[box_light]An insightful story of a passion for natural winemaking by a small Argentine producer with over a century of family tradition.[/box_light]
My wife and I first discovered the delightful taste and aromas of Torrontes wine in the cafes and restaurants on the square in the sleepy village of Cafayate, Argentina. Comparing the various Torrontes from local producers, although it was a difficult choice, we decided that the Nanni Torrontes had the most appeal to us. These dry but fruity wine’s aromas provided a delightful nose and surprising finish.
[box_light]“Looking to discover what made Bodega Nanni’s Torrontes so special, I decided to make a short film about them. What I discovered was a family with a local winemaking tradition that dates back over one hundred years.”
Videographer Rudi Goldman[/box_light]
[box_light]Over 120 years of winemaking tradition[/box_light]
The story of Bodega Nanni is a story of a passion for winemaking that began over 120 years ago when Pietro Nanni, an Italian immigrant, settled in Cafayate, Argentina. In 1897 Pietro set up a small family winery and by 1905 he purchased the 11,000 hector estate of Chimpa, on the Northern edge of Cafayate in the Cafayate Valley. After Pietro’s death in 1935, his sons Benjamin and Pedro Nanni continued their father’s legacy, developing new vineyards at Chimpa, east of the Cafayate Valley, El Porvenir in the center and Altamira in Yacochuya to the west.
In 1982 Benjamin’s son José Eduardo and his wife Felisa Maro embraced the idea of capitalizing on the unique microclimate that existed on their San José de Chimpa estate, one that supported natural conditions favorable for producing totally organic wines.
[box_light]Certified organic winery[/box_light]
Their dogged pursuit of the idea of making totally natural wines earned the couple the reputation of being early innovators in the field of organic viticulture in this wine-producing region. This innovative vision earned Bodega Nanni the distinction of being the first and, to date, the only SENASA fully certified, totally organic winery in Cafayate.
“An organic , biological and ecological product is one which derives from a global management system of production which fosters and heightens agricultural-eco system health, biological diversity, natural cycles and the biological activity of the soil.”
Bodega Nanni favors the use of renewable resources and recycling which returns nutrients of residual winemaking products to the soil. This in turn fosters sustainable production which enriches the environment. Organic viticulture respects the natural mechanisms of nature in controlling diseases detrimental to the plants, while reducing or totally avoiding the use of chemical fertilizers, growth hormones and antibiotics, as well as genetic manipulation in bringing the grape to harvest.
The Bodega Nanni website claims that not only does drinking their wine foster health due to the antioxidant properties of polyphenols, but also due to the fact that their products are organic and do not have any traces of any kind of agrichemicals or any other chemical products in them.
This respect for the natural processes and the biodiversity of the soil has not only become a production system for Bodega Nanni, but a way of working and their philosophy of life.
[box_light]The terroir of Cafayate[/box_light]
José Eduardo describes the unique aspects of the Cafayate terroir: “The advantages of producing wines in this place is that allow us to make organic wines are: (1) there is very little rain, (2) is a desert climate, (3) usually in the afternoon the wind blows a lot and it works as a fungicide, preventing the development of fungus and diseases in the vineyard and (4) we have a very good temperature range (thermal amplitude) which allows the grapes to ripen very well. In addition, we have sunny days most of the year round and many hours of sunshine per day. Let’s say we have lots of sunshine and that benefits the vineyard. The soil is poor and does not allow abundant harvests, but a very good concentration. All of which adds up to our ability to produce high quality wines.”
Today, 4th generation Nanni family members, José Eduardo Junior, Juan Pablo and Jimena are taking the lead to continue the family legacy of passionate winemaking and to further the tradition of creating outstanding organic wines from Cafayate.
José Eduardo: “We have more than one hundred years, more than a century of wine making experience. I try to instill the passion that my parents and grandparents had in my children, so that this tradition continues. For our family, winemaking is a way of life in addition to being a business.”
[box_light]Combining age old traditions with modern methods[/box_light]
Surprisingly in the center of the village of Cafayate, the first thing a visitor to Bodega Nanni and its lovely patio restaurant notices is that things seem to not have changed much for quite some time. Bodega Nanni looks very much like a small family run Argentine winery stuck in the past. It’s a charming, and in these modern times, unique place to visit.
According to their website, the Nanni family team has been keeping up with the latest chemical-microbiological processes that have been evolving wine over time, and produce their wines in a very controlled way in accordance with established standards.
Their website goes on to state that with more than 110 years of wine making history, Bodega Nanni has constantly incorporated modern equipment including; stainless steel tanks, cooling equipment pumps, filters and a state-of-the-art bottling and labeling area.
One hundred percent of Bodega Nanni’s production comes from their family owned vineyards at their Chimpa estate. Out of a total 2000 hectares, 50 acres are planted with vines. The vineyards are located at an altitude of 1,750 meters (4,725 feet) above sea level and consist of sandy, loam, poor and deep soils. The average rainfall of 80 mm is ideal for grape production. The semi-desert climate and great thermal amplitude create extremely healthy grapes, free from pesticides or fungicides. Constant winds and drip irrigation produce mature, thick-skinned grapes which bring great color concentration, polyphenols and varietal aromas to their wines.
In addition to the Torrontes wine featured in this article and film, Bodega Nanni produces three wine lines: Young, Reserve and Arcanvs.
Torrontes, Rosato, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Torrontes Tardio
Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Malbec, Bonarda
Blends of limited production
[box_light]Torrontes wine from Cafayate[/box_light]
Hidden far away from the hustle and bustle of our rapidly changing world is the small winemaking town of Cafayate, Argentina. This sleepy, slow-moving and peaceful village can be found in the glorious river delta region between the Rio Calchaqui and the Rio Santa Maria in the Northwest province of Salta. This delta area has a natural border formed by the Calatasta and Aconquija mountain ranges.
Cafayate is at least a three and one-half hour drive from the capital of Salta. This includes experiencing the journey through the spectacular, awe-inspiring and ever-changing wild landscape of the Quebrada del Ro de las Conchas.
Cafayate a relatively sleepy place, requiring some amount of desire and commitment to get to. And this marvelous wine growing region is where the story of my personal discovery and love affair with Torrontes wine had its birth. My wife and I first discovered the delightful taste and aromas of this locally produced wine in the cafes and restaurants on the square. Comparing the various Torrontes from local producers, although it was a difficult choice, we decided that the Nanni Torrontes had the most appeal to us. These dry but fruity wine’s aromas provided a delightful nose and surprising finish. This is what makes the Torrontes wines produced in this high altitude region of Argentina so special.
In order to enjoy this lovely wine from Bodega Nanni, you will have to get on a plane to make the trip to Salta Province yourself – because of their small-scale production and distribution, you will not be able to find this fine quality Torrontes wine at your grocery store or even favorite wine shop.
The property owners at La Estancia de Cafayate and Susana Quetglas.