According to the research on Uruguayan vineyard regions carried out in the 1990s by the Spanish specialist Dr. Luis Hidalgo, our estate lies in the area of the country where grape varieties for dry quality wines can best be produced. According to the expert, in addition to the weather, it is the characteristics of soil, geology and landscape which are the key features to ensure the suitability of an area for wine-growing. Slopes, the proximity of large surfaces of water and a maritime influence, are favor quality as well.
In their well-known World Atlas of Wine ®, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson also say: “… the essential elements for producing wine are hillsides, sunlight and a temperate climate…”
The land of Alto de la Ballena meets all the requirements to the letter, lying at the foothillsof the Sierra de la Ballena (Whale Hills).
A few kilometers from the sea and close to lake Laguna del Sauce , the climate is moderate and stable, with a broad range of temperatures and cool nights in grapes ripening period.
The vines are very well drained due to both the steep slopes and the loose, gravelly soil.
Our vineyards cover just over 8 hectares of dense plantation. The chosen grape varieties are: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Viognier and the emblematic Tannat.
We selected clones of great wine-producing varieties grafted on the rootstocks that would best adapt to the soil of each plot and to the local climate.
The plants are spur pruned using the Royat cordon system of training.
The vineyard is run aming at producing high quality through low yields and cultural practices such as deshooting, leaf removal, and cluster thinning. Harvest decision is based on the combination of grapes tasting and lab analysis carried out with state-of-the-art equipment.
All of this plus very low yields – between one and two kilos per plant – ensure the best ripening conditions and organoleptic qualities.
From the very beginning we have been members of the CREA Wine-Growers group “Julio O. Borsani” which has allowed us to receive first class technical advice and to share experiences with highly qualified colleagues.
We are members of the “Integral Wine Grapes Production” a program, which aims at safeguarding the environment and the health of people who work with us, by means of a minimum, rational and careful use of agri-chemicals.
The winery is located at the foothill next to the vineyards. Is the execution of the first stage of the architectural design made by the prestigious Argentinian firm Bórmida & Yanzón.
The present capacity in 3.000, 5.000 and 7.500 liters tanks with temperature control enables production of 60,000 bottles.
We have the appropriate technology to ensure quality throughout the entire winemaking process: maceration pre and post fermentation, fermentation, storage and ageing. We produce small batches and conduct differential management of each grape variety and each plot of land.
Through this craft process we are looking to develop and age each wine according to the desired product features we aim to obtain.
Ageing process is made in the underground level of the building, taking advantage of the topography and the location at the foothill.