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Details for The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree, Torrontés

Matías Riccitelli
(click to find out more)


The largest, most famous and most productive winemaking region in Argentina, Mendoza is also one of the driest places in the world.  The Andes soar into the skyline and catch any rainfall headed Mendoza’s way.
Mendoza is so dry that its vineyards must be irrigated using meltwater from the mountains.  Lots of sunshine and almost no rain make ripening healthy grapes easy, and control over irrigation allows producers to make lots of dilute wine or small amounts of concentrated wine, as they desire.  There has been a massive shift towards the latter since the ’90s.
Mendoza is a huge area with a number of sub-regions, the most notable being Maipú, Luján de Cuyo and, perhaps the most exciting, the relative newcomer Valle de Uco.  A number of well-resourced wineries have invested in this high-altitude sub-region where nights are cool and the wines’ acidity is consequently high.
Malbec is the undisputed champion variety to grow in Mendoza, and so successful has it been here that Argentina is now considered to be the grape’s true home, despite its origins in Bordeaux.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Syrah and Tempranillo are other important red grapes.  Whites are less-planted, at least outside of the Valle de Uco, with Chardonnay and Torrontés being the main varieties.

Matías Riccitelli

Thirty-six-year-old Matías is the son of the renowned Jorge Riccitelli, chief winemaker at Argentinean giant Bodega Norton since 1992.  Mentored by his father from an early age, he worked as head winemaker at Fabre Montmayou before founding his own winery in 2009 at Vistalba in Luján de Cuyo, the heart of the Mendoza region.
At only 20 hectares of vineyards (although some additional fruit is bought in), this is a very boutique operation by Argentinian standards.  By contrast, Bodega Norton has around 1300 hectares.  The focus is on Malbec, with four separate ones including the flagship Republica del Malbec from centenarian vines.  Joining the Malbec in his Vineyard Selection range is a Cabernet Franc and a Chardonnay, the latter from vineyards in the higher, cooler Valle de Uco to the south.
Valle de Uco also contributes the fruit for the two whites in his mid-priced Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree range (a reference to his famous father), whose reds include a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Bonarda as well as the obligatory Malbec.  Finally there is Hey Malbec! from younger vines which you may have spotted in Majestic.  Not content just with Mendoza, he also makes an old-vine Merlot and Sémillon in Patagonia at Fabre Montmayou where he used to work.

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