Argentine winery

Piattelli Vineyards: Premium Wines from the Heights of Cafayete

Federico Tibytt

The Argentine winery produces, on the heights of the town of Cafayate, young wines with outstanding characteristics of the Malbec and Torrenés grapes.

Piattelli Vineyards is a young winery in Argentina founded by American entrepreneur Jon Malinski, who spurred by his passion for wine production has developed labels of high international acceptance in only seven years.

Located in the city of Cafayate, in the northwest of the country, this winery has managed to produce some high-quality wines just four years after the start of production. The Grand Reserva Malbec 2013 is especially noteworthy. It was awarded 90 points by Wine Spectator magazine. Also worth mentioning is the incredible Premium Reserva Torrontes 2013.

Situated in the heart of the Calchaquíes Valleys at a height of 1,800 meters (5,905 feet) above sea level, the winery is surrounded by vast landscapes of vineyards that confirm the importance of wine to the area.

We reach the entrance of the winery through a winding path between the vines. Once there, we are greeted by the chief winemaker Alejandro Nesman, who graciously welcomed He explains how these 470 acres of virgin slopes became an impressive wine venture in just seven years.

It all started in 2009 when Jon Malinski decided to expand the production capacity of Piattelli Vineyards purchasing this field in Cafayate and investing heavily in the preparation of the land for planting, and in the construction of a state of the art winery.

The modernity of the facility is evident upon entering the production room, a huge semicircle full of towering stainless steel vats, connected by bridges and metal pipes in a spotless environment.

Their level of sterilization is a sign of the production standards required by the owner and the professionals in charge. Nesman tells us how these terroirs are cultivated with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and Torrontés in plantations developed by this winery.

All their wines are made from their grapes, grown and supervised by the winemaker. Since its first production in 2012, the winery has grown from 90,000 liters per year to nearly one million liters in 2015. They have achieved this feat while preserving small intervention methods and meticulous care of the fruit, with moderate maturing and maceration.

The aging chamber mimics the semicircular shape of the cellar in the basement, where hundreds of wines mature in French and American oak barrels. The process takes place in an environment of artificially controlled temperature and humidity. What draws attention to this site are the modern oval-shaped maceration devices made of concrete and fiberglass, which allow natural macerations.

In Cafayate, Piattelli produces wines using Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and Torrontés strains. The most prominent are the Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (rated 91 points by Wine Advocate), the Gran Reserva Malbec and the Premium Reserva Torrontés.

The Gran Reserva Malbec 2013 has an intense color that reveals the temperature variations of the region; its aromas are fruity with notes of local spices such as paprika. The palate is intense but friendly, with just the right touch of wood that allows us to detect subtle flavors of herbs and fruit. In short, it is a wine of well-balanced flavors, acidity, and aromas, with a very pleasing body.

Meanwhile, the Premium Reserva Torrontés, made with the specific and traditional strain of Cafayate, stands out for its distinctive personality. With a pale yellow color and good body, it delivers a pleasant acidity that is directly identified with the grape, communicating intense fruit and floral aromas.

With a significant presence in the markets in the US, UK and soon in Canada, Piattelli is a brand worth knowing for its production of premium Argentinian wines.

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