MARLO MEETS: NINA PULENTA
This week on Marlo Meets we welcome Nina Pulenta, who lives and represents the prestigious Pulenta Estate here in Europe. Nina's roots go back to Angelo Polenta who moved to Mendoza in 1902, building his first winery there in 1914.
The estate has two vineyards in Mendoza, spanning over 135 hectares at an altitude of nearly 1000 meters, enjoying a natural irrigation system of melting ice from the nearby Andes mountains. Two primary wines make up the Pulenta range; The La Flor label and The Estate label. La Flor matures for three months in oak before bottling and release, whilst The Estate range sees twelve months in French oak and twelve months in bottle.
We're so excited to speak with Nina about how the Pulenta Estate has fared over the last twelve months, what the future holds for the estate as well as discovering some other secrets of hers!
1. How's everything been with you - have you been up to anything of note recently?
I think, like everyone, I’ve been navigating the pandemic as well as I can! Last year was quite hectic, I joined the family business as Brand Ambassador for the UK, Europe and Asia after several years working on luxury marketing for international brands – so switching to work with the family has been definitely a highlight. I also started a new project, a sustainable eveningwear line, which I’ve been developing in the past months and hopefully I will launch by the end of this year.
2. How has COVID-19 affected Pulenta?
We have just finished our second harvest working with COVID protocol. Of course, the winemaking team is the most affected and concerned – their main fear has been catching Covid and losing all sense of taste and smell!
But for now, we've been lucky. Some of our team members have had Covid but no one has been severely affected. On a commercial side, we’ve experienced growth from last year, specially on the off trade, and we expect that to continue as markets recover.
3. What was your childhood dream?
I think I've always wanted to be a fashion designer or be somehow involved with design. I´m not sure how it started, my mother is a graphic designer, so I was brought up in a sort of artistic environment, she has constantly encouraged creativity at home! And I always loved to draw - I would draw mannequins with my designs and gift them to my friends at school!
4. If you could own one painting in the world, what would it be?
Difficult question. I think one of my favourite artist is Turner, I am so moved by the way he paints the skies, the movement… so maybe I would choose “Juliet and her nurse”, it is owned by an argentine collector and every time I can, I go and see it live.
5. What would be your ideal last meal?
My grandmother´s Gnocchi. And cake…probably any by Ottolenghi.
6. Is there a book by your bedside at the moment?
Yes, I always hop from one book to another, and read more than one at once, specially non-fiction and fiction. I also try to read in my native language, Spanish. Currently I’m reading two non-fiction books, one is a selection of essays by Catharine MacKinnon, on women’s human rights. I am also reading “How democracy ends” by Cambridge Professor, David Runciman. His podcast is also brilliant, highly recommend it. And on the fiction side, I’m reading Chesterton's “The man who was Thursday”, a charming little thriller.
7. Who was or still is your mentor?
I've had several mentors in my life, Uni professors, former bosses, but I think my most important mentor is and has always been my father. He has always encouraged me to follow my dreams, to challenge myself and most importantly, to be happy.
8. What ambitions do you still have?
The day I don’t have more ambitions will be so boring! I think right now I am very focused on my two main business projects, and I think I share the same ambition for both which is to bring purpose to what I’m doing.
9. What can we expect from the Pulenta estate for the rest of 2021?
We are preparing for our 20th anniversary next year, which is an amazing milestone, especially for my father and uncle, who are continuing my Grandfather’s legacy of over 100 years in the industry. We will be launching some new wines, which I cannot really disclose at the moment, but that certainly celebrate our winery´s ethos. Also, we are currently finishing the installation of 240 solar panels that will power 54% of the winery, so that will be a great accomplishment for 2021 as we prepare for a new decade.
Marlo are delighted to announce that we now feature in the 'Top 50 UK Wine Blogs' - Find the full list here.