The Argentine family that leads the oil business bets heavily on wine: it plans to sell more than 1 million bottles

Surname Urquia is strongly related to the Argentine agribusiness: the family, originally from Córdoba, headed by Roberto Urquía, commands the General Deheza Oil Group (AGD)one of the giants when it comes to the production and export of oils and grains.

In fact, according to data published by the company, three out of every ten liters of bottled oil sent to the world from Argentina bear the AGD seal.

It is also a company that, in addition to trading commodities, also adds added value, from a well-diversified portfoliowhich includes well-known brands of olive oil, dressings (mayonnaise and ketchup) and peanuts in various formats.

And to this long list of foods we must add another product: wines. It is that the Urquía family has just presented in society its winery, named Urqo, and its first wines with its own brand: Palo Santo.

It should be clarified that the family has long ago opted for the wine industry. In fact, 15 years ago they bought the first farms, located in the Uco Valley; while in 2016 they built the cellar with storage capacity of 3 million liters and state-of-the-art technology.

However, until now they produced and exported wines in bulk (without a brand) and produced for third parties. So the launch of their bottled and private label wines implies a turning point in the family’s history in this industry.

Family wines: Dolores Urquía commands the Urqo winery, with a focus on the Uco Valley

“The first of the farms, in Tupungato, we acquired 15 years ago. And we decided to start this business because we really wanted it and also admired it. It is a business that has always interested us and that is why we decided to venture hand in hand with our agronomist , Gustavo Soto, who has been with us from the beginning and advised us to choose the best terroirs,” he explains to iProfesional Dolores Urquiaowner of the winery with her sisters Soledad, Cecilia and Lucía and her father, Roberto.

Wines with a focus on the Uco Valley

The name “Urqo” is a play on words between the family surname and Valle de Uco, where the winery and the three farms are located, which add up to more than 250 hectares and are located in some of the great hotspots for the production of world-class wines: Tupungato, Gualtallary and Los Chacayes.

70% of the area is destined for the production of Malbecwhile the remaining 30% is distributed among the varieties Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Although the family prefers not to give figures, Dolores does emphasize that it was “an important investmentwithout a doubt, including the acquisition of land, the planting of the vineyards and the construction of the winery, with 3 million liters of aging capacity and state-of-the-art technology”.

And the plans don’t stop there: the family will soon be planting another 100 hectares and, in addition, it is working on the protocols to obtain organic certification for some 50 hectares.

Palo Santo, the name of the new Urqo wedding wines

Under the oenology of Leonardo Pisano, today the winery is presenting its first two wines: Palo Santo Malbec vintage 2021, from the Tupungato area and Palo Santo Cabernet Franc, also 2021, from Los Chacayes, both with a suggested retail price of $1,800 in wine cellarsalthough one of the main focuses to grow the business will be on international markets.

“We had been producing about 2 million liters with grapes from our farms, which were sold in bulk. And in this harvest, with our brand, we have already bottled the first 100,000 liters, but we have an ambitious dream in the medium and long term: market 1 million liters of bottled wine“Dolores completes.

“Wines that are easy to understand”

“Our idea and our intention with the Urqo project is to transmit great quality; to produce wines in the best possible way, with sustainable processes, taking care of the environment and the people who work with us and also the product that reaches the hands of the consumer. We want convey that quality matters to us, but also have products that are simple, that are easy for people to understand,” adds the businesswoman.

When Dolores is asked what style of wine the family likes, she doesn’t hesitate to answer: “We have very classic tastes. We like wines that connect with the land. We are a family from the interior that seeks to achieve rich wines, made with good grapes.”

In this regard, regarding the production process, the winemaker from Urqo, Leonardo Pisano, details that “we work with grapes from our own farms, which are located in different parts of the Uco Valley. This allows us to obtain authentic and pure wines from each place. We have the opportunity to be in the details, such as choosing the optimal harvest point for each farm and each sector.”

“The fact of being able to choose different temperatures, technologies, maceration, fermentation or pump-over times, favors us to obtain components and obtain authentic wines, which provide us with a wide range of aromas with all the elegance and power of the Uco Valley”, he completes. .


The Urqo winery has the capacity to produce 3 million liters of wine

The Urquía family is very clear about something: they are proud of their origins and, apart from the fact that they were able to rely on experienced professionals in the sector for their landing in the wine industry, they do believe that they can add much of the expertise they acquired in their other businesses.

“We can bring an industrial and international perspective to the world of wine, with a strong focus on quality and long-term development of foreign markets. These were the pillars of success in our other businesses and many of these concepts can applied in the wine industry”, emphasizes Dolores.

The Argentine family that leads the oil business bets heavily on wine: it plans to sell more than 1 million bottles