“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.
Born into a traditional family, Susana reneged of her fate since she was young by applying to study nuclear physics in Bariloche. Being this a very unconventional choice for the time, her parents refused to let her leave Mendoza. From that point, Susana decided to follow the family business (viticulture) professionally, thus challenging the contemporary social beliefs, because at that time no women had graduated as winemaker.
In 1981 Susana received her degree in enology, and became the first woman in Argentina to do so. Her career started in Cafayate, Salta province at Michel Torino winery where she was in charge of developing and stylizing the Torrontes varietal. Afterwards she worked at many well-regarded wineries such as Martins and Catena Zapata.
In 2012, she was recognized as one of the “Most influental women wine-makers” by The Drink Business magazine. Later, in 2015, she was awarded by the same magazine as “Woman of the year”. Recently in 2018, the magazine recognized her again by including her in the list of “The 10 most influental women in the wine world”.
Throughout her career as a winemaker, Susana had the opportunity of working internationally. She was the first Argentinean woman hired as a consultant to wineries worldwide: Spain, Chile, Italy, Brazil, Australia, and California. This experience allowed her to always be ahead of market trends and wine styles.
Edgardo Del Pópolo is an Argentinean wine industry veteran and probably one of the most respected and consulted Argentine viticulturists. He studied Enology and Agronomy at the UNC in Mendoza, Argentina and has worked in the wine industry since 1992.
With his free spirit and independent attitude, he has travelled the wine world, Old and New, visiting various wine regions and the most important wine markets. As a skilled taster, he has been designated as a judge at many international wine competitions.
At the beginning of 2013, he was appointed General Manager at Susana Balbo Wines and has been making BenMarco wines according to his terroir centered vision.
BenMarco is all about viticulture. Having planted more than 3,000 acres of vineyards across Argentina’s diverse terroirs, Edgardo “Edy” Del Popolo, General Manager of Susana Balbo Wines in Mendoza and head winemaker for BenMarco, is Argentina’s most knowledgeable vineyard manager. He has tasted almost every piece of dirt!
BenMarco wines are made with minimal intervention to allow for the purest interpretation of what’s underground on the extreme sites where the grapes for BenMarco are grown. “I try to avoid adding my influence to BenMarco wines,” Edy says. “What I really like to see is what the vines can do, without any kind of winemaking influence.”
BenMarco Malbec is a testament to Uco Valley, from which it hails, proffering aromas of fresh black fruit and floral notes of violets. The palate shows great balance, very fine tannins, and a thread of acidity going through its core, lifting it up and going its length. Aged for 11 months in 100% second-use French oak. Pair with beef, sausages, spiced or grilled pork, medium-strong cheeses, and meat-based pasta sauces.