After a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors, Valentin Bianchi realized in 1928 that he wanted to do nothing else except make great wine. He struggled until 1934, when one of his wines won a gold medal in Mendoza and high praise in Buenos Aires. His legacy of hard work continues La Champañera. This is one of the most organized and commercial bodegas in the area, receiving more than 100,000 visitors per year to its lush, garden setting, which is just a little over 5 km (3 miles) from the center of San Rafael. The fact that La Champañera focuses solely on the production and tasting of sparkling wine also sets it apart. The wine shop sells all of Bianchi's other lines of wines if fizz isn't what you are looking for. Free tours are run often throughout the day, and end with a sparkling wine tasting.