The hunt for undiscovered, alluring, honest wines is the essence of what we do at Vine Street Imports. We bring in wines that excite us, from regions that have something to say, made by people with compelling personalities. For nearly a quarter century, we’ve been steadfast about following those criteria. We ask ourselves, ‘Does it fit who we are? Does it flow into the next chapter of our story? Does it feel like Vine Street?’ We’d rather shut our doors than bring in wines that offer value without character or status without soul.
Like the rest of our book, Argentina started with a hunch. Ronnie’s brain works in mysterious ways, but one thing is for sure: he’s got a finger on the pulse of up-and-coming wine regions around the world. He’s been drawn to South America for some time now – don’t get him started on Bogotá’s food scene! – and in February 2023, he took a trip down to Argentina. For a week, he traveled around with Martin Dicuzzo from Magna Montis to family wineries, to speak with people, to taste, and above all – to feel it out. From the mind-blowing mountain views of the Uco Valley to the desert landscape of San Juan, he could tell there was something here to unearth.
Right around the time Ronnie returned home, with another winery partnership in the works with Los Dragones in San Juan, we received a friendly Instagram message from Norberto Páez with Paso à Paso from Mendoza. “Would you like to import Argentinian wines??” it read. Why yes, we would.
We’re confident that we’ve found something special with Argentina. The wines are fresh and bright, and they speak of their provenance. Just like Australia has had to rewrite the ‘cheap and cheerful’ narrative, Argentina is learning to sing a new tune. The syrupy Malbecs that led to the commercial boom of Argentinian wine have had their moment in the sun (no pun intended). There is a forward-thinking vanguard of winemakers who are prioritizing freshness over fast flavor and precision over power. The small group of winemakers that we are introducing with our Argentina launch are down-to-earth, taking the sensible ways-of-old and leaving behind the rest. It feels like us, and it feels like our next chapter.