El Vallecito

Puerta del Abra has a vineyard in a privileged and unique area of Argentina, located in the city of Balcarce between two mountain ranges which belong to the Tandilia System, formed 2,200 million years ago.

The main differences with traditional winemaking are both the origin and the soil. Its location in the southeast of the province of Buenos Aires defy tradition by moving away from the classic wine growing regions of the country. The presence of limestone originated from the remains of marine fossils, oceanic influence, and climate, are the perfect complement for the development of exceptional products of unrivaled quality.

Initially, Mr. Tommy Hughes guided the first decisions regarding where and how to develop the vineyard. And that is how, after traveling to the area, he found a unique scenery in “El Vallecito” with the presence of the hills and the spring wind, which after the rains, guarantee the air circulation and health of the grape vines.

Accompanying the growth of the vineyard and with the aim of gaining greater knowledge of the terroir, we collected climate data from the region and the estate. After a thorough analysis of the samples taken at the site, the conclusions pointed to the fact that the terroir “El Vallecito” had great similarities with the Champagne area in the French Burgundy region. The presence of active limestone, a key element that is difficult to find in other regions, confers minerality and unique features to the wine.

Initially the project had red varietal wines like Merlot, Tannat, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc (chosen for their short cycles), Bonarda and Malbec (chosen for their preference) and a single white variety, Chardonnay. Then in 2014, Lydia and Claude Bourguignon, founders of the Laboratory for Microbiological Soil Analysis (LAMS) and experts in the study of cultivated soil profiles, contributed to restoring biodiversity to optimize the quality and typicity of the grape, and consequently, the wine. Today the 11 ha vineyard produces Tannat, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Bonarda grapes for red wines, and Riesling, Albariño and Chardonnay for white wines.

The climate of the place favors the production of grapes, which achieve a good balance of acidity and sugar when reaching full maturity.

The temperature during the growing season ranges between 29° C during the day and 14° C during the night, generating an ideal thermal amplitude for the development of the potential of red and white grapes.

The wind factor offers some benefits, such as a healthy and dry environment, but it also presents certain challenges. Because it hits the tender shoots, we had to include a plastic mesh to protect the vines. All hectares are watered with a drip irrigation system and a sprinkler system for frost protection, which are maintained by means of an artificial reservoir of 5,000,000 liters of water.

The harvest in El Vallecito is carried out by sectors since, after electrical conductivity mappings, followed by 23 trial pits in different areas, it was concluded that the soil has sectors with solid limestone, other sectors with disintegrated limestone and areas of deep soils without limestone. The wines we obtain from this region truly amaze everyone: intense colored, mineral and fruit forward red wines; and white wines with aromatic complexity, mineral notes and of a very promising singularity.