Myfanwy of Argentine-Welsh descent, was born in Buenos Aires, grew up in the UK and graduated with a degree in French and Politics from Cardiff University. She caught the wine bug when living in Bordeaux in 2002, and has been working in the wine industry ever since. Myfanwy worked in a small boutique winery in Napa, California and has spent five years working in the wine industry in Mendoza (after originally intending to stay for only three months!). She is currently finishing her qualification as International Sommelier at the Argentine School of Sommeliers in Mendoza.
Interview with Myfanwy:
When did you discover your passion for wine?
I guess the ‘seed was sown’ in Bordeaux when I was studying in 2002, even though I did not take advantage of the region (If I were to go back now!). That is when I realised that living in a wine Capital was interesting, fun and full of opportunities. When I moved to Mendoza I met many more people involved in the wine industry, whether it be winemakers, chefs, sommelliers etc. Being surrounded by such passionate people who really love their craft is infectious and I began to see the wine 'industry' as much more than just a job but being part of a whole team of people who work hard to make one region and it's wine shine.
What are your key highlights of the Mendoza wine region?
If you’re into wine I seriously recommend staying for 4 days – you need one for each ‘main wine region’, they are all quite different and if you visit the three you will leave with a good idea of Mendoza as a whole - and one day for the mountains, I have been living here for five years and am still in awe of them! A visit to the Andes is a must.
When are the best times to visit Mendoza?
If you like the crowds (or not mind them) then it is definitely worth coming for the harvest festival – even if you decide not go to the main ‘event’ there are many smaller fringe festivals around the first week of March that are free and worth going to. Autumn is my favourite season (April/May) – the landscape is beautiful and the temperature mild and sunny. Winter is a great time to come too, especially if you’re into skiing, also the winemakers are generally more relaxed and the attention in the wineries is a little more personal.
Do you have a personal favourite winery in the region and if so why?
It would have to be O’Fournier in the southern most part of the Uco Valley, Mendoza’s highest altitude wine region. First of all I love their wines, they have an amazing restaurant with spectacular views and delicious food, there is nothing quite like enjoying their food and wine parings lunch – with a glass of their Alfa Crux wine whilst contemplating the beautiful mountain views.
What is a traditional local wine and food pairing dish?
Well, as many know Malbec is our signature grape and it is the perfect pairing for a meat (beef) empanada or a big steak. There are many winery restaurants which specialise in pairing Mendoza’s wines with local food – and when you come you will see that it is much more than empanadas and Malbec – however, when you find a great empanada, probably made from the traditional mud oven and a fruity Malbec to go with it the results are sublime!
Finally, which wine region in the world would you like to visit next?
That is such a difficult question and the answer changes every day , the contenders are Priorat, Rioja, and Ribera del Duero –or Piemonte or the Rhone Valley and Burgundy.