A Trip with Toneleria National

Once again, Marcelo Doffo has traveled the world in search of fine wine and adventure!

This time Marcelo took an incredible trip to Chile and Argentina sponsored by Toneleria National, one of the biggest wine barrel manufacturers in the world. They graciously invited a small group of winemakers and winery owners from all over the world, including Canada, Texas, California and Baja. First, the group visited several wineries in Mendoza, Argentina, which is famous for the Malbec varietal. While in Mendoza the group was treated to stunning views of the majestic Aconcagua mountain, which forms part of the Andes mountain range and is the highest mountain outside of Asia. The mountain keeps a careful watch over this dense wine country, giving all who visit Mendoza a sense of wonder as they explore the city.

Since 1569, Mendoza has been renowned for its wine production. Today more than 300,000 acres are planted on its rich soil, with 881 wineries producing about 1 billon liters of wine a year. Due to its close proximity to the Andes mountain range, the altitude and thermal amplitude is unique in each area, making for a special agricultural experience.

“The hanging time of the fruit is longer and delivers intense colors, great structure and spectacular tannins, a real paradise to make great wines” says Marcelo of this rich landscape.

One of the first activities on the list for the group was a tour of the Rothschild Family Wineries. The buildings and surrounding grounds were true architectural masterpieces.

Beautiful architecture at Rothschild.

One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the actual Toneleria cooperage, where Marcelo and the rest of the group were able to mingle with the workers and be hands on during the different barrel making stages, up until the very end of the process.



“It was fascinating to see wood staves in a pile and get to see the final product being wrapped and ready to be shipped out,” Marcelo explained of his time at the cooperage.


Marcelo with the finished barrels, ready to go!

Marcelo and the group enjoyed an incredible meal together before they traveled to the new facility being built, about 35 miles outside of the city of Santiago.



The location of this new facility sits on 60 acres of land and the futuristic architecture was mind blowing! Toneleria purchased an abandoned mansion nestled near a water creek with a variety of fruit trees nearby. The property also had a small landing strip for the plane of Mr. Alejandro Fantone, one the partners and founders. The group was given an intense tour, where they were shown an innovative new system of toasting the barrels via hot air convection, versus the traditional technique which is wood burning. This methodology instead allows the toasting to be consistent in all the barrels- absolutely fantastic!

The future of barrel making.

The group sat down for one final feast together, this time sponsored by Toneleria Nacional. Mr. Fatone himself hosted the group for a special evening at his private residence. Surrounded by incredible wine and exceptional food, the group looked back on what a memorable trip it had been.


“Ending the trip at my amigo Mr. Fatone’s own home was a special touch, of not only business, but friendship. Thanks to all of you from the Doffo family”.  – Marcelo Doffo

Stay tuned as Marcelo stays in Rosario, Argentina to be a judge at the world famous Alta Gama Rosario 2017,  the biggest wine event in the city with over 200 wineries in participation. Until then…..Ciao!