The SOMM Journal

June / July 2015

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Page 30 of 100

30 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2015 ESTABLISHED IN 1997, DOÑA PAULA IS AN ARGENTINE estate winery made up of innovative professionals who are passionate and detail-oriented with absolute respect for the particular characteristics of each grape variety in the region and are guided by the idea that an excellent wine is nothing but the most faithful expression of the vineyard from which it originates. The winery's innovative spirit is reflected in its constant and detailed search for different terroirs from which to elaborate high-quality wines. Doña Paula owns estates in the best winegrowing regions of Argentina, with varied soil, altitude and climatic conditions. The winery's constant innovation in the vineyard is reflected in practices such as the planting of bush vines—very uncommon in Argentina—in the rocky soil of the Alluvia estate, where each plant is treated as an individual in order to obtain a naturally low yield. The winery also plants and vinifies varieties not traditionally cultivated in Argentina, such as Casavecchia, Ancellotta, Riesling, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Marsanne and Touriga Nacional, among others. At Doña Paula, the vineyards have always been managed according to sustainable agriculture practices. A controlled irrigation system using Andean meltwater, along with infertile, high-drainage soils, allows the team to reduce the use of agrochemical products to a minimum. Soils Matter Soil is one of the main factors that influence terroir and, consequently, the distinctive characteristics of a wine. For this reason, Doña Paula has carried out exhaustive research on its vineyards soils. This research had four stages: • An electroconductivity scanning of the soils was carried out at depths of 1.64 feet and 4.92 feet. As a result, it was possible to obtain a map on which the sectors with different electroconductivity can be clearly identified. • On a section of the vineyard a point was marked and a pit was dug there. In 2013, a total of 500 pits were dug. • Each pit was studied individually. The different layers were described and soil samples were taken to be analyzed. • Malbec from different types of soils was micro-vinified in oak barrels to study the impact that each soil type has on the wine style. Doña Paula's high-elevation vineyard in Ugarteche, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. Doña Paula viticulturalist Martín Kaiser stands in one of the 500 exploratory pits dug in the Doña Paula estate vineyards in 2013. PHOTO: JENNIFER HOHMAN DOÑA PAULA IS AN ARGENTINE MODEL FOR TERROIR-DRIVEN WINES by David Gadd TRIUMPHS

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