"Come, look! The grapes are painting the metal of the crusher purple! I have never seen that"
Winery foreman at the crushing of the 2016 vintage of SUNAL Extreme Altitude Wine
Agustín Lanús is an Argentine Agricultural Engineer, Sommelier and Master of Science in Viticulture and Oenology from the highly respected Vinifera EuroMaster program, completing his studies in Montpellier and Bordeaux, France and in Asti, Italy.
Before and after completing his master’s degree in Europe’s most prestigious wine-making program, Agustin worked in wineries around the world, including Ceretto, Alba, Italy; Chateau Beychevelle, Bordeaux, France; Rutini, Tupungato, Argentina; Bodega Burdigala, Toro, Spain; Lurton, Douro, Portugal; KWV, Paarl, South Africa.
In 2006 Agustin traveled to to the upper Calchaqui Valley Argentina for the first time with the specific goal of learning more about the unique micro-terroirs found at extreme altitudes. These terroirs, ranging from 1,650 to 3,100 meters above sea level, host some of the highest vineyards in the world (see map). By contrast, the highest commercial vineyards in Europe are found at 1,300 meters.
Since then he has produced wine, as well as helped develop and manage vineyards, in all the three of the provinces which touch the Valley: Salta, Tucuman and Santa Maria. Today Agustin lives with his family in the fast growing wine producing town of Cafayate, Salta Province, headquarters of Agustin Lanus Wines and Bad Brothers Wine Experience, our popular wine bar and restaurant.
In this website, we present the Agustin Lanus portfolio of high and extreme altitude wines, a body of work shaped by a passion for creating extraordinary wines by extending the range of what’s possible.
“Many say that driving 9 hours into the mountains on dangerous dirt roads just to check on our grapes is crazy, but then they try the wine and they understand.”
A small handful of Calchaqui Valley winemakers are currently producing wines from vineyards at the very limits of where grapes can be grown.
These vineyards are located in extremely isolated locations, making the time, resources and costs of sustaining the vineyards a challenge for even the most ardent oenologist.
Yet the superior quality of the wines produced warrants the effort as the extreme temperature variances, higher levels of solar radiation and the long maturation period results in highly concentrated and complex wines.
Among other studies, the Catena Institute found…
“Malbec at high altitude usually has more intense colour, a denser palate and a longer aging potential than its counterpart from low altitude. Also, it shows lower levels of alcohol and higher acidity, resulting in a more harmonious age worthy wine.”
Producing wines at extreme altitudes regards a rare dedication and willingness to bear the risks that the grapes won’t mature in time, before winter returns.