Chakana is a family owned winery located at 960 meters (3,149 feet) above sea level at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Agrelo, Mendoza. It is one of the leading projects among the new generation of winemakers dedicated to the discovery and expression of the Andean diversity of climate and soils.
Founded in 2002 by Juan Pelizzatti, a son of Italian immigrants with historic roots in northern Italy's viticulture, and under the guidance of Gabriel Bloise, a young and adventurous winemaker, Chakana has developed a wine style that has become known for its purity and authenticity.
"An incredible discovery for me, this winery was founded a decade ago and named after the Southern Cross ("Chakana" is the local Indian dialect for that constellation). It is located approximately 20 miles south of Mendoza in Agrelo. All three of these wines are highly recommended, and all are fabulous bargains in Malbec." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (June 2012)
Date Founded: May 2, 2002
Managing Partner: Juan Pelizzatti
Winery Mission Statement: To create true wines which can honor the wisdom of the ancient ancestors of their land.
When Chakana was founded on May 2, 2002, the Southern Cross (a constellation named Chakana by the indigenous people of the Andes highlands) reached a perfectly vertical position in the sky, marking the beginning of a new farming cycle. The Southern Cross holds the key to finding the perfect timing for the cultivation and harvesting of crops. It is a calendar, a compass, and a symbol of the link between earth and spirit. The choice of this name is an homage to the Inca understanding and respect for nature's forces.
Chakana wines are designed under the renowned international wine consultant Alberto Antonini. Alberto first came to Argentina in 1995, after key contributions to the Super-Tuscan movement in the italian winemaking landscape at Antinori and Frescobaldi. He immediately sensed the potential of Malbec and devoted most of his work in the following 15 years to the re-discovery and perfection of this now argentine gem.
He now consults for over 10 projects in Argentina, as well as renowned properties in the US, South Africa, Australia, Romania, Armenia, Chile and Italy.
Alberto's winemaking philosophy is focused on using modern technology to express the terroir potential in making high end wines, while respecting the true nature of the grape flavors.
Winery Acreage: 452 acres
Winery Production (9L cases): 150,000
Varietals Produced: Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Winemaking Manager: Gabriel Bioise
Starting from its 150 ha (371 acre) home vineyard in Agrelo, in 2011, Chakana expanded by acquiring two vineyards in Altamira, Valle de Uco and a 100 year-old Malbec vineyard in historic Mayor Drummond, Lujan de Cuyo. This has created a rich palette of soils and climates, which range from the calcareous soils and high altitude Altamira, through the loamy colluvial soils of Agrelo, to the warmer gravelly character of Mayor Drummond. The aim was to create wines that could naturally suit every preference while featuring the distinctive character of sunbathed Mendoza. In order to ensure the purest vineyard expression, and as a consequence of their reverence for nature's wisdom, Chakana has adopted organic and biodynamic viticulture practices since 2012. Vintage 2014 has been certified organic by IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement).
LOCATION: Lujan de Cuyo.
DESCRIPTION: 120 ha. (296 acres) planted with different varieties, mainly Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Franc, Viognier and Syrah. Beginning with the 2014 vintage, this vineyard has been certified organic according to European Regulations. Within the next year or so, Chakana should also be certified organic within the US and Canada as they will be complying with their respective regulations.
TERROIR: Loam and clay with gravel 70 cm (27.5 in) deep, some limestone. Urban influenced climate, relatively warm.
WINE PROFILE: Complex, ripe fruit, medium-bodied, elegant.
FINCAS ALTAMIRA I & II
LOCATION: Valle de Uco.
Altamira I |16 ha. (39.5 acres) Malbec. Altitude: 1,068 meters (3,504 ft) above sea level.
Altamira II |26 ha. (64.2 acres) Malbec, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay. Altitude: 1,097 meters (3,599 ft) above sea level.
This vineyard will be certified organic very soon as the process has been initiated in the US and Canada as they will be complying with their respective regulations.
TERROIR: Sandy-loam with gravel 50 cm (20 in) deep. Dominated by limestone. Temperate climate.
WINE PROFILE: Full-bodied, ripe, impressive tannic structure and roundness, spicy and complex. Good minerality.
LOCATION: Mayor Drummond, Lujan de Cuyo.
DESCRIPTION: 21 ha. (52 acres) of Malbec over 100 years old. Altitude: 919 meters (3,015 ft) above sea level.
TERROIR PROFILE: Alluvial clay loam with stones to 70 cm (27.5 in).
WINE PROFILE: Complex, with aromas of ripe fruit, medium body, elegant.
Chakana produces 150,000 9-liter cases a year and exports to 33 countries. Chakana wines are distributed in the 25 most demanding wine markets across the world. With more than 50,000 cases sold in the USA every year, Chakana is one of the top 25 premium exporters of Argentine wine to the USA. Chakana's portfolio is built around the US market's key pricepoints, consistently offering outstanding value for the money at every level, which has been recognized by leading U.S. journalists.
"Chakana’s wines are getting better with every vintage under winemaker Gabriel Bloise."
- Tim Atkin, Argentina Special Report 2016