The grapes to produce the Torrontés Salta Bodega Colomé “Estate Series” went through a double selection process, first in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. Fermentation was slow, using selected yeasts at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for three months before bottling in June. It then spent a further two months ageing in bottle before release.
The high altitude of the Calchaquí Valley and high diurnal range ensures a long growing season. The diurnal range, as much as 25°C, helps retain natural acidity in the grapes. The climate is dry with very little rainfall, on average around 120 millimetres per year. Soils are sandy with layers of gravel which helps drainage. The vineyards are farmed according to biodynamic principles. The Torrontés vines are grown between 1,700 and 2,300 metres above sea level.
Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 and is the oldest working winery in Argentina with one of the world’s highest vineyards. The winery is located in the far north of Argentina in the Upper Calchaquí Valley and is thought to have been founded by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854 his daughter, Ascensión, brought the first pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Bodega Colomé. Although these early efforts were pioneering at the time, it was when Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess (of Hess Collection, Napa Valley fame) bought Bodega Colomé in 2001 that it underwent the greatest transformation. Today, the winery has 140 hectares of biodynamically-run vineyards planted at altitudes of between 1,750 and 3,111 metres above sea level. French winemaker Thibaut Delmotte has been at the helm since 2005, his winemaking philosophy includes minimal intervention, the use of indigenous yeasts in fermentations and restrained use of oak, so that it never overwhelms the characteristic freshness and the purity of fruit of all of the Bodega Colomé wines.