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Vistalba IG announced in Argentina

With a winemaking history of over a hundred years and some of the oldest Malbec vines in Argentina, Vistalba is a well-known region of Mendoza’s Luján de Cuyo. But until recently no-one other than Bodega Vistalba was able to use the denomination on their wine label. 

Credit: Bodega Vistalba

Owner and founder of Bodega Vistalba , Carlos Pulenta, decided to change that by ceasing the trademark of the name, which he inherited with the historic estate, to share it with the region. Carlos Pulenta also kickstarted a process two years ago of applying for an official denomination of origin for the region, which was given the seal of approval by the President of the National Viticultural Institution (INV) on 26th August 2022.

Although Bodega Vistalba will retain the brand trademark, producers including Nieto Senetiner, De Angeles, Fabre Montmayou and Kaiken will now be able to bottle their wines with Vistalba IG on the label.

“In the past few years Argentina’s wine industry has been investigating further into regions and the defining aspects of our terroirs,” comments Carlos Pulenta. “The industry has reached a maturity where it has become necessary for all actors – both producers and growers – to take responsibility to develop the wine regions of the country through deeper investigation. That’s why we decided that this was the moment to hand over the Vistalba trademark, which we consider an act of responsibility towards the industry and the wineries producing wines in this region.”

Credit: Bodega Vistalba

The development of Argentina’s appellation system of IGs, aka. Geographical Indications, has been stalled in many regions due to conflicting trademarks. Gualtallary in the Uco Valley is one such region that has been in the long process of developing an IG due to trademark issues, which are – as of yet – unresolved. Another recent example of a winery owner ceasing their trademark for the benefit of the region includes Francois Lurton, who ceded Los Chacayes as a trademark of his Piedra Negra winery to share with the region in 2017.

In order to get an IG approved, producers must prove to the National Institute of Viticulture (INV) that the region has unique characteristics that determine regional identity through a series of geological, geographical and historical studies. The approved Vistalba IG comprises of 521 hectares in one of the highest altitude wine regions in Luján de Cuyo, on average 980 m.a.s.l..

Amanda Barnes is the drinks business’ regular South America correspondent and author of The
South America Wine Guide.

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