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Donald Hess, the millionaire who fell in love with Salta and founded two large wineries in Argentina, has died


The Swiss Donald Hess created Colomé and Amalaya, where he planted vineyards at more than 3,000 meters above sea level. He was 86 years old.

"I'm not going to take anything from this world

," the Swiss

Donald Hess



back in 2007. By then he was already a billionaire, but in Salta, surrounded by the immensity of the Calchaquíes valleys, he was proud of having achieved that the people in the area would have stopped talking to him with their heads bowed, looked at his smiling face and "confidently told him things".

Hess died this Monday, January 30, at the age of 86, and in Argentina he left behind the legacy of the

two iconic wineries he founded: Colomé and Amalaya

, a project he dreamed of when

he arrived in the country in 1998 and ventured to plant vineyards over 3,000 meters high


Currently there are more than 280 productive hectares and the company has more than 180 employees.

The son of an American mother and a Swiss father, a wine businessman with wineries in the United States, South Africa and Australia, when he

decided to invest in the country he preferred the north instead of Mendoza

, the province that two decades ago began to attract the greatest amount of foreign capital.

Colome Winery, Salta.

Photo Alfredo Burgos/ Salta Tourism.

Hess confessed that he was in love with Salta

, particularly with Cafayate, Cachi and Colomé, with the simplicity of its people.

However, the beginnings were not easy.

"They called me 'crazy Hess' because no one had grown anything in a thousand years there

and everyone thought there was no water...", he used to recall.

View this post on Instagram

A publication shared by Bodega Colomé (@bodegacolome)

But Hess's perseverance had its reward and, over time, his wineries achieved quality wines and international recognition.

The Colomé winery also became a tourist center that includes a boutique hotel and the James Turrel Museum, which reflects another of his passions, which was art. 

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-01-31

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