- The Story
Our Fat Gaucho wines are produced at one of Uco Valley’s most established and respected vineyards. Having been in operation for over 100 years, the vineyard is known for its reliability in producing superior wines as well as for infusing state-of-the-art technology into the traditional art of wine making. The vineyard rests at the foot of the Andes Mountains, making it the perfect terroir to obtain the high quality grapes, rich with tannins and robust aromas that are used in Fat Gaucho wines. Our Malbec Reserva and Cabernet Sauvignon Reservas are both aged in French and American Oak barrels, while our Torrontes originates in the Salta and La Rioja Regions where the best Torrontes grapes are grown. Fat Gaucho Wines is proudly conceived in a winery that spares no expense and skips no steps to ensure they have produced an exceptional wine.
Hi. I’m Carlos Candal and I’m the founder and owner of Fat Gaucho Wines. I attended law school in Connecticut and have practiced law in New Haven for over 20 years. Now how does a lawyer from Connecticut become involved with importing wines from Argentina you may ask? Well, wines have been in my family history for over 100 years. You see, my great-grandfather Vicente Candal was a very successful merchant in a town called San Antonio de Areco, just 90 minutes from Buenos Aires. Turns out, he discovered Malbec wines from Mendoza way back at the turn of the century and brought them in by horseback to sell in his “Almacen” in the year 1902.
Later, in the 1960’s, his grandson, Alfredo Candal, (my father) came to the United States. Upon his arrival he noticed the less than stellar selection of wines the U.S. market had to offer, and dreamt of one day importing some of his favorites. It took 20 years but in 1980 he purchased a small vineyard in Mendoza in anticipation of my family’s return to Argentina. It was a great idea but ahead of its time as reliance on Argentine telecommunicatons made it difficult to manage the winery from Buenos Aires.
Over the years, I traveled often to Argentina to visit my family and enjoyed some of the best varietals the rest of the world had not yet tasted. These included the robust, full-bodied Malbec, and one of my favorites, the aromatic and naturally flavorful Torrontes. Every time a wine loving friend would visit Buenos Aires I’d ask for their opinion on various varietals. Time and time again I’d be pleased to hear their astonished reactions at the exceptional wines they were trying at a fraction of the price.
I often thought of one day pursuing my father’s dream of importing wines to the United States. Together with my brothers we traveled to various regions of Argentina in search of the finest vineyards, from the province of Mendoza in the West, to the arid province of Salta in the North.
Finally, our dream became a reality when we located our 100 year old winery located in the Uco Valley at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in the prime wine growing region of Mendoza. In August 2012 we proudly launched Fat Gaucho Wines and almost overnight our wines became a sensation throughout New Haven, Connecticut. Months later, accolades started coming in. First, in February 2013 Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave our Torrontes a “Best Buy” rating, and then, wouldn’t you know it, in a blind tasting competition at the Wine and Spirits Wholesaler’s Association Expo in Orlando in April 2013 four of our wines won medals, including a Double Gold for our Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva and a Gold Medal for our Malbec.
Although my father was not able to accomplish what he had set out for, I am proud to say that he was able to live to see his dream of importing wine from his home country come true. With your help, we will continue to take this dream as far as we can.
Thank you for your support.