A Unique Wine Region You Must Know About: Pedernal Valley

Located in the south-west of the province at 90 Km from the city of San Juan, it is a confined valley, isolated from natural pests. It has a unique combination of height, 1400 MASL, and calcareous soils. In 2007 it obtained the Geographical Indication (GI).




Graffigna Vineyards

Graffigna Vineyards

“A unique place for vine cultivation.”, affirms Daniel Pi, one of the pioneers in the area with Finca Las Moras and whom we consulted, together with Bernardo Bossi and Santiago Graffigna, about this unique valley in Argentina.

Sergio Casé (1st from left to right) and Daniel Pi (3rd), with Todd and Joaquín.

Sergio Casé (1st from left to right) and Daniel Pi (3rd), with Todd and Joaquín.

Daniel Pi

Trapiche’s chief winemaker and leader of the Bodega Group, Finca Las Moras, El Esteco, La Mascota, and Navarro Correas.

Why is this a “terroir” to pay attention to?

Because it seems to me that much attention is placed in the more traditional regions, especially Mendoza and in particular the Uco Valley. The Pedernal Valley is not within the scope of choice of wines of high range of the consumers, above all because of the little diffusion of its wines in spite of their undeniable quality. (Daniel)

What makes it different?

Its altitude, 1400 m, its different types of soil, its diversity of aspects or orientations of the slopes that generate different exposures to sunlight, its different sources of irrigation water. Its different alluvial cones that generate soil diversity. Its landscape confined between the Pedernal Sierra, to the east of the Valley, a very old formation belonging to the system of the Sierras Pampeanas, and the Tontal Mountains to the west of the valley. One of the most beautiful places in Argentina for vine cultivation. (Daniel)

Which wine profiles emerge from this terroir?

Basically because of its altitude and privileged climate, added to the above-mentioned factors, you can get various profiles that have as a common factor the freshness of its red fruit in the case of red wines, where I personally highlight Malbec and Syrah. But also the most classic varieties keep their fresh notes as it is in the case of Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. As for the white wines, I highlight the minerality and acidity of Chardonnay and the character of exotic fruit of Sauvignon Blanc. (Daniel)

Bernardo Bossi

Fuego Blanco’s chief winemaker.

Why is this a terroir to pay attention to?

Pedernal is a valley with a fairly narrow surface, surrounded by two mountainous formations. It is located at a height of 1500 MASL. Today we are no more than five or six producers in that particular zone. (Bernardo)

What makes it different?

There are several characteristics that make it a very important terroir, including its soils and climate. A recent study, carried out by French specialists, has shown many similarities, especially in relation to the nature of the soil, with the French Burgundy region. In the last two years, there has been a widespread worldwide interest in this valley, to the point that we have received the visit of “Masters of Wines”, journalists and critics with intentions to deepen their knowledge about it and know what it is the thing “the whole world is talking about”. (Bernardo)

Which wine profiles emerge from this terroir?

The marked thermal amplitude, its soils with calcareous components, the height, etc., make Pedernal an area of wines with a lot of aromatic intensity, marked varietal expression and very present acidity. In the case of reds, the color intensity is added. They are in general wines with a lot of character, but with elegance. (Bernardo)

Santiago Graffigna

Winemaker, owner of Viñas and Bodega Graffigna Yanzón.

Why is this a terroir to pay attention to?

Because it is a unique and exceptional terroir due to the quality of the grapes it produces. This gives us the possibility to achieve excellent wines. (Santiago)

What makes it different?

What today looks to be fashionable or just a passing novelty, is actually quality. The valley of Pedernal has many merits in its characteristics, mainly its calcareous soil and its special microclimate with a very important thermal amplitude, with 20 degrees in harvest time approximately, which makes it unique and with enormous potential! It has a high floor/ground and an unknown roof. (Santiago)

Which wine profiles emerge from this terroir?

In our experience and as a generalized concept, with the grapes of this valley one can achieve wines with very good structure, very intense colors, with an interesting natural acidity and low PH that balance and make possible fresh wines, easy to drink, but with a strong potential of flavor release in the mouth. (Santiago)

Joaquín Alberdi, in Pedernal Valley.

Joaquín Alberdi, in Pedernal Valley.

Main features of the Pedernal Valley

  • Limestone and flint stone “Pedernales”
  • Diversity of solar exposure
  • Thawing water for irrigation
  • Thermal amplitude of 14-20 °c
  • Cold, dry and sunny climate
  • Scarce rainfall

Thus one can achieve grapes with particular aromas and flavors, of high quality, of unique expression, with great concentration, with different textures in the tannins.

So… uncork a glass of Pedernal Valle wine and let us know what you think!





This was written by VinoApps´s team as a whole.

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