The sun went down quite quickly, hiding behind the hills, and we lost our chance to return to the airport. It was all said: we had to stay there and spend the night in a worker’s warehouse. Since there were no stores in Chañarmuyo to buy food, I went to a village called Campanas. On my way back, the last sun rays highlighted the shape of the mountains that guard this vast desert. To the south-west the Famatina hill looked impressive with its snowed peak. I was invaded by a feeling of loneliness, magnificence, immensity but also feeling my smallness as a human being.
``We are going to pray to the company because it will be the one that makes our children come back ...``
In the middle of the road such a surrealist mirage, a woman dressed all in white makes me “finger”. Will be real? Reddish sunset, nothingness (or the whole), infinity. An elderly lady standing on the side of the road sure of getting transport. He asked without lapses: “Are you from the company of my son?” The company, I thought, was a pile of wire rolls, a small shed and some poles. I replied that yes, I did administrative tasks. Quickly, without intervening for a moment, he snapped: “then he must come to the chapel tonight, we will pray a novena to the company …”. With a certain disdain, I replied: “Madam … a novena is prayed to a saint or to the Virgin, but not to a company …”. The lady in white, smiling and sure of herself, answered me: “No, my son! We are going to pray to the company because it will be the one that makes our children come back … “.
Chañarmuyo counted less than 100 souls and was on a list of peoples in extinction. Abandoned adobe houses, “old” raising grandchildren. The young people marching south to the oil every so often sent money and came back when they could to see their grown children. The great historian Don Felix Luna told me that in 1905 there was a “war” between Pituil and Chañarmuyo over water. Cruenta, however of vital importance. Desert over 1700 meters high. Here, water is everything. We started at the end of 2001. We always believed, we dreamed, we bet. Although we sometimes feel defeated, we never lower our arms. The people increased their population fivefold and the young people of Chañarmuyo returned. And they settled down forming families, raising their children, educating them. They grew believing and also betting. A dream was fulfilled, with patience and humility. The work was big and did not give to loosen. And in wine we were new, in a new place. We had to learn a lot, from the best. And the best we hire.
Today we are a “company”, without thinking for a moment of abandoning our philosophy of feeling part of the community and protagonists of a dream. We have consecrated the work as a formidable vehicle for formation and personal fulfillment. Work, investment and human virtue is the formula. In respect and harmony with our surroundings. Learning from the best, but demanding. Believing and asking God every day to enlighten us to be a little better. In every moment giving thanks, always.
We have very good wines, some think they are among the best in their segment. And we are in many markets of the world. From Chañarmuyo. For less than 10 years. From scratch, high-end wines. Sometimes I think, you have to be a little crazy, but coherent, of thought, word and action.
In wine, Argentina has a lot to show. And La Rioja in particular. And us from this blessed terroir. The ceiling is high, thank God!