“La Vasconia”, was the name given to the estate by its founders -themselves of Basque origin- in 1908, when they first planted vertically-positioned vines of two varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Most of the vines are on pergolas, a training system very much used in areas affected by late frosting. The clusters and canopy are 2 meters (6.56 feet) above the ground.
The newer vines are trained to high position, and planted in north-south rows to optimize sun exposure on their eastern and western sides and secure maximum morning and afternoon sunlight. The sixty-year-old vines on pergolas are partly covered by anti-hail mesh, while the twelve-year-old vertically-trained vines are all under hail-netting, as the risk of hailstorms is high in the area.
Managing the vineyard is essential to achieving good quality and includes winter pruning in order to balance plant load, and irrigation control aimed at attaining the optimum berry size in terms of anthocyanins and tannins.
• Location: La Vasconia Estate, Villa Atuel (San Rafael-Mendoza).
• Altitude: 515 meters above sea level
• Area: 140 hectares under production
• Soil: Sandy or limestone-sandy soil. Alluvial origin, sand and gravel layers. Most of the vineyard is trained on pergolas, with grape clusters and canopy hanging 2 meters above ground level to avoid damage by frosting.
• Climate: Continental, almost desert climate, highly influenced by the Andes Range. Annual rainfall is 350 mm and the average relative humidity is 54%.
• Irrigation: Furrow or flood irrigation, varying according to plant density and trellising system.
• Harvest: Late February or late March
• Pruning: From mid-July to mid-August. Spur pruning or cane pruning according to varieties.
• Anti-hail Netting: Covering over 50% of the vineyard.
• White: Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot de la Loire, and Tocai Friulano.
• Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, and Pinot Noir.