentina organization on three separate occasions. If you’ve enjoyed a great Malbec or an interesting Torrontes, Argentina’s pride and joy varietals, chances are it’s because of her.
In 2012, she was recognized as one of the “Most influential women winemakers” by The Drink Business magazine and named “Woman of the Year” in 2015. In 2018, she was included in the list of “The 10 most influential women in the wine world”.
It was fascinating to hear she also became a congresswoman and is now the chair of the W20 (Women’s 20), a working group of the G20 Summit held in Argentina in 2018 dedicated to women’s empowerment.
She has entrusted her son, Jose Lovaglio Balbo and daughter Ana with the winery operation but of course she still provides her incredible expertise when it comes to the final product: a phenomenal selection of Argentine wines in a variety of price points.
“The creation of my wines at Susana Balbo Wines is to me the maximum achievement as a winemaker, product of all my efforts and many years of hard work. I could say that the winery is like my third child, a dream come true.” – Susana Balbo.
Susana Balbo: The Wines. Argentina’s Pride.
All the wines we enjoyed were worthy of the next sip and ones I would happily keep in stock at home. The selections covered easy drinking approachable and affordable “Crios”, to more elegant Susana Balbo Signature Wines culminating with the icon flagship wine “Nosotros”. Something for every wine drinker, every occasion.
In 1999, after working more than 20 years as a consultant winemaker for national and international wine companies, Susana made her dream come true (her #MakeSomedayHappen moment!) by building Susana Balbo Wines in the heart of Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza.
I adore her philosophy: “When there’s a will, there’s a wine.”
Crios, the label she created to honor her children (Crios means “young” or “children”) offers youthful, crisp, fruit forward every day affordable wines. We sampled the Mabec and Torrontes which over-delivered in terms of acidity and fruit expression. Wines to keep on hand for casual entertaining on the fly. It paired quite nicely with the gorgeous lobster salad.
Susana Balbo Signature:
I would describe these wines as elegant in every expression. Perfectly balanced, terroir driven, rich and seductive. The influences of a female winemaker are quite apparent. They don’t hit you over the head and demand attention. They quietly, succinctly earn it with every sip. Truly fascinating.
Susana Balbo Signature Malbec: A beautiful wine with lots of black fruit notes on the nose and palate. Hints of spice and ripe plums. A rich velvety wine that would easily be my go to wine with grilled steaks any night of the week.
Susana Balbo Signature Cabernet Sauvignon: rich red with toastier tobacco notes and plenty of black fruit, cassis and currants. Soft tannins make it easy to enjoy on its own and with food. It could surely compete with a Napa Cab.
Susana Balbo Brioso: A fantastic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec which celebrates the winemaking process. It was a fascinating side by side taste with the BenMarco Expresivo, a complex Malbec Cab Franc blend which highlights the terroir and the native grape.
I look forward to trying the Susana Balbo Signature Torrontes. She has been recognized for creating the first barrel aged version of this indigenous Argentinian grape which was once only used in blends. I can imagine it’s just as enjoyable as all others we tasted.
“Nosotros” their icon Malbec celebrates everyone at the winery and the family that is Dominio del Plata (their parent company). Together they make the best wines of Argentina for us to enjoy. This blend of the best barrels was of course everyone’s favorite of the tasting.
For more information on Susana Balbo Wines, click here.
Thank you Ana for a lovely afternoon and for the inspiration to visit Argentina someday soon. Until I can make someday happen, I will be drinking the Susana Balbo wines and fueling my travel dreams.
Travel Bucket List: Argentina
Is Argentina on your travel bucket list?
My “Must Do List“ in Argentina includes these delicious activities:
- Enjoy a good asado (a mix of barbecued meats). The meats are legendary in Argentina.
- Indulge in Alfajores. These sweet crumbly shortbread style cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche caramel and topped with powdered sugar are highly addictive.
- Watch a tango performance in one of the many nightclubs and dance halls in Buenos Aires. I may even join in on a lesson!
- Take in the views of the majestic Iguazu Falls.
- Wine tasting in the vineyards of Mendoza and Cafayate. Argentina is the 6th largest wine producer in the world.
- Tour the Susana Balbo Bodega and see the fermentation rooms and their innovative concrete vats and teardrop shaped barrels.
- Dine on a five course gourmet tasting menu at the Susana Balbo Winery restaurant “Osadía de Crear” (which means “daring to create”). The menu offers a culinary journey across Argentina which is exactly what every foodie wants!
For more information on travel to Argentina, click here.
Have you visited Argentina? Do you enjoy wines of Argentina? Let me know in the comments and share the inspiration with your friends.
I hope you’ve found some inspiration to go! #MakeSomedayHappen
Disclosure: I was an invited media guest of Folio Fine Wine Partners to taste the Susana Balbo Wines of Argentina. All opinions are my own. As always I only share with you products and experiences I love to inspire you to #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time. For more information on my guidelines, click here. Cheers!
David Cronk says
I’m quite partial to Uruguayan wines as well. I think Argentine wines have a lot in common with Australian wines and certainly the reds go well with beef which both countries eat a lot of.