Earlier this week we posted some rather exciting news about our trip to the IWSC awards to collect a trophy for Viniterra Single Vineyard Malbec; a real favourite of ours this year. We mentioned how one of the defining features of this wine was the altitude at which its grapes were grown. As IWSC senior tasting manager Pip Mortimer herself explained, this is an aspect that is becoming increasingly sought after among wine buyers.  We wanted to give you the low down on what’s behind these high-ranking wines. Why the sudden elation for elevation?

At such treacherous heights, sunlight is far more direct and intense meaning long hot days, yet nights are also far colder than at ground level. Up there, water drainage is also increased, making it harder for soils to retain moisture. What is interesting is that these conditions actually make it harder for vines to grow, and so, by the same Darwinian design that created us, only the toughest, tastiest grapes survive.

Just like an unexpected skiing tan, the closer proximity to the sun leads to a far thicker, darker skin on the grapes. Not only does this lead to a richer tannin and deeper colour to the wine, but the thicker skin also allows the grapes to stay warm during cold nights. This means slower ripening, and thus less acid production yet more sugar. More sugar, we might add, also tends to lead to a higher alcohol percentage.

This attentiveness to wines with altitude is nothing new, but has certainly been on the rise recently, and the IWSC awards will no doubt have contributed further. Even without prior knowledge, the tale of these wines and their struggle at the summit is a unique and enticing selling point for any customer.

Even without the spiel, this flavour alone of this award-winning Malbec speaks for itself. Among a growing list of lofty wines, this one came top of the tree. Browse our portfolio now for prices on this wine as well as others from the high-flying Viniterra winery. Or better yet, come and try them for yourself at SITT early next year, where we’ll be bringing a few along.