There's something in the air in Argentina. The last time we were there, we were amazed at the generosity of the Zuccardi family, which operates wineries outside of Mendoza in an area that doesn't have enough schools for the children. The family decided to use some of their profits to establish private schools for the children of their workers. Happy workers seem to make better wines. All of Zuccardi's wines (Santa Julia is their main brand in the U.S.) are competitive in their price ranges.
Now comes word of a newer winery called Bodini. Given the fact that every third person in Argentina is Italian, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a family name. It's not. It is an acronym for Built on Dreams of Individuals Not Institutions. The winery is based on sustainably farmed, fair-trade vineyards in the high elevations. They are also on record as saying that one of their primary goals is to achieve "the dreams of the winery to promote the well-being of its workers, their families, the community, and future generations." In order to help achieve those dreams, 5% of the profits on every bottle sold goes to their Dominio del Plata Scholarship Foundation, which pays for a college education for select children of winery workers throughout Argentina. They also use profits to pay for a local youth soccer club, including the costs of equipment, uniforms, training, and travel. They even have a fund to donate milk to the children at local soup kitchens. What separates this from just a feel-good story is the quality of their two wines. Their Chardonnay ($12) is old-world styled with plenty of cleansing acidity and no more oak than you would find in a good Burgundy. Their Malbec ($12) is juicy with tons of berry character and a nice long finish, making it ideal for a cold-weather roast. I bought these wines at Spec's, but you should be able to order them anywhere in town.
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