In the heartland of Mendoza, amidst the towering Andes, a new paradigm in Argentine winemaking is taking shape. The architect of this evolution is Matias Riccitelli, a young winemaker leading a revolution in the Argentine wine industry with his eponymous Riccitelli Wines. His vineyards, perched high in Las Compuertas, 1100 meters above sea level, are producing some of the finest Malbecs to ever emerge from this South American country.
Established in 2009, Riccitelli Wines can be found in the highest area of Lujan du Cuyo, a sub-region long recognised as Mendoza's crown jewel. Spanning 20 hectares, Riccitelli's vineyards are something of a vinicultural wonder: old vines, ungrafted and planted between 1927 and 1930, bathe in intense UV light and drink in the pure, high-altitude air. The result? Grapes that personify the very essence of Malbec in their intense, concentrated flavours.
But Riccitelli's story extends beyond his iconic Malbec. Always innovating, always exploring, Matias and his family have ventured far beyond Mendoza's borders. They've taken their winemaking prowess from the sun-soaked valleys of Cafayete in Salta – where Matias was born and his wine journey began – to the cool, invigorating vineyards of Patagonia's Rio Negro.
This nationwide endeavour underpins Riccitelli's philosophy: harness Argentina's diverse terroirs to produce wines as multifaceted as the country itself. And it's paying off. Matias' pursuit of quality, character and regional expression has resulted in an array of wines that are as varied as they are delectable.
Rod Smith MW, an acclaimed master of wine, lauds Riccitelli's contribution to the Argentine wine industry. He sees the young winemaker's high-altitude vineyards as heralds of the country's vinicultural future, where elevation and the extended growing season lead to complex, multi-layered grapes.
The robust, intense Malbecs of Riccitelli Wines showcase the possibilities that come with high-altitude wine production in Argentina. Their captivating flavours and textures reflect the winery's meticulous approach to viniculture, from tending old vines in perfect, well-drained sandy soils to the careful hand-harvesting of perfectly ripened grapes.
But perhaps it's Matias Riccitelli's personality that's most reflected in his wines. Like the charismatic and fun-loving winemaker, Riccitelli Wines are lively, complex, and inviting. They tell the story of a man who isn't afraid to explore new horizons, who respects the traditions of the past, and who continues to shape the future of winemaking in Argentina.
Those seeking the finest Argentine wines will be well served by discovering the Riccitelli Wines portfolio. After all, a taste of Riccitelli's creations is a taste of Argentina's high-altitude wine revolution led by Matias Riccitelli, a visionary reshaping the landscape of the Argentine wine industry.