Established in 1888, Bodegas Nieto Senetiner is located in the subregion of Luján de Cuyo, within the province of northern Mendoza, Argentina, one of the world’s most extraordinary wine regions. This traditionally run winery boasts 1,000 acres of proprietary-owned vineyards and has a state-of-the-art bottling facility with a total wine capacity of 10 million liters. Today Nieto Senetiner is dedicated to high-end premium wines and consequently is considered one of the top wineries in Argentina, known as the ‘Pride in Argentine wine’. In addition to their Reserva line, Nieto also offers a high-end Malbec under the label of Don Nicanor and an ICON wine, the Terroir Blend Malbec.
Location of Vineyard
Nieto’s estate vineyards are located in what has been historically known as the “First Region,”, Luján de Cuyo. Highly acclaimed for its premier terroir, the area provides excellent growth conditions for the highest quality grapes and realization of Nieto’s focus: to produce outstanding classic, yet modern, wines. One of the oldest wineries in this esteemed region, Nieto owns what is considered one of Argentina’s great heritage vineyards.
Their oldest vineyards, in Vistalba, were planted in 1900, at an altitude of 3300 feet. There they produce grapes that exemplify balance and structure, under moderate daytime temperatures and very cold nights. The soil is light and sandy with shallow topsoil and rocky subsoil. Nieto’s Agrelo vineyard was planted in 1974 and enjoys warmer daytime temperatures and moderate nights. The soil is clay with a deep topsoil and rocky sub soil; the elevation slightly lower, at 3100 feet. Finally, Nieto is proud to also have vineyards in the Alto Agrelo, boasting an elevation of 3500 feet. These vineyards were planted in 2005 and thrive under cool daytime temperatures and cold nights that slow ripening and allow for long hang times and maximum flavor concentration.
The Nieto vineyards are managed with minimum intervention to allow each site to express its unique terroir. Grapes are hand-harvested and tended, and the vineyard adheres to careful water conservation practices and sustainable viticulture, using composts rather than fertilizer, soil tilling and manual weed removal instead of herbicides, and no insecticides.
In the winery, a similar non-interventionist approach continues, using natural yeasts, minimum SO2 additions and no acidifications. Sustainable practices are employed as well, utilizing wastewater recycling, energy conservation and composting of used grape skins. Fruit for the Reserva wines, the Don Nicanor Malbec and the Terroir Blend Malbec is fermented in stainless steel tanks. Aging for the reds then takes place in oak for a period of time determined by the winemaker, depending on the desired final blend.
Nieto Senetiner’s winemaker, Roberto Jesús Gonzalez, possesses bachelor’s and master’s degrees in oenology and agronomy as well as an MBA focusing on specialization in quality management and planning. He was head enologist and internal production manager of S.A. Viñedos y Bodegas Arizu for three years, and later assistant professor of general and inorganic chemistry at the University Juan Agustín Maza’s enology department.
In 1999, Roberto Jesús became chief winemaker for Nieto Senetiner. Throughout his career, he has lectured at various wine conferences and specialization courses, published several wine-related articles in specialized magazines, acted as juror in major tastings and international wine contests, and visited all major winemaking regions in the world including those in California, Italy, Chile, Spain and France.