The Zuccardi family considers itself a small wine operation. And perhaps by Argentina’s standards it is. Founded in 1963, the winery produces millions of bottles of wine annually (most for domestic consumption), employs 700 people year-round, and runs a vast tourism operation out of its facilities, where visitors can take hot-air balloons, ride horses, and learn to cook, Pampas-style.
Julia Zuccardi, the 29-year old ingenue for whom Santa Julia is named, recently visited San Francisco to show off her wines — and she brought her chef with her, Ana Soledad Rodriguez Armisen. Ana cooked lunch (and showed us her chimichurri recipe — the secret is paprika!) while Julia talked wine. For these prices — no wine is more than $13 a bottle — these were surprisingly good, and they went well solo or with food.
Tasting Report: Wines of Santa Julia
NV Santa Julia Brut Rose / $13 / A / delightful, what a rose sparkler should be; touch of sweetness
2010 Santa Julia [+] Torrontes / $10 / B / grassy, melons, lean finish
2011 Santa Julia Organica Chardonnay / $11 / A- / really bright citrus, unoaked
2010 Santa Julia Organica Cabernet Sauvignon / $11 / A- / light body, cherry qualities
2010 Santa Julia Riserva Malbec / $12 / B / cherry, plus and raisins, bit charcoal on the finish
2009 Santa Julia Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon / $12 / B+ / jammier in style, some pepper in there
2009 Santa Julia Tardio (500ml) / $13 / B+ / late-harvest Torrontes; nice, not too sweet, mostly orange in character