Jose Galante Celebrates his 40th Harvest
|For Jose “Pepe” Galante the 2015 harvest is a special one, not only for the usual reasons of weather conditions and grapes, but because it marks the 40th year that he has made wine in Argentina. Considered the father of modern winemaking in Argentina, Galante’s influence has reached across the generations and transformed Argentine wines, bringing them to the international stage.
2015 has given Galante a chance to look back at the last forty years. “More than the accomplishments, I think I have enjoyed the process,” he says. “I know where we started forty years ago. I know the work that we did in those early years at Catena, the progress we made over three decades. And I see where we are now at Salentein . . . not finished, but closer to our goal. And I think of all the people who have made this possible, and are still working towards this goal today. That is very rewarding. And now that I am at Salentein, it makes me even more excited about the work we can do in the future.”
Jose Galante's 2015 tour of the United States will visit Los Angeles, CA on September 24; San Francisco, CA on September 25; New York, NY on September 28 and 29; Chicago, IL on September 30; and Miami, FL on October 1 and 2. The tour offers unique access to Galante and the wines of Bodegas Salentein to the American media and its readership.
Among those working with Galante have been some of the most important names in winemaking and viticulture. Famed international winemaking consultant Paul Hobbs says: “In the early ‘90’s he was my trusted friend and ready accomplice in our pioneering effort that produced the wine which catapulted Malbec and Argentine wines onto the international stage. He is a master of elegance and power with a repertoire as rich in whites as it is in reds. He is Argentina’s greatest winemaker of our times.”
"A Role Model for Every Young Winemaker"
Argentina’s leading viticulturalist, Pedro Marchevsky, says: “Hopefully the new Argentine winemakers can learn from his thoroughness, consistency and constant focus on the goal of creating world-class wines. And you can see the impact that has had on the wines that Salentein is now producing.” Mariano di Paola, Director of Enology at La Rural Vineyards and Winery, says; “Pepe really sets the standard in enology. He is a person to whom I will always be grateful for being a good person, a great winemaker, and especially a person with great humility. He should be a role model for every young winemaker.”
To commemorate this harvest, Galante will be producing a special bottling of Malbec from Salentein’s top vineyards in the Uco Valley in Mendoza. It is a region that Salentein pioneered many years ago, and with Galante’s help, it has become the top wine region in Argentina, and among the greatest in the world. “I have no doubt that the Uco Valley offers special and unique conditions for growing grapes. Its relationship to the land, weather conditions . . . It is a perfectly isolated and identifiable site—clearly different from other regions. It is a paradise for winemakers.”
Galante’s legacy will be large, and lasting, says Marchevsky. “Pepe Galante not only made wines. He also created a whole team of winemakers with great skills, vision, and creativity. Those are the winemakers now directing the destinies of large Argentine wineries today. We should can continue his saga in Argentina, allowing us to continue our forward progress in the minds of connoisseurs and wine lovers throughout the world.”
And Galante is enthusiastic about the future. “I have to say that I love these younger people. They are restless, energetic, always looking for a way forward, which I really like. Of course I tell them what I have learned over the years, which is that they must be open-minded and willing to experiment. For each new issue, we have to move forward with preconceptions or previous conclusions. We can’t forget that viticulture and enology in Argentina are almost unique in the world and we have to create our own research and develop our own knowledge. This is what sets us apart and allows us to take advantage of these special terroirs. I see it every day at the winery.”
Bodegas Salentein has pioneered premium winemaking in the Uco Valley of Mendoza, Argentina. With high-quality wines winning over the most demanding palates in more than forty countries, the winery is the sixth largest Argentine brand, both in domestic premium wine sales volume and as an exporting group. Its wines are successful in markets all over the world, including the U.S., the Netherlands, the U.K., Brazil, Germany, Russia and China.
The wines of Salentein are imported to the U.S. by Palm Bay International, www.palmbay.com.