Think you have a long commute from your City South–area home? Just imagine running a vineyard in South America. It’s more than 5,000 miles to Argentina and this south Minneapolis family is making it work.
What started as one vineyard and a long-distance investment has grown for Southwest Minneapolis residents Eugenio Meschini and Teresa Thein Meschini. They have transformed a former family farm into a second winery and the two vineyards produce a grape crop that’s primarily sold to other Argentine wineries.
The Meschinis keep some of the harvest to make namesake vintages. Famiglia Meschini wines hail from Argentina’s mountainous Mendoza Provence—a region graced with breath-taking beauty and the kinds of scenes that draw people into travel adventures. Picture rows of sun-drenched grapevines, a horizon of snowy peaks contrasting against stark blue skies and people taking time out from their daily activities for three-hour-long siestas after lunch. With that meal—or even more likely with dinner—there will be wine, and it will be amazing.
Still, world-class wine production is no small undertaking, especially overseas. But the Meschinis bridge any divides with their positive outlook on life and inclusive attitude. Strong family ties shorten the distance. “What’s important to us as a family and wine makers is just about keeping it approachable and joyful, and sharing and appreciating every day,” Teresa says.
The business was sparked by her husband’s strong connections to his native land. Today, as co-owner, Teresa does sales and marketing, Eugenio leverages his bilingual talents and ties through business communications and his brother, Primo, oversees on-site operations on more than 100 acres back in Argentina. The Meschini family, along with a winemaker-manager and a few seasonal workers, make the winery work, in a tradition that reaches back three generations. Flash forward to 2018 and even the family dog, Luigi, has a place as the Famiglia Meschini mascot.
Famiglia Meschini vineyards produce three tiers of wines, and the Meschinis take pride in every vintage. “It’s great wine produced by a local family,” Teresa says. Wines in every tier are in keeping with the Meschinis’ commitment to excellence.
Two vintages comprise the upper level grand reserves produced from the best grapes in limited quantities of around 100 cases. The Malbec Gran Reserva and Pacifica Gran Reserva Blend, named after Eugenio’s father, are the current stars.
Malbec Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva and Chardonnay Reserva make up the middle tier. The Chardonnay Reserva boasts a sporty label decorated with purple and gold for the Minnesota Vikings, inspired by the Super Bowl.
The beginning level wines are donned with premium in their titles. “I tease that my husband named [the category] without consulting me, because premium is our entry level although the word seems like it should be the highest,” Teresa says. A Malbec Premium, Malbec Syrah Premium, Torrontes Premium, Sauvignon Blanc Premium and Unoaked Chardonnay Premium form this tier.
All of the Meschini wines share a uniform affability. Put aside any notion of wine connoisseur pretentiousness here. “I don’t think wine should be snooty. Who made it snooty? It shouldn’t be intimidating. And people come up to me all the time at tastings and say to me ‘I’m not tasting: whatever’—and that’s OK. It’s just your palate,” Teresa says. “We bring wine to an everyday level, in a good way, an approachable way, that’s not intimidating.”
Taste a sip and be taken away to the splendor of Argentina—even from the wintery cold of Minnesota.