Unexpected Connections: Rehoboth & Mendoza

Unbeknownst to many tourists, Sussex County actually has a deep connection to wines of Argentina. During my recent travels to my new favorite wine region: Mendoza, Argentina, I visited the Sposato Family Vineyards; owned by a family that hails from right here in little old Sussex County, Delaware.

After Tony Sposato started and developed one of the area’s largest landscaping companies, he and his family sought bigger challenges.  What bigger challenge than starting a vineyard from scratch…and in Argentina, no less?  Landscapers know their dirt, and there is perhaps no better dirt (and growing environment…aka in wine lingo, “Terroir”) for grape growing than the land that the Sposatos acquired. In a tiny area called Agrelo, tucked away in the prime wine region of Lujan de Coyo in Mendoza; -voila, Sposato Family Vineyards was born! And boy has it matured into what I consider to be a true shining star of Mendoza. And a great value to boot!!

Sposato offers several options that are top of the class in each tier: Classic, Reserve and Grand Special Reserve. At each level, what stands out for me is the freshness imparted by a beautiful well balanced acidic “lift.” While most people associate Mendoza, Argentina with Malbec (and Sposato’s Malbecs are beauties that you need to try), you should also check out its other varieties. These include its entry level “Classic” Bonarda, Chardonnay and the slightly sweet and modestly effervescent “Fresh Blend.” The upper tier Reserve and Grand Special Reserve are also true stand outs. These include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and the lesser-known but outstanding single varietal, Petit Verdot. But, for me, the blockbuster of them all is the Cabernet Franc, Grand Special Reserve, or, what I call, “The Other Cabernet.” I expect one day it will be the next big thing in red wine. Indeed, several of the Grand Reserves have garnered 90+ points from respected wine critics!

Sposato wines are widely available in this area in places like Bin 66 in Rehoboth and Beach Liquor in Bethany. Despite the high quality of these wines the entry level “Classic” wines go for only about $11,
the Reserve tier wines for about $20, and, if you can believe it, you can snag a 90+ point
Grand Special Reserve wine for under $40. 

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