Finca Sophenia, Argentina
The French-owned Alta Vista winery has played a significant role in Julia Halupzcok’s career. She worked there for three years during her studies and went back seven years later after spells in California and at O Fournier in the Uco Valley. But it was her move from Alta Vista to Finca Sophenia in 2016 that has propelled her into the spotlight.
Sophenia is best known for its Sauvignon Blanc, a wine that Halupzcok makes with white-wine guru Matías Michelini. But the reds that she created in 2016 and 2017 – most notably the Antisynthesis blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon – are even more exciting. Ever modest, she plays down her influence, citing the quality of owner Roberto Luka’s grapes and the uniqueness of the Gaultallary terroir. ‘Oenology is like make-up: if there’s too much it can be a disaster, but a little can enhance beauty. That’s what I try to do.’
Halupczok cites two consultant winemakers, Frenchman Didier Debono and Argentinian Rubén Sfragara, as her mentors, both from her Alta Vista days, but says that it’s important to discover your own path as an oenologist. ‘Mistakes help you to learn and grow.’
Finca Sophenia, Synthesis Sauvignon Blanc, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina 2017 93
£ 28.95 Ellis Wines One of Argentina’s best Sauvignon Blancs, which ages very well in bottle too, this stylish and focused white is leesy, herbal and crunchy with capsicum and gooseberry flavours and mouthwatering acidity. Drink 2020-2032 Alc 12.5% ➢
‘Oenology is like make-up: if there’s too much it can be a disaster, but a little can enhance beauty’ Julia Halupzcok
Above: Julia Halupzcok, winemaker at Finca Sophenia