Walking past the Wines of Argentina stand at Vinexpo 2012, I was stopped in my tracks by the eye-catching, magenta sign which read “Restless Argentina” and I became curious about how Argentine wines were doing at the expo. To find out, I spoke to Roberto Luka, founder and president of Finca Sophenia winery.
During our interview, we spoke of the history of Finca Sophenia, and future goals for their wines to enter and expand in the Asian market. We also spoke of the wine consumption trends that Luka has noticed in the Asian market as well as how he thinks Argentine wines fit into that market. He took me on a tour through the wines which he brought to showcase at the exposition and spoke a bit about the feedback he has received on them. He also explained that the name “Sophenia” comes from blending the name of his daughter, Sophia, with the name of his partner’s daughter, Eugenia. To check out the full interview, watch the following video:
When I asked him about how he thought Argentine wines were doing in the Asian markets he responded,
“Well I think Argentine wines are yet to be discovered here. Most of the consumption is European, mainly French, and if we speak of China we are just arriving, while other countries arrived before, like Chile or Australia or New Zealand. But what I’m seeing here today is….there is a big eagerness to know more about Argentina and its wines. You know we conducted the seminar, everybody was very happy in receiving more information about Argentina and what it’s going to do in Asia.”
He continued to tell me,
“At Finca Sophenia we have a motto: We never make a wine like last year, even if it is excellent. We have to make it better than last year.”
“It’s a good motto to have,” I agreed.
A bit about the winery
Bodega Finca Sophenia, considered one of the top quality wine producers in Argentina, is located at the Andean slopes of the famous Tupungato, Mendoza region, where the 1200 meter (4000 ft.) altitude along with its cool climate, abundant sunlight and sharp contrast between night/day temperature creates an environment ideal for wine production. Finca Sophenia was established in 1998-1999 and has started to sell worldwide only 8 years ago (in 2004), yet they already export to over 30 countries. One of the bodega’s own wines, the Sophenia Synthesis Blend was an international trophy winner at the 2011 Decanter Awards.