Bodega Vistalba was built between 2001 and 2004 on family-owned land in the heart of the Luján de Cuyo wine region, close to the city of Mendoza. The region is well-known to founder, Carlos Pulenta, having already been involved with other viticultural projects here, involving members of his family, consultants, oenologists and other local people who really know the land.
The winery was designed with the wines Carlos intended to make very much in mind and whilst it pays homage to traditional winemaking, cutting-edge technology is employed. The entire winemaking process is completed without the use of pumps, using gravity to move the grapes and wine on its journey. Their commitment to traditional winemaking extends to the use of concrete vats. They believe that it provides advantages when making red wine: the most notable being the material’s thermic-stability, allowing for slow temperature change rates during fermentation.
The winery’s storage capacity was also carefully considered. The barrel room has an avant-garde design that manages to maintain the ideal temperature without losing its natural, beneficial humidity levels. After bottling the wines are allowed time to integrate before release; the underground cellar has capacity for more than 400,000 bottles to be stored at controlled temperatures.
The estate’s vineyards are located in the Luján de Cuyo province, within the Vistalba district, just 1.6 km south west of Mendoza and set at the foot of the Cordón del Plata, about a 980 metres above sea level. The 50 hectares of vineyards are planted with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Bonarda vines, some more than 70 years of age. A traditional approach to the cultivation of the vine is found in these vineyards; with traditional furrow watering and long pruning in practice, just as was done 100 years ago. The soils are heterogeneous, sedimentary, alluvial soils, with clay loam and pebble subsoils; providing good drainage that allows roots to explore three to four metres in depth looking for minerals.
The health of the vineyard is closely linked to Vistalba’s viticultural approach. They avoid using pesticides and herbicides in the vineyard. Pasture intercropping is carried out, with rye being planted every other row; they use by-products such as marc and stalks mixed with goat manure in areas where fertility is reduced to manage the vineyards fertility on a plot by plot basis.