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In 1928, Italian immigrant Valentin Bianchi bought a vineyard and small winery called El Chiche in Mendoza, Argentina. When Valentin’s sons joined the company in the early 1950s, they renamed the company Valentin Bianchi. Today his grandsons, Valentin Eduardo, Ricardo Stradella and Alejandro Ruben manage the estate. The Valentin Bianchi vineyards - Asti, Las Paredes and Dona Elsa - comprise over 716 acres and are located in San Rafael, an area thought to have the best soils in the Mendoza region. The vineyards are planted to Italian, Californian and French rootstock on sandy calcareous and alluvial soils at relatively high elevations. At harvest the grapes are hand-picked and destemmed before maceration and the wines mature in new oak barrels. Francisco Martinez is the winemaker for all Valentin Bianchi labels, and has been with the winery since 1979. In 1996, winemaker Robert Pepi, of Napa, California was hired as a consultant to introduce contemporary techniques while maintaining the wines’ traditional Argentine character. [+]