The Winemaker

FIVE MUST-KNOW FACTS ABOUT SBW

Pioneering Spirit

Susana became the first female enologist in Argentina after graduating with honors from Don Bosco University in Mendoza in 1981.

 

Due to the male-dominated industry in Mendoza, her first job took her north to Salta where she changed Argentine wine history with her first vintage of premium Torrontés.

Innovative winemaking

Susana continually seeks innovative ways to enhance her winemaking, from experimenting with barrel volumes (160L through 6,500L) to testing wild vs cultured yeasts.

 

For premium wine production, Susana chooses concrete eggs for fermenting vessels.

 

The egg’s porous concrete breathes like oak yet allows the wine to develop as if it were made in stainless steel. The resulting wine has a pure expression of fruit with a richer, more complex mouth feel.

Leading the industry

Susana Balbo has been an influential leader in Argentine wine not only with her own projects at SBW, but also as elected President of Wines of Argentina (Argentina’s international trade promotion organization).

 

With WOFA, Susana has been elected by her industry peers three times due to her work ethic, visionary leadership, and dedication to the success of Argentina wine worldwide.

Family Ties

In 2011 and 2012, Susana’s son Jose and daughter Ana joined the winery to help build SBW to where it is today.

 

José helps Susana as the winery’s head of R&D alongside his role as Exportation Manager. Ana is SBW’s Marketing Manager as well as General Manager of the winery restaurants Osadía de Crear and Espacio Crios.

Pushing the limits

Susana continuously seeks uncharted territory in the wine world to see what limits can be tested. Most recently, Susana crafted Argentina’s first Barrel Fermented Torrontés.

 

It’s a wine that is not only the first of its kind, but harvested from a previously unproven terroir for Torrontés in the Uco Valley.

 

The Wine Advocate’s Luis Gutierrez calls it one of the “10 Argentine Wines to Drink Before You Die”.

KEY MOMENTS IN SUSANA’S WINE LIFE

1981: Susana receives her degree in enology from Don Bosco University in Mendoza, becoming the first female winemaker in Argentina.

1982: Susana begins her career in wine at the Sucesión Michel Torino Winery in Cafayate, Salta.

1983: Susana makes her first vintage of Torrontés, transforming Torrontés from a common blending grape to a world-class varietal.

1993-1999: Susana works as a highly regarded wine consultant internationally and in Argentina.

1999: Susana pursues her dream of building her own winery and making wine under her own name. Her philosophy is: “When there’s a will, there’s a wine.”

2002: Inauguration of the Susana Balbo Winery (SBW) in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza.

2006-2010: Susana is elected as President of Wines of Argentina (WOFA) for two terms in a row.

2012: Susana is named among the ’50 Most Powerful Women in the Wine World’ by The Drinks Business Magazine.

2014: Susana is re-elected as President of WOFA.

2015: The Drinks Business magazine chooses Susana as “Woman of the year”.

 

“Susana continues to push the boundaries of Argentine winemaking, and that is what makes her one of the premier winemakers not just in Argentina, but also in the greater world of wine.”

  • Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate.

 

2018: Susana was named one of “The 10 most influential women in the wine world” by The Drinks Business.