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Familia Zuccardi

Website: http://www.familiazuccardi.com

In 1950, Alberto Zuccardi began experimenting with new irrigation systems, with the aim of selling them to wineries in Mendoza. Senor Zuccardi was the grandson of Italian immigrants from Avelino, so wine was in his blood. In 1963 he purchased a small vineyard in the Maipu region of Mendoza in order to display his irrigation system, but the grape growing and wine making bug got him and in 1968 he started to construct the winery. In 1976 Alberto's son José joined the family operation and is today head of the company. José is responsible for driving the company into the realm of serious quality wines and innovation at every level. Today José children are key players in the family business. Sebastian heads up the wine side of things whilst Miguel works on the company's olive oil project. José's daughter Julia is responsible for the tourism side of things operating the restaurant, Casa del Visitante and running various different tours and visits to the winery itself.

The winery itself is located in the lowest of the main regions of Mendoza: Maipu. Set amongst acres of vineyards it is from this area they source fruit for the entry level and mid tier wines. The estate itself covers all of the major viticultural areas of Mendoza, allowing them to produce elegant and complex wines and draw on all the different terroirs and climats that Mendoza has to offer. This includes Vista Flores, La Consulta and Altamira, three of the most promising and exciting regions in the province.

Familia Zuccardi, although a large operation, are still wholly family owned and operated. Their ethos is very much about a hand made and crafted feel to everything that they do. They also lead the way in exploring regionality and diversity of plantings and are amongst the first Mendocinian producers to plant varieites like Aglianico and Greco di Tufo. Zuccardi were also one of the first producers to really explore the idea of more premium wines and their 'Q' series has won many awards. Easily the msot innovative and creative of all the Mendocinian producers.

Familia Zuccardi produce various ranges of wine, from the domestic market dominating Santa Julia to small scale micro terroir expressions. Their Vida Organica range is organic and explores purity of fruit and their 'Serie A' wines are perfect examples of what single varietal wines can do in Mendoza.

"I have visited Familia Zuccardi on several occasions and been lucky enough to taste with both José and Sebastien. It is easy to say they are passionate and dedicated as most wine makers are. With the Zuccardi's though there is something else, it is clear how important quality wine is to them and how important it is to produce quality and expression at every level. They have realised how important regionality is and also the need to experiment with grapes beyond Malbec and Torrontés, and they are doing these things extremely well. The bodega has such a family feel to it that you feel you are meeting one huge extended family, from the guide to the drivers bringing in the grapes. A wonderful family and superb wines." Lee Isaacs, South American Specialist.