Terroir: Valle de Uco
Salentein, the “King of the Valley”
Salentein has the “single biggest cool climate estate” in Mendoza. Our estate in Valle de Uco has a linear distance of 22 kilometers on an area of 700 hectares with vineyards at altitudes ranging from 1,050 to 1,550 meters. A variety of microclimates (with different temperatures due to solar radiation), endowed with great thermal amplitude, a diversity of soils, altitudes and orientations, offers a unique ecosystem for growing grapes, and led to the discovery of new winemaking profiles.
The Salentein estate consists of 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres), 700 hectares (1,124 acres) of which are planted to grapes in three estate “fincas”. The fincas, where grapes are grown at a range of altitudes among the highest in the world, are irrigated with pure mountain run-off, which creates lower pH in the grape, resulting in higher acidity, more color in the wine, and greater ageability. The region´s thermal amplitude ranges as much as 16°C (29°F) from daytime highs to nighttime lows.
The fincas include many diverse elevations and soils, creating varying conditions for the ripening of different varieties. The ages of plantings range from two to 32 years old. Varieties are approximately 80% red and 20% white.
At 1,050-1,200 meters (3,445-3,937 feet), this finca is the lowest of the three vineyards, and has the longest growing season. Its name means "the path between the mountains."
The middle finca lies at 1,200-1,300 meters (3,937-4,265 feet). The key natural feature here is the alluvial soil, which reaches depths of 30 to 41 centimeters (12 to 16 inches). The soil contains many stones, causing roots to grow deep in search of water. This vineyard, like El Oasis, is tended entirely by hand.
The highest finca sits at 1,700 meters (5,577 feet). Plantings are predominantly short-cycle varietals, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. This vineyard is tended half by hand and half by mechanical methods.