To use the famous expression, “Veni, vidi, vici,” was not exactly the way it went down in pursuit of our dream of owning a vineyard but it was close.
The first adrenalin rush was when we said, “Yes, we’ll buy it!”
It was love at first sight as we stood on the vacant fertile land of our future 108 acre vineyard. Being city folks, I cannot tell you what a thrill it was to look as far as one can see, over a mile down the road, at a big chunk of land and know it was all ours. Well, almost all ours, we had to make it legal, so off we went to the Escribano’s Office to complete the purchasing process.
Now we are land owners but, STOP! That’s not what we wanted to be, our dream is the lifestyle of a vineyard owner. So, now, we must begin the transformation of our “terroir” into grapes. Our lifelong dream was finally becoming a reachable reality and we hit the ground running, what we needed now was to assemble professionals who would help us breathe life into our adventure.
Our agronomist, a highly educated soils engineer, would be the conductor of the creation of the vineyard from the very beginning. His job and “the buck stops here” responsibility would be to create a planting and irrigation design, to make suggestions what grapevines we should select, and to supervise every aspect of building a vineyard infrastructure.
The next professional hired was our vineyard manager who would be the vineyard worker’s manager and in charge of hiring the people, who after the vineyard was built, would maintain the vineyards.
Because our vineyard project would require 24/7 care and supervision we had to build a home for the worker and his family and thus another professional, a builder, was hired to complete this task which he did in just ninety days.
Based on experience and a strong recommendation by our vineyard manager we retained the services of an Argentine certified accountant to insure all labor charges and Government mandated benefits for our workers were paid.
With all of the key players in place we moved swiftly forward. It was as if we took a step back in time as we watched a dozen men build the house brick by brick, rafter by rafter and finally the roof, tile floors and wood windows and doors.
While the house builders mixed cement by hand and raised the brick walls one by one, huge tractors scraped away the last traces of weeds and brushes that were replaced by smooth clean earth eager to be the birthplace of our grapevines.
Next to arrive were smaller yet equally sturdy tractors whose job was to strategically cut hundreds of rows into the land for the grapevines to be planted as it had been done for hundreds of years and also a series of parallel rows for irrigation canals where water would flow as nature intended, not artificially induced by tube or pipe.
Twenty men digging uniform holes for the soon to be erected trellis posts followed, over 1,200 posts per five acres. And then came the rumbling trucks filled with thousands of posts, five truckloads in all, that entered the land and another dozen men struggled for two days to empty the trucks by hand, each post weighing over sixty pounds.
For one week twenty men labored eight hours a day to install 6,000 posts that would become the framework for the future rows of vines that would be one continuous tapestry as far as the eyes could see. Next was the careful weaving of miles of trellis wire, strung three wires high that ran through the heart of the posts, back and forth until it took on an eerie silken web appearance just waiting to play host to the grapevines.
And finally, the big date arrived, with a perfectly manicured terroir, the specialized delivery trucks transporting the grapevines arrived. There were thousands of Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay grapevines that were ready to start a new life with us. We called them “our babies.”
Each tiny grapevine was carefully planted and as we stared at 6” barren stubs our first thought was, how would they ever become the lofty specimens we envisioned our vineyard to produce.
“Trust nature and allow time” our Agronomist advised with a chuckle. “By December your grapevines will have reached the first, maybe even the second trellis wire.”
So we waited and each week at its delegated time we watched our water faithfully fill the major canals then faithfully flow down row after row of grapevines providing the source of life. Slowly, almost imperceptibly the stubs began to grow and sprout leaves. Before our eyes, they climbed to the first trellis wire and then the second and for some even to the top trellis wire that stood five feet from the ground.
We beamed with pride and we could envision a few years into the future, when our babies would become 50,000 grapevines strong and yielding 420,000 pounds of grapes capable of producing 142,500 bottles of wine. As parents, we look forward to telling our babies, “You made us proud.”
Now, after this narrative from our hearts, we hope you can walk away with the feeling that owning a vineyard can be one of life’s greatest accomplishments.
We look forward to having you as our guest one day at our Estancia and introducing you to our babies who will be young adults by then.
Yvonne and Tom
To learn more about the opportunity to own a vineyard parcel of your own, please visit http://argentina-vineyards-for-sale.escapeartist.com/.