Ana Paula Bartolucci is named Chef de Cave at Chandon Argentina

Ana Paula Bartolucci

Ana Paula Bartolucci is the new Chef de Cave at Chandon Argentina. The news is especially important given that she is the first woman to take on the role at the leading producer of sparkling wines. Originally from San Martín, a renowned region in Mendozan viticulture, Bartolucci comes from a family with deep roots in the wine business.  

Her interest in oenology began at an early age. She studied Oenology at the Universidad Don Bosco, went on internships at different wineries in Mendoza and completed her training in South Africa and Spain, which helped her to gain a far better understanding of the complex industry.  

Ana Paula Bartolucci: at the helm of Chandon 

Ana Paula Bartolucci

After accumulating experience in Mendoza and across the world, she returned to Mendoza to work on a family project. “That was when I heard that Chandon were looking for oenologists. I had a lot of experience, but I’d never worked with sparkling wines before. The competition was tough, there were 400 applicants and only 12 made the shortlist. The interview with Onofre, tasting the base wines, will live long in the memory. They wanted a multifaceted profile not just in oenological terms but also communications and innovation. Six months of interviews later, I got the call to say I’d been chosen.” 

At the age of 27 she started to work side by side with legends like the aforementioned Onofre Arcos, who has been in charge of oenology at the winery for 45 years. Then, under the mentorship of Diego Ribbert, Arcos’s successor, Ana Paula Bartolucci rose to a leadership role. She didn’t just become the first woman Chef de Cave at Chandon Argentina but was also the youngest professional to be given the responsibility, making this a landmark in the winery’s 63 year history.  

Ana Paula Bartolucci places great emphasis on innovation and the need to stay technologically up to date to maintain quality at a company like Chandon.  

A vision for the future

Ana Paula Bartolucci

It is Ana Paula Bartolucci’s job to maintain the quality and identity of the wines at Chandon and to pass those values down to the next generations. She is also working on communicating with consumers to improve their knowledge of sparkling wines while her focus on sustainability can be seen in the winery’s practices, having been pioneers in better water and energy management in Mendoza.   

“It’s essential to be sustainable. We work with nature; without fertile soils, there are no grapes and without them, there will be no wine. In Mendoza, we’re pioneers in a number of areas such as water, vineyard and energy management and that fills us with pride. Even though we need special bottles to maintain the pressure in our wines, we have the lightest in the group. We were the first to get certified in ROC (Regenerative Organic Agriculture) at all our vineyards and we generate a positive social impact with our work.” 

What would Ana Paula Bartolucci like her legacy to be? “I hope to continue the winery’s legacy of quality and character, whether it’s a charmat, a champenoise or something more innovative. I’d also like to pass on to younger generations the working values I learned from the team. Something else I’m passionate about and a future challenge for me is working on communicating and educating the consumer.

Chandon is a leader in the sparkling wine category and I’d love for my trademark to be helping the public understand our wines better and to choose them for less obvious occasions. People should know that sparkling wines offer up a world of possibilities. As a company ambassador I think it’s a wonderful responsibility to tell people about all the millions of things that sparkling wines have to offer.”   

Ana Paula Bartolucci

Another of her achievements at Chandon was the successful launch of Chandon Apéritif, an innovative product that has proved a hit in Argentina and overseas.  Ana Paula Bartolucci played a key role in the label’s development and is currently Apéritif’s global ambassador. Chandon Apéritif made a splash in the market. “We worked hard on a range of ideas until we came to the final version. There were 64 initial proposals, which I tested until I found the perfect balance of bitterness.

We sought innovation, freshness and something relaxed that people could share.” It was a stunning triumph and the winery named her its global ambassador. “Being the face of Apéritif allowed me to explore different markets, to grow as a communicator and to understand the trends and tastes of the public. At Chandon, we’re always at the forefront, we’re innovators and it inspires us to learn of consumers’ expectations,” she says. 

If you found this article interesting, you can read more about leading women in the wine industry by clicking here    


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