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Situated on the Andes’ eastern flank, a quick one-hour flight from Santiago or two from Buenos Aires, the province of Mendoza spreads out across 57,000 square miles of ocher desert irrigated by mountain snowmelt. A vast network of canals carries water all the way down into the Uco Valley, where Argentina’s first woman winemaker, Susana Balbo, is planting vineyards that will surround a forthcoming luxury lodge. “Only white varieties and a little pinot noir,” she tells me during dinner at La Vida, the fine-dining restaurant at SB Winemaker’s House, the impeccable seven-suite hotel she and her daughter, Ana Lovaglio Balbo, own in tony Chacras de Coria, 12 miles west of Mil Suelos. “I’m powered by torrontés.”

Of all the wine produced annually in Argentina, only 17 percent is white. Balbo’s portfolio, meanwhile, is 40 percent whites: sémillon, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and the country’s best-known blanco, torrontés. A server pours Balbo’s Signature series torrontés. It’s lush and dignified, with just enough oak structure to manage a profusion of lychee, jasmine, and vanilla-poached pineapple.

The grape appears on chef Flavia Amad’s menu as well, as a sharp vinegar granita brightening a bowl of tender beans. The dish opens a tasting menu that unfolds with crispy bricks of rabbit, ribbons of shaved lamb tongue over carrot puree, and dueling sorbets of yerba maté and kombucha. By the time the staff wheels out the mirrored brass trolley stacked with ziggurats of Argentine quesos, I’m comatose. Fortunately, my room is just outside, past the chic little pool.

Travel-savvy Balbo designed the hotel, which opened in 2022, with a wellness focus. In each suite there’s a steam shower and a soaking tub shaped like a crosscut concrete egg – a traditional wine-aging vessel – and in the private gardens, heated tile loungers soothe plane-ruined backs. Four of the seven suites also include cedar saunas. “I travel so much, and it’s tough,” Balbo says. When you only have a few hours to rest between meetings and working meals, she explains, you want a hotel room that feels like home. While your home, like mine, may not have its own art collection or bespoke fragrance, Balbo is talking about a primal impulse to cocoon in a space “that really embraces you,” she says.

I return to my room to find the lights dimmed and the air misted with the house scent. Come to bed, whisper the notes of gardenia, sandalwood, lemon, and leather, as complex and irresistible as any Balbo bottling.