Bodegas de Piattelli was founded by Minnesota businessman Jon Malinski and his wife Arlene. In 2001 they were on holiday in South America, walked into a struggling winery in western Argentina and within five days owned half of it, and the remaining half two years later! Piattelli operate two sites: one in Mendoza which opened in 2002, and the other in the Cafayate region of Salta near the Bolivian border, which opened in 2012. In Mendoza the vineyards are organic with USDA certification, and come from two sites: Agrelo in Lujan de Cuyo where Malbec reigns supreme, and Tupungato in the Uco Valley where Cabernet Sauvignon is the main variety. In the desert-like climate of Cafayate, one of the highest wine regions in the world, the vines are grown at just over 1,795 metres above sea level on chalky loam, and in some areas quite rocky soils, planted with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Tannat and Torrontés. At Piattelli they combine tradition with the latest technology to produce high quality wines and take great care with their fruit, believing that it is “impossible to make world-class wine without first beginning with world-class grapes”. The grapes are hand-picked and in the winery they use a gravity-led system, where at the top level the grapes are not crushed, but broken open which keeps the seeds intact and the juice free from harsh flavours. The juice then flows into the fermentation room on the mid-level, where constant integration of pulp, skins and juice delivers more robust colours and flavours. Finally, on the bottom level the wine flows down to the barrel room, where the wines age in the underground cellar in French and American oak. This passionate pursuit of perfection culminates in an exceptional range of wines, which are great value for wines of this quality.