He was passing through, the country conquered him and left Europe behind: “In Argentina I learned to fight against ethnocentrism”
Quentin Pommier had a great journey ahead of him. I would first make a stop in Mendoza, to work during the season in a winery and, after the vinifications, He would take a flight to Ushuaia, where he would begin his journey through all of South America until he reached Colombia. From there, he would leave for the northern hemisphere, since a new job awaited him in California: “But fate had other plans for me”, recalls the French winemaker.
Argentina was not in his plans, not the way events unfolded. Quentin always believed that that country would be just one more stop on his journey, although he soon understood that there are issues that cannot be foreseen or planned, such as the love that a land and a woman can awaken.
Before his enthralled gaze, Mendoza conquered him from the moment his feet touched that ground. There was something about its atmosphere, its pace of life and the smiles on the faces of its inhabitants, that Quentin tasted like the first time.
The work at the Piedra Negra Los Chacayes winery, located in Uco Valley, it flowed well, but those nights shared between drinks and new friends did better. And it was there, in a restaurant that he began to frequent, that he met a woman who inspired in him unprecedented feelings, that changed the course of his life: “She, who later became my wife, is the one with whom I share my love. He lived in Tupungato, worked in his father’s restaurant and it was my path to my life in Argentina”, says Quentin.
Everything that seemed certain vanished and, before the Frenchman, a single certainty emerged: he could not continue his journey, he could not leave. Perhaps, far away, on European soil, his family and friends missed each other, but in the face of certain devastating circumstances, such as love, there is little left to say: “The reality is that I did not worry much about how my mother was going to take it.” environment, it happened like this and everyone has the right to lead their lives as they can, and in this sense they respected my decision”.
“Now as a father I understand that it must have been a difficult situation for my family, not seeing their son every day, but that’s life, one gives roots and wings to their children, and one day they take their own paths”, he reflects.
Quentin flew back to his home country to say goodbye and organize his final departure to a point on the map that once meant just a name. Now it would become his new home and he was ready for the new great adventure of his life, ready to enjoy the initial adrenaline and happiness; open to discover new people, people, landscapes, customs, cuisine and, of course, wines.
Quentin arrived in Mendoza to definitively begin his romance with a province that welcomes him to this day. He never left that winery, Piedra Negra, and the Uco Valley has been with him ever since, every day.
As the months went by, the enchantment that he had experienced at the beginning intensified, not only because of the environment and his sentimental situation, but also because of those differential ways of being of the locals, which had surprised him so much.
“What I liked the most when I arrived is the way of living that Argentines have, It seemed to me that the days had more hours than anywhere else! In this regard, certain customs undoubtedly caught my attention, such as eating later, going out later,” he says. “And I found that people here are relaxed when it comes to getting together, that is, It is not as formal as in other countries.”
The years passed and within his profession, Quentin progressed to occupy the position of technical director and head of production at Bodega Piedra Negra Los Chacayes. As a winemaker, he knows that he is in a privileged setting within a fragmented country and where social chiaroscuro emerge in everyday life.
“Apart from having a job that I like, I am lucky enough to work in a winery that is owned by Francois Lurton, pioneer in the Geographical Indication (GI). The winery produces certified organic wines at the foot of the Andes mountain range, which means an extraordinary opportunity to be able to do what I like best in such a beautiful environment”, he says with a smile.
“This place has a magic that is difficult for me to explain. What I felt when I arrived in the valley, fourteen years ago, I think it translates into the force of nature, the mineral, how impressive the mountain range is, being able to make wines there is something that I really appreciate every day”.
Years ago, nothing turned out the way Quentin expected, but it turned out better. The unexpected twist brought with it the first learning of a man who left Europe behind to live in an unknown country: fate sometimes has its own plans.
Today, the father of the family and wine lover reviews his life in Argentina and feels grateful for the road he has traversed, and the riches, landscapes, flavors and aromas that his adoptive country gave him.
“In Argentina I learned to be patient”he says thoughtfully. “I understood that everything is a process in life, and that sometimes things take time. First I learned the language, I didn’t speak much Spanish when I got here; then I learned to understand how things work in this nation, and that what is different is not synonymous with bad but only with different”, keep going.
“I also learned to open my mind a little and understand that sometimes It all depends on the perspective, of how we are exercising objectivity with respect to some things. I understood that my reality can be seen differently by other people. In short, I learned to fight against ethnocentrism.”
Unexpected Argentina is a section that proposes delving into the motives and feelings of those foreigners who chose Argentine soil to live. If you want to share your experience you can write to [email protected] This email does NOT provide tourist, labor, or consular information; It is received by the author of the note, not the protagonists. The testimonies narrated for this section are life chronicles that reflect personal perceptions.