- Varieties Cultivated: Malbec
- Country: Argentina
After a visit to the old Bodega Aconquija, Alberto Furque was convinced it was the best spot to grow quality grapes in Argentina. The farm, built in 1938, is well situated in the village of La Consulta, in the Altamira of Mendoza’s Uco Valley. The high desert of the Altamira can produce grapes of superb ripeness and excellent acidity, and is recognized as one of Argentina’s premier growing regions. Alberto purchased the property in 1996 and updated the property with new equipment and a winery. Today his daughter, Carolina Furque, manages the estate. The family farms 85 hectares dedicated to Malbec, Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.
FARMING THE HIGH DESERT OF THE UCO VALLEY
The bodega takes its name from the eponymous peak meaning “Snow Near the Moon,” one of the largest mountains in both the Andes and the Western Hemisphere at 22,835 feet. The bodegas’s vineyards are situated at approximately 3,000 feet on the north and south terraces in the foothills of the Andes, rich in sandy loam soils. The clay and silt content of loam is ideal for water retention, and the sand helps the soil from compacting too much, creating a perfect terroir in the Altamira. While the high desert boasts 300 days of sunshine per year, the climate is well balanced. Temperatures fluctuate between warm days and cool nights, and the dry spells over the summer months are tempered with rainy winters. The Andes block the humid air as it flows eastward from the Pacific, leaving the air dry and creating optimal conditions for sustainable farming. Carolina and her team keep yields low and use both vertical and overhead trellis systems, the latter of which is used throughout Mendoza to concentrate fruit. The harvest at Bodega Aconquija occurs later than many others in the region, allowing the grapes a long ripening season to achieve full maturity and complexity. All of the grapes are picked by hand.
WINES OF TERROIR, TYPICITY & GREAT VALUE
Upon arrival at the winery, the entirely of the crop is de-stemmed. Each varietal is fermented separately, with the objective of showing terroir and typicity. Macerations last between 15 to 20 days and the wines are racked gently by gravity. The grapes are vinified in both temperature-controlled stainless steel and epoxy-lined cement tanks, ranging in capacity from 5,000 to 25,000 liters. The wines age in tank for six months before bottling and are able to be appreciated upon release. Their expansive aromatics, penetrating fruit, intense earthiness and impeccable balance make them great values. The total production is 3,450 cases annually.