Mil Suelos, or a 'Thousand Soils', was born from a passion for exploring Argentina's varied terroirs.
Mil Suelos (Thousand Soils) is the brainchild of three Argentinian ‘terroir lovers’, including Alejandro Sejanovich – one of the most knowledgeable viticulturists and a talented leading winemaker of Argentina.
The trio first met at another winery, Catena Zapta, some decades ago. It was here where their common passion for wine and quest to explore new viticultural possibilities was united, leading them to push boundaries and search for distinctive terroirs and, ultimately, Argentina’s best vineyard sites.
During their pursuit, they discovered the vastness of Argentina, with its extreme altitudes and latitudes. From planting vineyards in new and remote areas to preserving century-old un-grafted vines – every wine that Mil Suelos produces gives a unique sense of place.
The company runs three separate projects: Estancia Los Cardones, Cielo Arriba and Buscado Vivo o Muerto, each conveying a distinct character.
ESTANCIA LOS CARDONES
Salta is one of the most north-western wine region of Argentina – a remote territory, with desolated landscapes, low density and desert-like weather.
Estancia Los Cardones is a 25-hectare vineyard found at 1,800 meters above sea level in the remote wine region of Salta, a mountainous desert in the northwestern corner of Argentina. Located 20km south of the tiny village of Tolombón (home to less than 300 inhabitants), it is today the only vineyard located on the eastern hills of Cafayate in the Calchaqui Valleys. Here, the grapes benefit from a perfect combination of morning sunshine to ripen and afternoon shadows to retain key acids.
The vineyards were initially planted in 2009, dominated by Malbec, with some plots of Petit Verdot, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Torrontes and Marsanne being added since. Inaugurated in 2017, the winery has been entirely built with stones extracted from the vineyard site. The project was initiated by Saavedra Azcona, a local family, with master viticulturist and winemaker Alejandro Sejanovich.
'Up in the Sky' is one of the highest vineyards in the world, at a dizzying 2730 metres, yielding tiny, highly-concentrated, jet-black grapes.
The province of Jujuy is located in the furthest northwestern corner of Argentina – an inhospitable, mountainous strip of land sandwiched between the Chilean and Bolivian borders. This vast and virtually empty corner of Argentina covers a wide variety of climates and altitudes, home to an array of landscapes ranging from salt mines to sub-tropical jungles, but the majority of its territory is covered by craggy canyons.
Cielo Arriba (Up in the Sky) wine comes from the Huichaira Vineyards – one of the highest vineyards in the world. Planted in 2014 by the Nieva family, this two-hectare plot is located at the breathtaking height of 2,730 meters in the ‘Quebrada de Huichaira’ canyon – a World Heritage site. This means extreme viticulture: rocky and unforgiving terrain with dizzyingly high altitude, steep slopes and harsh continental weather, which often presents unpredictable gusty winds, snowfall or frost episodes, intense UV exposure and significant diurnal range (often a 30C swing in temperature between day and night). All of which yields tiny, highly concentrated, ink-jet black grapes.
The vineyard is managed by the Mil Suelos team in conjunction with the Nieva family.
Buscado Vivo o Muerto
‘Missing Dead or Alive’ is a tribute to long-lost vineyards with unconventional varietals and a deep exploration of some of the valley’s most precious terroirs
The ‘Buscado Vivo o Muerto’ range is born from the drive to produce fine wines from the best vineyard sites scattered across the Uco Valley, Mendoza. This pursuit led mavericks Alejandro Sejanovich and Jeff Mausbach to search every corner of the Uco Valley – a tireless and, at times, frustrating journey. They explored a variety of terroirs and microclimates, from the southernmost tip of ‘Las Pareditas’ and its ancient volcanic soils up to the north, high in the Andes foothills, to the chalk-rich terroir of the ‘Gualtallary’ wine region. Finally, their new project was born.
Meaning ‘Missing Dead or Alive’ in Spanish, what may appear to many as a gimmick name is actually a tribute to the land. This range is, in fact, a rescue of some long-lost vineyards with unconventional varietals and a deep exploration of some of the valley’s most precious terroirs, which deliver unique wines with a sense of place.