At 21 years old and with the title of agricultural technician in his trunk, Felipe Rutini arrived from Italy in 1885. He soon started an emblematic winery
Retiro seemed not to sleep in the 1880s. Day or night, the constant movement of people offered a unique spectacle. They were immigrants that brought the ships from the main European ports.
With 21 years and the title of agricultural technician in his trunk, Felipe Rutini he arrived from Italy in 1885. That was just the first stage. The final destination, the city of Mendoza, I was waiting for him after a hard journey combining strong wagon roads and other sections of the incipient railway.
After supporting himself with some simple tasks, he was hired to work in the residence of the governor of the Cuyo province, located in Rodeo del Medio (Maipú). In 1887, Colonel Rufino Ortega (he was a descendant of the famous Antonio Luis Beruti, French’s companion in the May Revolution) commissioned him to design the park of his property to make it available to the public. We refer to the current Ortega Park.
Pleasant with the ideal atmosphere of the area, the Italian visionary he planted his first vines at a very short distance, in Coquimbito, where specimens from that time are still preserved. He immediately faced three buildings. In addition to his house, a storage shed and a fermentation shed to start with the winery. In 1893 he married Ernesta Cremaschi. They had seven children, three boys (Francisco, Ítalo and Oscar) and four girls (María, Elena, Ernestina and Letizia).
With Luis Passerini and Agustín Ciarpella they founded the La Rural winery in 1895. The idea was to create a marketing channel in Rosario, where Passerini would act as distributor. However, the partnership did not work and in a few months it was dissolved. Anyway, Felipe Rutini continued to produce in his vineyard, under the same commercial name and oriented towards a style that would accompany him from now on: noble grapes for wines of the best quality..
Vineyards and Bodega La Rural, the beginning
In the mid-1920s, the winery began planting vineyards in the Uco Valley
In 1898, he made The RuraHe would return to the ring, this time accompanied by Ángel Cavagnaro, his brother-in-law. They focused on large coastal cities, in addition to the very demanding Buenos Aires. The results were optimal. Viñedos y Bodega La Rural sold two thousand hectoliters of wine in 1900; almost thirteen thousand in 1905 and fifty thousand in 1910. In this last year, Rutini had to buy 34 percent of grapes from third parties to satisfy market requirements.
As of 1913, and due to an emotional issue and the formal education of their children, the family settled in Genoa. Don Felipe embarked several times to move between Italy and Argentina. Seeking to expand commercial horizons, he was a pioneer in the canned tomatoes in Cuyo, a task that he left truncated, since he died in January 1919. Three decades had passed since those first Italian and French vines that he planted in adoptive soil.
In 1923, Ángel Cavagnaro formed a new society with his relatives. In addition to his wife, María Cremaschi, his sister-in-law Ernesta (Rutini’s widow) and his nephews, his own children Santiago and Ángela Cavagnaro (who participated together with her husband, Roberto Furlotti); Luis Riba (married to Elena Rutini) and Francisco Riba also joined.
San Felipe, its most famous brand
Of all its brands, without a doubt, San Felipe was the most famous. It was born in 1925 and its curious container, shaped like a caramele, corresponded to the first bottle of fine wine of Argentina. It was created by Ítalo Rutini and his brother-in-law Luis Riba, who commissioned the original illustration of the label from the Spanish cartoonist Alejandro Sirio, a contributor to Caras y Caretas and the newspaper La Nación, among other media. Sirio did not want to charge for that work that shows the original house of the winemaker with the sheds.
With great vision and knowledge, in the mid-1920s, when the caramanola became a symbol, the cellar began planting vineyards in the Uco Valley. After a few prosperous years, a heavy shadow fell over the global economy. The crisis of 1929 shook all the stabilities, even that of the wine market. The family society was reformulated and continued in the search for noble products.
In 2012, Rutini became oenologically independent from La Rural and opened his own winery in the upper Uco Valley
His project was not short-lived. Generations continued to contribute to the foundation. They had a product that had been imposed and could rebuild the fissures left by the debacle generated by the aforementioned crisis and the Second World War. The process was slow, but it allowed him to stand firm, on the surface, upholding the premise of quality imposed on him by the young agricultural technician who left Italy in search of a dream.
Felipe Rutini wine is born
The Rutini brand acquired great prestige as of 1982, when the winery launched the wine that they baptized with the name of Felipe Rutini. To promote it, the Mendoza house sent personalized bottles with a letter from the firm’s president. In 1985, when Don Felipe arrived one hundred years ago, four hundred boxes were sold. Over time, a peak of 7,500 boxes per year was reached.
From the departure of the Rutini Collection and, in 2001, Trumpeter, Rutini established itself as a leading brand in fine wines. In 2012, Rutini became oenologically independent from La Rural and opened his own winery in the upper Uco Valley, also building an imposing building in Tupungato. To reinforce the products, Rutini unveiled its Encuentros wine, while La Rural launched Cruz Alta.
This very specific dedication has made it recognized today in the area of cult wines. Its image was enlarged with the export, the prizes and distinctions. But, above all, through the tireless pursuit of the motto that he brought from Italy and guided the stubborn patriarch Don Felipe: “Labor et Perseverantia“.