Harvest Blog

2021 Harvest Report – An strategic harvest

Posted by alhcommunication

2021 was quite the perfect year to implement the “Less is more” motto, a philosophy that our founder Alberto Antonini always shares with the team of ants.

The season began with ideal climate conditions but, as the harvest date kept approaching, started to set many challenges to our young and enthusiast team.

The 2021 harvest was basically a chess game, in which making the most out of every good weather day was key and the great attitude and energy our team brought to the game was essential to get the great grapes from Luján de Cuyo, Gualtallary and our very expected grapes from Jardín Altamira, to the winery.

The Weather

The season began with a fresh and dry spring that favored good fruit set in the vines and helped increase yields by 10% compared with the previous vintage.

During summer, temperatures were moderate, and February and March – the months in which we pick up the grapes – had bouts of rain. Rainy summers are unusual in Mendoza, so the team had to weather the storm to reorganize the harvest calendar trying to avoid the rainy days.

Years in which the climate plays the enemy part confirm that our early harvest philosophy is key to keep natural acidity and freshness in our wines. Defining the exact timing to pick up the grapes is a great challenge for our team since there are so many things to consider: analytic parameters, weather conditions, as well as the tasting tests from each and every terroir unit that each year is harvested and elaborated separately.  

By the end of the season, rains lowered and temperatures were not very high; these lasts days were warm and stable, keeping the grapes turgid and avoiding over-ripeness.

Harvesting Jardín Altamira!

In 2017, after a huge soil study, we planted our dreams in Paraje Altamira. We created a unique vineyard in Mendoza, farmed organically from the start, where the plot design mirrors the different soil units. In 2020 we got a little taste of what this vineyard can produce, the result of our “work of ants” for many years. And this vintage was the opportunity to produce the first official vintage from this vineyard. The results could not be more promising.

We can truly show terroir in our wines with the grapes from this vineyard; wines with a limestone backbone, showing texture and tannins as well as fruit and structure, expressive wines that also have a wild side.

When you visit Jardin Altamira, you can feel the balance that is reflected in the wines. Our team has created a small tradition every time they are in this vineyard. They stand quietly and watch and listen carefully to the life in this place: the insects, the soft breeze, the flowers, the huge stones… and in between all this, our vines, in harmony with its surroundings and delivering their full potential.  

Total quality and a different approach to winemaking

Wines are made in the vineyard. This is a yearly work in which the team interprets nature and its balance, to have one shot to deliver all this into the winery. Once in the winery, we work carefully to maintain top quality standards in the wines that will deliver this to the consumers.

Keeping this goal in mind, this year we implemented HACCP standards as well as the Sustainability Protocol created by Bodegas de Argentina. These guidelines help us control the entire process even more, making sure that we are not only respecting our vineyards in each one of our wines but also measuring and controlling more efficiently the impact of their elaboration on the environment.

We strongly believe in a program of continuous quality improvement as a growth model for our team!

2021 was a challenging harvest, with several different active fronts. This was a harvest that required creativity, constant adaptation, sharpness and a pinch of good humor. Our team of ants also added effort and dedication to the mix, making it possible to harvest each plot intact and bring all the grapes to the winery to begin the wine elaboration process. Years like these gift us plenty of learnings. And this year also gifted us wines full of freshness and aromatic expression, high-intensity colors, fine tannins and great structure.