Sir Edmund James Palmer Norton, an English engineer, came to Argentina to work on the construction of the Transandine railway which connected Mendoza to Santiago in Chile across the Andes. He recognised Mendoza's potential for vine cultivation and wine production and, in 1895 by planting vines imported from France, established Argentina's first winery south of the Mendoza River in the district of Perdriel in Lujan de Cuyo. Fast-forward to 1989 when Austrian businessman Gernot Langes-Swarovski [owner of the the Swarovski Crystal Company] acquired the winery, with the intention of gaining Norton world-wide recognition for the quality of their wines. His son Michael Halstrick became Norton's CEO in 1991. Today Norton own five vineyards spread over Mendoza: Medrano with 70 hectares planted at 700 metres above sea level; Lunlunta, 20 hectares at 850 metres; Agrelo, 30 hectares at 950 metres; La Perdriel, 100 hectares 950 metres and La Colonia, 450 hectares at 1,100 metres above sea level. The diversity of terroirs and altitudes allows Norton to craft an exceptional range of quality wines. The average age of the vines is around 30 years, but many are octogenarian, and some are even more than 93 years old! Gernot Langes-Swarovski certainly succeeded in his vision. Today Bodega Norton is an internationally known and well-respected label – their chief wine-maker is David Bonomi, who in 2017 was recognised by Decanter magazine as one of South America's top 10 winemakers.