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Winemakers in Uco Valley are ‘growing up’, not just going up, says Argentine specialist

Published:  09 May, 2022

The Uco Valley region of Mendoza is undergoing a significant cultural shift, according to Argentine specialist Madeleine Stenwreth MW.

Speaking at the launch of Bemberg's 2015 vintage in London, Stenwreth told Harpers that winegrowers were now prioritising soil diversity in their site selection, rather than simply being fixated on altitude.

“When I first started to visit Mendoza, growers and winemakers were undeniably obsessed with elevation, as if that was the only panacea for making fresh and premium styles,” said Stenwreth.

“But the winemaking community is growing up; people are realising that altitude alone cannot guarantee success. There is a rising movement to match grape varieties to different soil types, and celebrate the diversity of styles that emerge. This obsession with ever-higher altitudes is thankfully being challenged.”

Stenwreth is a consultant to Bemberg’s winemaker Daniel Pi, based in Gualtallary. The estate is run as part of the Grupo Peñaflor empire, which was founded in 1914 and continues to be owned and managed by the Bemberg family.

Today, Bemberg produces a number of single-vineyard Malbec expressions, in addition to the flagship Pionero Bordeaux blend.