U.S.-Managed Winery Welcomed in Cafayate by Government and Tourism Officials, Salta Region of Argentina in March 2013

Mar 27, 2013, 10:15 ET from Piattelli Vineyards

MINNEAPOLIS, March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Now open to the public is Piattelli Vineyards' new, state-of-the-art winery and vineyards located in the town of Cafayate, Argentina. Grand opening events in March were hosted by owners and Minnesota natives Jon and Arlene Malinski and attended by prominent members of the wine industry, business community, and government. This new winery adds an 80 thousand case capacity to the 40 thousand produced by Piattelli's Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza estate. Piattelli currently produces Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Torrontes, Rose, and two wines which blend Malbec, Cabernet, and Merlot grapes: Capriccio on the Premium Reserve level ($10-$20), and Trinita on the Grand Reserve level ($20-$30).

With less than 2% of the vineyards in Argentina located in Salta, this initiative reinforces local efforts to establish Cafayate as an up-and-coming wine production region and prime tourism destination. It's being met with tremendous support from the Salta community. Presently Piattelli is one of the few US companies to have invested so heavily in the Cafayate Valley.

Incredibly, Piattelli owner Jon Malinski is not a Napa Valley native with a legacy in the wine industry, but hails instead from Minnesota with a legacy in the office equipment business. He and wife of nearly 50 years, Arlene, discovered a deep affection for Argentina after visiting in 2001.

"We realized early on that to succeed in our venture meant taking the time to truly care about and understand the people, lands, and customs in Argentina," said Malinski."We therefore dedicated ourselves to learn from the best and the brightest figures in the Argentina wine community so that we'd hit as close to the mark of excellence as possible from the first vintage onwards. Because of the wisdom, precision, and love that our team puts into every vintage, we've been able to deliver wines highly rated throughout the world that get better every year."

The new winery uses its hillside location to drive one of Argentina's few gravity-flow vinification systems, which maximizes flavor by preventing grapes from breaking prematurely, seeds from being crushed, and juice from being oxygenated and heated. What's more, Piattelli uses innovative concrete egg wine fermenters whose curved shape optimizes circulation and increases quality by forcing the juice, pulp, and skins into more constant contact.

A significant challenge Malinski faced by locating in Cafayate was the extremely rocky land. Thousands of boulders were removed before the vineyards could be planted and the winery built. Despite these obstacles, the valley is ideal with soil that's perfect for grapevine cultivation and a position on the valley's slope that avoids both frost and hail—forces that ruin vintages. "With its arid–clean air, crystal–clear water, and nutrient–rich soil," proclaims principal winemaker Valeria Antolin, "our vineyards are perfect for cultivating some of the most desirable grapes in the world." Piattelli has 477 acres in the valley, which is divided into two farms at an altitude of 5,577 feet above sea level.

Featuring spectacular vistas, stunning scenery, and a variety of colorful terrains to explore, Cafayate Valley is a desirable tourist destination. There are many activities to enjoy including wine tours, horse-trail rides, bike tours, and shopping. Piattelli itself offers wine industry summits, art exhibitions, cultural programs, and other activities throughout the year. Piattelli's restaurant, the area's largest led by top chef, Facundo Belardinelli, features progressive fusions of flavors as well as unique food-wine pairings.



SOURCE Piattelli Vineyards