Edgardo del Popolo is the head viticulturist for Argentina’s Viña Doña Paula, located in the southern portion of Mendoza. Del Popolo, 43, likes to joke that he came with the furniture when the Claro family (owners of Chile’s Viña Santa Rita) bought the property from the Gancia operation in 1998.
“I was there with all the old machines, so they decided to keep me,” said the soft-spoken del Popolo as we sat down for a chat here in my office earlier this week. Despite his mellow demeanor, del Popolo is passionate about the terroir in Mendoza, an aspect of the country’s wine industry that he agrees has been underutilized so far.
To that end, del Popolo is going against the grain as he develops and fine-tunes the vineyards at Doña Paula’s various estates. While most Argentine wineries talk of large temperature swings between day-time highs and night-time lows as a key to ripening grapes in Argentina’s warm, arid climate, del Popolo is looking for cooler spots with narrower swings and is blending grapes from different sites.
Do you have a Wine Spectator magazine subscription? Save 50% on your Online Membership right now!
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions