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Trapiche first to plant Assyrtiko in Argentina

Bodega Trapiche has planted Greek grape Assyrtiko in Argentina, making it the first producer to work with the variety in the South American nation.

Trapiche released its first wines from Chapadmalal in 2014 under the Costa & Pampa brand, meaning “coast and grass”

The grape, which is native to the volcanic Greek island of Santorini, is famous for retaining a high acid level in warm climates and its tolerance of semi-arid conditions.

Trapiche planted the grape over three months ago at its estate on Argentina’s south Atlantic coast in an area called Chapadmalal, where the producer has already put Albariño in the ground, which was chosen because this part of Argentina has some of the characters of Galicia, where this Spanish grape is almost exclusively grown – both places are cool, with high rainfall, and near the sea.

Trapiche decided to plant Assyrtiko last year because its vineyards in Chapadmalal are found on loessic soil that is comprised of wind-blown volcanic ash, giving it a black appearance, and the Greek grape is known for its affinity for volcanic soils.

According to Trapiche’s head winemaker, Daniel Pi, the Assyriko plantation, which amounts to 2 hectares, is the first in Argentina.

It was put in the ground at the estate, which is called Costa & Pampa, as part of an expansion in vineyard area, including a further 2ha of Albarino and another 1ha of Chardonnay, taking the overall property of vines to 30ha.

He also told db during a discussion at Vinexpo Paris last month, that he would experiment with the traditional training system used for Assyrtiko on Santorini, which sees the grape trained closed to the ground with its stems weaved into baskets.

This spring, Pi said he was going to plant Mencia and Trousseau as he continues to experiment with new grapes at this property, which was the first coastal plantation in Argentina.

Having planted vines in Chapadmalal 2009, Trapiche released its first wines from the region in 2014 under the Costa & Pampa brand (meaning “coast and grass”), comprising a Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

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