François and his brother Jacques started making wine in Argentina as far back as 1992.
After much searching they found what they were looking for in the Alta Uco Valley an area of majestic natural beauty in the foothills of the Andes. Although nothing more than a semi-desert at the time they were the very first to recognise the potential of this area for vinegrowing ; the quality of the terroir, the virgin lands set in altitude, the continental climate and the presence of a pure source of underground water coming from melted snow from the Andes Mountains.
They analysed the lands and then had their Bordeaux vigneron father, André Lurton to
come to confirm their choice. He likened the gravel soils to those of Pessac Léognan, the supreme white wine appellation of Bordeaux and home to the family’s Château La Louvière and Couhins Lurton.
True pioneers they embarked on the new venture purchasing 200 hectares of the virgin land in 1996.
The estate lies high up in the Alto Uco Valley at an altitude of 1100m literally in the foothills of the Andes which provide a magical backdrop to the vineyards. Whatever the time of year the tips of the mountains are snow-capped. It is in the large Mendoza region, 80 km south-west from the city of Mendoza in the Tunuyan district , near to the town of Vista Flores.
Continental climate (hot and dry in summer, very cold and wet in the winter) with average rainfall of less than 200mm (the vines are fed water from the estates own natural springs through drip irrigation). Wide variations in night and daytime temperatures (10 to 40°C in the summer); lots of sunshine during the day, but as soon as the sun descends the high altitude makes night temperatures fall dramatically which spreads out the growing season allowing the grapes to ripen slowly. The risk of hail is a continual problem and the vines are protected by nets.
136 hectares of vineyards. The vineyards planted in the middle 90s now have an average age of almost 15 years and are divided between Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon with a majority of Pinot Gris.
A combination of sand, granite schist, alluvial deposits and large rounded pudding stones are suitably poor and well draining.