A few years before 1950, Ing. Alberto Zuccardi reaches Mendoza from his homeland in Tucuman where their great-grandparents had settled upon arriving in the Italian region of AveIino. In 1963, Alberto implanted a vineyard in the region of Maipu not knowing that it would begin the great passion of his life, the wine in- dustry. In 1990, his son, José Alberto Zuccardi, assumed the General Director of the company.
In 2005, Sebastian Zuccardi, third generation of the family, lead the development of the new stage of the wines of the winery expansion into the Uco Valley. On his initiative, since 2008 the winery has an area of Research and Development dedicated to the study of the terroir and the different variables that affect wine production. In 2013 begins the construction of the Zuccardi winery Uco Valley, opened in March 2016 with the premise of producing wines with identity, through the continuous exploration of the different terroirs of the Uco Valley.
With altitudes of 3,200-4,800 feet above sea level, the Uco Valley represents the upper limit of growing in Mendoza. These higher elevations mean cooler temperatures combined with greater luminosity and a broader spectrum of light. Higher natural acidities and longer hang-times mean better balance and more polyphenolic/ physiological ripeness to the final wines. Also adding to the complexity of the region are the heterogeneous alluvial soil types, frequently with calcium carbonate deposits on the rocks to which the vines’ roots cling. These unique terroirs provide the Zuccardi range a new identity and quality.
The Uco Valley at the foot of the Andes, Mendoza, is a cultivated oasis at the highest altitude. Through advanced practices such as satellite imagery, electromagnetic conductivity testing as well as the backbreaking work of soil profile digs (calicata), the team has purchased or planted 5 unique, high potential vineyard sites as well as leasing several others, each with its own characteristics and demands. The combination of 240 hectares/ 590 acres of vineyards with multiple microclimates, altitudes, types of soils results in multiple terroirs. Zuccardi has the challenge to interpret the terroir faithfully to express their identity in the wine.
The completion of the new winery, located in Paraje Altamira in the southern part of the Uco Valley, allows Zuccardi to explore and express unique vineyards sites. Made from the very stones, sand and water of the place, the winery is not only an symbol to the region, but a part of its very terroir. The winery uses hundreds of 3” thick, unlined concrete fermentation vessels (eggs, amphorae, troncoconics) of varying sizes. These natural shapes and thick walls allow for a more natural condition in the fermentation of red wines. The resulting wines show better typicity and regionality. Sebastian’s vision and minimally invasive, holistic philosophy are reflected in the efficient design. Sebastian’s goal is to “not seek perfect wines, but those which express the place and the region.”
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