Winemaker: Susana Balbo, pictured above with her children Ana & José.
Sub Region: Uco Valley
How Many Wines Does She Make? Around 25, it changes year on year.
What are they? Susana makes a huge array of red, white, rosé, sparkling and sweet wines. They are split into four ranges Crios, Susana Balbo Wines, Nosotros & Ben Marco.
Which ones do we sell? At the moment we sell two of her Crios wines, the Cabernet sauvignon and Limited Edition Tannat.
Who is Susana Balbo? Often referred to as the ‘Queen of Torrontes’, a local white grape variety, Susana has been at the forefront of Argentinian winemaking for over 20 years. Originally, she applied to study Nuclear Physics in Bariloche, a 14-hour drive from Mendoza. Her parents weren’t keen on her being so far away and insisted she stay close to home. Susana complied and broke what was the first of many glass ceilings in her career and became the first woman to graduate with an Enology Degree in Argentina, in 1981.
Woah, She Sounds Like a Real Trailblazer – She really is, Susana was recently honoured as the 5th most influential woman in wine by Drinks Business Magazine. In 2015 the same magazine named her “Woman of the Year”. Her winery has joined the Global Compact of the United Nations, a policy initiative for business that are committed to aligning their operations with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
What are her Crios wines like? They were born out of need to leave a legacy for her children, hence why each bottle carries a handprint on the label to remind us of the healing, comforting and teaching hands that mothers possess. They typically spend around nine or ten months in French oak so smooth out the tannin and add some complexity. The Limited Edition Tannat has a fascinating origin. Susana and her UK importer, a man from East-Kilbride, were sat around the fire on her estate in Mendoza talking all things wine when he lamented a lack of pure Argentinian Tannat in his portfolio. Susana said she had a tank of Tannat sat in the warehouse at the moment and she didn’t know what to do with it and if he wanted, she could bottle it for him? And so a new wine was born and every bit as deserving of its ‘Limited Edition’ title.