I tasted at Dona Paula’s winery on its large Finca El Alto estate in Ugarteche (Lujan de Cuyo), which features 400 of its 550 total hectares of vines. Dona Paula, currently the #7 exporter of wine in Argentina, makes only estate wines; they don’t buy fruit. This fast-moving firm, which was established in 1997, has rapidly assembled four more properties in mostly cooler areas around the Uco Valley, and their focus has shifted accordingly. . . Led by Kaiser and winemaker Marcos Fernandez, Dona Paula has been one of the leaders in Uco Valley in recent years, having mapped their soil by digging 1,200 pits and carrying out numerous microvinifications. And their single-parcel wines (i. e. , Los Indios and Alluvia) have become some of Argentina’s most exciting new bottlings. - From Argentina’s Wines Enter the World Stage (Jul 2018) by Stephen Tanzer
Wine maker notes
From the clayey soils of Finca El Alto in Ugarteche (Luján de Cuyo), we chose the poorest profiles, which result from the combination of pebbles, gravel and clay, to plant our Doña Paula Estate Cabernet Sauvignon in 1998. The yield is between 7 to 9 tonnes per hectare (around 2. 83 and 3. 65 tonnes per acre) and drip irrigation is used. This estate is located at 1,050 meters (almost 3,445 ft) above sea level and the climate in this area typically presents warm days and cool nights, with an average temperature variation of 14°C (57. 2°F) and an average annual rainfall of 200 mm (7. 87 in). The trellis system used is espalier. At Doña Paula, our vineyards have always been managed using sustainable agriculture practices.
An excellent wine is nothing but the most faithful expression of the vineyard. For that reason, we are passionate artists and details lovers when it comes to taking care of our vineyards, and we have absolute respect for varietal and territorial traits. We believe that the Argentinean Malbec has unique personality and that these soils have a great potential for producing other super premium varieties. Dona Paula’s innovative spirit is reflected in our incessant and meticulous search for diverse terroirs to elaborate high quality wines. We own estates in the best wine growing areas of Argentina, under different soil, height and climate conditions. We constantly introduce innovations in what respects to work in the vineyards according to each estate soil and climate conditions. For instance, we have implemented an alternative trellis systems such as Gobelet in the rocky soils of Finca Alluvia. This allow us to treat each plant as an individual and obtain a low yield in a natural way. Dona Paula’s diversity and innovation are also reflected in our choice of varieties that are not traditional in Argentina. Very good examples of this are Dona Paula’s outstanding Sauvignon Blanc and the planting of Casavecchia, Ancellota, Riesling, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Touliba, and Aglianico, among other varieties, which were strategically chosen not to be sold but to carry out vinification experiments by cloning these species.