About this WINE
Pinot Noir has been grown in Patagonia’s upper Río Negro for around a hundred years. The isolation and alluvial soils mean phylloxera never took root here, so the vineyards that survived neglect are still alive and well. That’s what attracted Piero Incisa della Rochetta to invest in some old plots and help rebuild the reputation of Pinot Noir from this extraordinary region.
From the start of this project, Piero has fully embraced a biodynamic approach which only serves to accentuate the individuality of this terroir. Its innate qualities have already served to attract one of the greatest names in Burgundy, Jean-Marc Roulot, who works with Piero on the Chardonnay to great effect.
Patagonia, located in the southernmost parts of Argentina and Chile, has emerged as an exciting and promising wine-producing region. While historically known for its stunning landscapes and natural beauty, the area has recently gained recognition for its unique viticultural characteristics.
Patagonia's climate is characterised by its cool, semi-arid conditions, which differ significantly from Argentina and Chile's more well-known wine regions. The region benefits from winds that blow in from the Antarctic, helping to moderate temperatures and extend the growing season. The high diurnal temperature variation, with warm days and cool nights, contributes to developing grapes with good acidity, vibrant aromas, and flavours.
The region is known for producing red and white grape varieties. On the red side, Pinot Noir is particularly successful in Patagonia's cool climate, creating elegant, aromatic wines with bright acidity. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah are also grown, offering a more restrained and balanced expression than in warmer regions. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have great potential for white varieties, displaying crispness, minerality, and vibrant fruit flavours.
Many wineries in Patagonia are committed to sustainable and organic viticulture. The region's pristine environment and a growing global demand for eco-friendly wines have prompted a focus on sustainable practices, including organic and biodynamic farming methods. This emphasis on sustainability aligns with the region's commitment to preserving its natural resources.
While Patagonia's wine industry is relatively young compared to other established regions in Argentina and Chile, it has been making significant strides in recent years. The focus on quality over quantity, coupled with the region's unique climate and terroir, has attracted attention from wine enthusiasts and critics alike. Patagonian wines are increasingly recognised for their elegance, balance, and distinctive character.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.