South America is a continent where you can find some of the most remarkable wines worldwide. One of the most prolific regions in this part of the world is without a doubt Mendoza, located near the Andes, in western Argentina. Winemaking in Mendoza is a tale as old as time. In the late 19th century, wine production in this region increased and that's when Argentinian wines began their journey to some of the most luxurious restaurants outside the local market. What makes Mendoza grapes so fascinating is the prolonged growing season due to warm weather during the day and much cooler nights, so an impeccable balance between rich sweetness and fantastic acidity can be reached. Mendoza wines are therefore quite tannic, with well-known minerality and consistent quality year after year. In Mendoza, you're most likely to find Criolla Grande and Cereza grape varieties, along with Malbec, maybe the most widely planted variety, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This diversity contributed to Mendoza's wine tourism, featuring the National Harvest Festival celebrated in March, where you can enjoy tons of wine tasting events. Maybe you'll get a chance to meet one of the ravishing Catena Zapata blends, or a famous Malbec red called Trapiche.
The Trivento portfolio of fine wines was founded in 1996 and is a true expression of Argentine wines, with more than 1,500 hectares of vineyards.
Trivento is named for the three winds that influence its vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina: the Polar, a cold wind from the south; the Zonda, a warming western wind sweeping down off of the Andes; and the Sudestada, or southeast blow, which brings freshness from the Atlantic and Río Plata estuary to the vineyards. At the foot of the Andes, strains of vines originating in the Old World are at home with terroirs of generous sun and careful hands.
Since 2013, Trivento is the number 1 selling Argentine wine brand in Europe. The company owns 1,657 hectares of vineyards located mainly in the Maipú, Luján de Cuyo and Valle de Uco regions of Mendoza. This wide range of topography and microclimates gives rise to a portfolio of wines that preserves the character of the Mendoza terroir.
Trivento is a leader in sustainable initiatives . In 2013, it launched a cross-cutting project for the company's operation that included Sustainability at the center of its business model. From there, it adhered to the United Nations Global Compact and reports goals for the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Germán Di Cesare, head winemaker at Trivento, and communications director Victoria Acosta, said the growth of the Golden Reserve Malbec would be a long-term project to ensure the quality and consistency of the wine is preserved.
With the 2018 vintage of the Golden Reserve performing well, Trivento is planning to slowly scale-up production, increasing output by between 3% and 5% each year. This, Di Cesare said, is the equivalent to adding grapes from one or two vineyards into the production process.
Trivento has a planting programme in Luján de Cuyo, where it sources its grapes for the Golden Reserve. However, vineyards must reach the necessary maturity before Di Cesare considers using them in the blend.
Trivento now makes 60,000 cases of Golden Reserve Malbec per year. In order to gradually increase output, it has planted a 230ha vineyard, which is now around five years old.
“It needs around five to seven years before we can bring it into production,” Di Cesare said, noting the older vines give balance and concentration to the wines, which is something he wants to keep.
Using a blend of grapes from different districts within Luján de Cuyo, such as Perdriel, Vistalba, Agrelo and Las Compuertas, Trivento aims to reflect ‘the place’ in its Golden Reserve Malbec.
Di Cesare has been involved in the project since 2002, when the wines from 2000, the first vintage of Golden Reserve, were being released.
He explained the journey had been about finding the ‘Argentine style’ by picking grapes earlier, reducing the length of macerations and decreasing the quantity of new oak used.
“We used to pick at the end of April, keep our wines in oak for over 12 to 15 months and use 100% new oak,” he said. “Maceration could be as long as 40 days. The wines were very concentrated, ripe and with a lot of oak character, and had tannins that needed time in bottle.” While he has worked on the Golden Reserve Malbec, Di Cesare has reduced the alcohol content by 1% ABV and now uses only 20-25% new oak.
However he said the country needed “more time” to produce its own style. Producers are planting in new areas, which are yet to reach maturity, and the climate is also changing.