Etchart was founded in 1850 in Cafayate in the remote north-west Argentine province of Salta. Here the vineyards are about a mile above sea level, making them amongst the highest commercial vineyards in the world.
Victor Marcantoni is the Head Winemaker at Etchart and a man with considerable experience, having spent time making wine in Italy, Spain, Chile and America. He has particularly fond memories of the 1988 harvest at Château Bon Pasteur in Bordeaux when working with the ‘fantastic’ Michel Rolland.
He and his team take a thoughtful approach to winemaking and much experimentation goes on to develop their wines in both the winery and vineyard. The treatment of the estate’s vineyard fox population demonstrates their approach. In this dry region which experiences rain on only five days a year, they were regularly chewing up the irrigation pipes to get at the water. Rather than drive them away or keep them out, the team installed water troughs for them to drink from, ‘After all they are part of the ecosystem, and they make a particularly good pest control system’ Victor explains.