We first began working with Bodega Benegas when contacted by an agent about a series of producers from Argentina. We were blown away by the high quality and even higher value of the wines. As the agency fell apart, we began working with Benegas directly and it has been a great relationship ever since.
Federico Benegas Lynch’s great-grandfather, Don Tiburcio Benegas, was the founder of the now-enormous Trapiche winery in 1883. He began growing grapes and making wine in the Mendoza area, and is known as pioneer of the Argentine wine industry. The economic crisis of the 1970s forced the family to sell off the winery, vineyards and brand to survive, leading Federico spent the next decades in Buenos Aires. In 1999, he returned to Mendoza and bought his family’s Finca Libertad vineyard back, which by now had ancient plantings of pre-phylloxera vinus vinifera grapes like malbec, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. He bought an old farmhouse and began his Bodega Benegas winery.
The land that is used to make Benegas wines are from the appellation known in Mendoza for the best quality grapes: High Mendoza River (Finca Libertad) and the cooler Uco Valley (Finca Encerrada). The winery has a capacity of about 90,000 cases of wine, which is small on an Argentine winery scale. Soils tend toward sand-covered stone and clay. All of Mendoza is quite dry, which makes for relatively easy organic farming, but vines must be irrigated from snowmelt from the nearby Andes. Most of the vines there are irrigated in a flooding system into furrows, allowing for very little runoff, as the irrigation only comes at certain predetermined times.
The wine portfolio at Bodega Benegas has three lines, all of which are aged only in French oak barrels: the Estirpe line, aged for 6 months in barrel and named after Federico’s children, the Estate line, with smaller yields and up to 18 months in barrel, and the Benegas Lynch line, which have super-low yields and spend 18 months in all new barrels.