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Investing

Private vineyard business is booming

July 24, 2012 by Mariano Zalazar | in Latest news, News

Lots to produce your own wine are located in Uco Valley. They look for investors that wish to make their own high-end wine. The general cooling off of economy has made buyers wary.

The wine industry provides investors with multiple alternatives. Private vineyard estate has become a commercial branch of increasing popularity. Companies offer a wide range of options that goes from ARS 20,000 to 1,200,000.

The companies’ idea is to offer wine lovers a chance to have their own vines and personalized wine, whether it is business or pleasure.

One of the companies is Sotheby´s International Realty Mendoza. Andrés Ostropolsky, from the sales department is currently working on two private vineyard developments. One is Casa Palmero, located in a 80-hecatre estate in Tupungato, and the second is Casa Uco, owned by the Tonconoguy Family from Buenos Aires, located in Uco Valley. Ostropolsky commented that the price per hectare is between ARS 600,000 and 1,200,000.

Another similar project is Finca Propia, located in La Arboleda (Tupungato, Mendoza). In this case, there are 56 hectares available to plant and the minimum investment is above ARS 20,000.

The different faces of the business

Juan Tonconogy, one of the owners of Casa de Uco, explained that his company boasts 320 hectares available for producing. Nowadays, the first module of 70 hectares is already planted with Malbec, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Torrontes and Pinot Grigio.

Tonconogy family’s project offers its clients the access to vineyards that are managed by the company, but each owner can decide on the use of its crops. “You can make your own wine, and decide on the degree of involvement. You may get involved in the picking, in the design of the label or in the creation of a blend under the advice of the winemaker. Once finished the picking, the investor may choose to sell the production of grapes through the company and make an annual profit or he or she may sell part of the production of grapes and allocate the rest for making his or her own wine.”

For each hectare purchased, owners will get 150 bottles of premium wine made with grapes from the estate, regardless of the use they wish to give to their crop,” concluded Tonconogy.

For his part, winemaker Antonio Mas, who is in charge of Finca Propia together with his son Santiago, said: “Anyone can buy a piece of the 56 hectares that make Finca Propia with a one-off payment  of ARS 20,000. From that moment, the owner receives 24 vine plants (Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay) that are available to him for a minimum period of three years,” he explained.

With these grapes, wines are made and labeled with the name of the owner and the brand “Río de Luna”. This way, every month for three years, the “new wine-producers” receive at their homes a case of tailor-made wines. Though the winemaking is at the hands of a group of experts leaded by Mas, investors may be part of the process.

Finca Propia has been receiving clients since 2010. After two years, members amounted to 4,000.

For its part, Casa Palmero was set up in 2011 by Lucas Palmero. The 80 hectares contain 80-year-old vineyards that produce Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay grapes. The average price of each hectare is ARS 800,000.

Owners take part in the winemaking process with grapes from their vineyards and receive the advice of sommeliers, winemakers and agronomists.

The company’s winery is prepared to carry out microvinifications (in barrels) with double sorting tables, equipment to control temperature and everything necessary for making premium wines.

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