Over the last 16 years, Argentine industrialist Alejandro Bulgheroni has turned a passion for agriculture into a premier wine portfolio across four continents and 15 vineyards. These efforts culminated in March 2016 with the opening of his $100 million Bodega Garzón winery near Punta del Este in Uruguay, a country not known for wine but one he thinks offers potential for viticulture. “It’s definitely a passion project,” Bulgheroni says.
Though the billionaire found success with his family’s oil and energy business, Bridas, he has always felt close to the land—a trait he inherited from his grandfather, who raised livestock and grew crops. That connection has been good for Uruguay: Bodega Garzón, a certified sustainable and energy-efficient winery, creates jobs and economic opportunities for the country. Bodega Garzón began as a family farm producing top-tier olive oil, almonds and pecans, all of which he still offers, along with tannats, albariños and other wine varietals suitable for the terroir.
Bulgheroni recently bought a Napa Valley winery, where he is opening his Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate in February. “I like the story of winemaking,” Bulgheroni says, though he admits that he quit drinking 20 years ago when he married his wife, Bettina. “But I taste it. I enjoy seeing something grow and developing new ways to improve the production process.”