ALTAMIRA IS ONE OF THE PLACES WITH THE LONGEST VITICULTURE HISTORY AND TRADITION IN THE UCO VALLEY.
Its total surface area is 9,290 hectares of which around 2,780 are cultivated with vineyards. Land is divided in small- and medium-size estates in the hands of several farmers, some of whom have been in the area for generations. That’s a remarkable difference with the new locations in Uco Valley, where extensive and young vineyards are owned by a handful of producers, most of them larger wineries.
In 2013, the National Viticulture Institute granted Paraje Altamira the status of Geographical Indication (IG/GI) for Argentina. It became the first GI in the country granted that status for technical, and not geopolitical, reasons.
• Altitude between 1,000 and 1,200 metres above sea level (3,280 and 3,937 feet).
• Soil with short-depth alluvial origin, the first level comprising sandy loam and a secondary stony level comprising different concentrations of calcium carbonate content.
• 300mm of annual rainfall.
• Continental climate with intense cold spells and wide year-round thermal amplitude.
• A naturally healthy environment that’s ideal for organic viticulture.
• On the Winkler Scale between 2 and 3, depending on the year.
• Centenary viticulture.
Paraje Altamira lies in the heart of the alluvial cone of the Tunuyán river, at the foot of the Andes range. It is located in the district of La Consulta, south of Uco Valley, Mendoza.
It covers approximately 9,290 hectares in total, of which around 2,780 are vineyards. The Uco Canal divides Altamira Sur (South) from the traditional Altamira Norte (North). Northern vineyards have historically been cultivated using surface irrigation on soils that had been levelled in order to allow water to flow. This began to load the first sandy loam level with limestone.
In Southern Altamira, plantations are more recent and therefore vines have been drip-irrigated from the offset. Vineyards conserve their natural topography and are surrounded by native vegetation. There are only seven producers and the first vineyard to be planted in this sector was Finca Las Piedras in 2002.
Malbec as heritage
Michel Pouget arrived in Mendoza in 1852 and brought along many French varieties, Malbec among them. By 1911, as Leopoldo Suárez recounts in his ‘Contribution to Ampelographic Studies in the province of Mendoza’, Malbec already covered 50% of vineyards in Mendoza.
With several generations of winemakers undertaking experiments, Malbec was the vine that showed the best results in the vineyard and the winery.
Today, we continue discovering its qualities and its enormous versatility in expressing the different terroirs throughout the Andes.