MICHAEL EVANS, THE VINES OF MENDOZA
"We are thrilled to have started planting vines for the first Private Vineyard Estates" (11/10/2007) - Author: Laura Saieg
The Vines of Mendoza, company founded in 2004, planted the first vines for the first group of PVE owners last Saturday. In an interview with DÃa a DÃa del Vino, Michael Evans, CEO of the company, chatted with us about the present and future of the partnership.
- How did the idea of creating Private Vineyard Estates come up?
- It has always been my dream to buy a vineyard and make wine. When we came to Mendoza that dream was possible â€“ so we started talking about the idea with a few friends who told us they shared the same dream. So we realized that there was a business opportunity, and found an amazing 400 hectare piece of property in the Valle de Uco. Our idea is to help people realize their dream of making wine â€“ and making amazing wine under the guidance of Santiago Achaval.
- How many hectares have you planted yet?
- This year we are planting the first 50 hectares. In total, the Private Vineyard Estates will encompass 200 hectares of vineyards. It should be noted that each person can purchase a 4-hectare (10-acre) lot.
- When did you start planning?
- We started planning last Saturday and we are thrilled. We have sold 25 lots so far. Each year there will be 20 available lots, until we sell out 80.
- What is special about these vineyards?
- We champion small production, boutique wineries, many of which are not available outside Mendoza and do not have tasting rooms. We also feature some of the best wines from some larger wineries.
- How much is a hectare?
- Approximately U$100,000 including title to land, planting of varietals and access to the bodega to make up to 5,000 bottles of ultra-premium wine per hectare.
- Â¿QuÃ© tipo de variedades son?
- We will plant whatever our owners want â€“ so far we have planted 14 varietals. The most popular are Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, TorrontÃ©s.
- Can the owner follow up on his vineyard development?
- Our owners participate in every part of the project â€“ from selecting the varietals to plant, to actually coming to Mendoza to plant their own vines! They will come for harvest and make suggestions in the winery. They can be as much or as little involved as they choose.
- Are the winemakers those who buy the parcels or do they work for The Vines?
- Santiago Achaval de Achaval Ferrer is our consulting winemaker â€“ so he will oversee all the winemaking. We will also invite guest winemakers to make wine with the owners and over time, many of the owners will become winemakers.
- How will this project continue?
- We started with 100 hectares to divide and sell as private vineyard estates. Now we have doubled the size to 200 hectares. Next year we will start construction with Bormida & YanzÃ³n on the micro production bodega. And we are developing a 5 star resort on the property.
- Apart from Private Vineyard estates, you have a Tasting Toom, is this right?
- Yes â€“ it is located at Espejo 567 in the city of Mendoza, and it is called â€˜Valle de Ucoâ€™. We feature 90 different great Argentine wines. Wines are available in flights of 5 tastes â€“ Los Tintos, Las Muestras and Los Malbec, as well as Las Reservas del Valle and Las Reservas de Argentina - or by the glass. We also have an Information Center as we wanted to provide visitors to Mendoza with all the information they need to have an amazing experience here. So we developed the Insiders Guide and give it out at the Vines, hotels, rental car agencies, etc â€“ it lists our favorite bodegas and restaurants in Mendoza.