This range is called ‘Las Criollas de Don Graciano’ in reference the grower of this traditional, pergola vineyard in the Uco Valley. ‘Criolla’ is the name given to a grape variety resulting from the cross-breeding of Vitis vinifera species introduced to the area by Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century. They are unique to South America, and often times, they are lost in abandoned vineyards. By working with the original growers of these varieties, like Don Graciano, Norberto and Sebastián have become pioneers in the revival of the Criolla grapes in Mendoza. The White is a blend of mostly Criolla Grande with small portions of Torrontés, and Pedro Gimenez. Criolla Grande is a red-skinned grape unique to Argentina that is believed to be a crossing of a crossing of Mission (also known as Pais and Criolla Chica) and Muscat of Alexandria. Torrontés is Argentina’s signature, aromatic white grape. Pedro Giménez (unrelated to the Spanish grape, Pedro Ximénez, known for its use in Sherry production) is a rapidly declining white Criolla grape mostly grown in Argentina. Together, these three grapes combine to make a brilliantly floral white wine that is Argentine through and through.
The grapes were hand harvested and pressed to a mix of concrete vats and old oak barrels, keeping each component separate for spontaneous fermentation. The wine was kept in these vessels for four months of aging on the lees, after which the lots were blended to tank and bottled with just a coarse cross-flow filtration of the wine at the bottom of the tank and a small dosage of sulfur. No fining.