Tasting with Finca el Origen

Last week I had the privilege of attending a tasting and luncheon with some of the talented bloggers of WineAlign.  The tasting featured the wines of Argentinian winery Finca el Origen. We were lucky to have winemaker and General Manager, Gonzalo Bertelsen, to have joined us at the table. Being such a small group, it was an excellent opportunity to learn more about this country's booming wine industry and to try some of its fine exports.

Gonzalo Bertelsen
Owned by Chilean wine company Santa Carolina, Finca el Origen started selling under the label in 2002. Santa Carolina was actually the first Chilean winery to invest in Argentina. Finca el Origen now exports 90% of its production to 37 countries. The winery specializes in grape varietals such as Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Torrontes.

"We are not a boutique winery but we think like one" - Gonzalo Bertelsen, Winemaker and General Manager at Finca el Origen.

At the foot of the Andes
The stunning vineyards of
Finca El Origen
Mendoza is the main winemaking province of Argentina. With the highest altitude vineyards in the country, leading to unique growing conditions, the sub-region of Uco Valley is approximately an hour south of the city of Mendoza.

A dry climate, low-fertile soils and wide temperature differences between day and night can often produce wines that are well-structured and ideal for aging.

I enjoyed a delicious lamb burger so thankfully this wasn't a liquid lunch. Otherwise, I would have been speaking Spanish fluently!

(LCBO 269993)
2010 Chardonnay Reserva $10.95 (general list)
2011 Reserva Malbec $15.95 (in Vintages early next year)
2011 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon $15.95 (private order)
2010 Gran Reserva Malbec $21.95 (private order)
2009 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (private order)

We started with the 2010 Chardonnay Reserva. Every person at the table agreed that this wine was a more cool-climate approach to the Chardonnay grape. We were all stunned at the price. Retailing at $10.95, the 2010 Chardonnay Reserva is available at the LCBO through General List, meaning that it's highly available at many locations.  This Chardonnay is one of those finds where you gets lots for little! Great value. Even at 14% alcohol, the wine displayed clean, fresh fruit notes with good acidity.

Argentina boasts a wealth of natural resources and areas of great scenic beauty, including high summits and plains, lush forests and absolutely arid deserts, woods and steppes, glaciers and waterfalls. Any landscape you may imagine, you can find somewhere on Argentine soil. - www.winesofargentina.org

Argentina is famous for Malbec and tango. I'm definitely better at drinking Malbec than dancing the tango. I think Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape variety that should be watched closely from this country. Both of the Cabernet Sauvignons that I tried made a lasting impression on me. What I loved about the reds tasted was the level of extraction and soft, integrated tannins. The wines of Finca el Origen were, in my opinion, approachable yet affordable.


Thank you to Charton Hobbs and WineAlign for having me out for such an enjoyable afternoon!

If you would like to read more about the tasting, you can view the excellent articles written by other WineAlign bloggers:

Tyler Philp
Dan Trcka
Jennifer Hart

Land Of elements: Mendoza from Wines of Argentina on Vimeo.