Pioneering Argentine producer, Bernardo Weinert, has died, aged 88

Bernardo Weinert, founder of Bodega & Cavas de Weinert in Argentina died on September 28th in Buenos Aires.

Bernardo Weinert
Bernardo Weinert

Described by leading sommelier Andres Rosberg as the “creator of some of the most exciting bottles in the history of Argentine wine”, Bernardo Weinert, was born in a small German colony in southern Brazil. He started out in shipping, eventually building his business, Transportes Coral, into the largest transport company in Brazil. He also pioneered the use of the Cristo Redentor pass to link the Atlantic in his homeland to the Pacific in Chile.

 Fascinated by the wine and recognising the potential of Argentina, he made an extensive study of the climate, soil, and vines of Medoza and found in Luján de Cuyo the ideal place to found Bodega & Cavas de Weinert in 1975.

After restoring an historic facility, he introduced the latest technology of the time and handed responsibility for winemaking to the late Raúl de la Mota, ‘the father of modern Argentine viticulture’ and ‘Argentina’s winemaker of the 20th century.’.

Two decades later, 1996, Weinert again displayed his imagination and courage by appointing the Swiss-born Hubert Weber as chief winemaker at the early age of 27.

The following year, he acquired 28ha in Hoyo de Epuyén, a town located 15 kilometers from El Bolsón in the southern province of Chubut in Patagonia, a region then barely associated with wine. The winery he opened there in 2003 helped to promote Patagonia as a wine region.

Proof of Weinert’s vision is offered by the readiness of collectors to pay hundreds of dollars for bottles at auction for bottles of the 1977 Cava Weinert Malbec Estrella. dlr

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