Sonvida ( Casa Altamira )
Argentina - Mendoza

SonVida is the dream of David S. and Sonia R., a Brit-Argentina marriage of two former journalists who dreamed of owning a vineyard and making a world-class wine. Sonia and David went back-packing in the wine country of Northern California and fell in love with the idea of owning a vineyard, and in 2002, they founded their Argentine winery, Sonvida.

sonvida david soniaSonia Ruseler and David Smith

Sonia began her adventure in wine after an international career in television news for the BBC, ITN and CNN. She is a Certified Sommelier of the Court of Master Sommeliers and has an international Wine MBA from the Bordeaux Ecole de Management.

After a career as a foreign correspondent for Reuters and ITN, David was a diplomat with the United Nations, and special adviser to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. David is also a Certified Sommelier of the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds an Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) of London. David is the author of Dream On, a book about their wine adventure, published by Quartet Books, London.

SonVida is located in Valle de Uco, in a small area known as Altamira, close to the village of La Consulta. Their neighbors are Chandon, Catena, and Achaval Ferrer. Close by, sharing the valley, are O. Fournier, Clos de los Siete, Finca La Celia, and Lurton.

sonvida winery

Their terroir is defined by the Andes. They are at 1,029 meters (3,376 feet) above sea level. Snow melts high in the mountains, and waters the vines. The earth is strewn with rounded pebbles, carried down the Andes over millennia, by streams and glaciers. The sun shines brightly 330 days a year. The cooling nighttime breezes help the grapes keep their freshness and mature with full flavors.

Reviews and News

Sonvida - Wine Advocate 2019

Sonvida - Wine Advocate 2019

wa"SonVida is a small project from UK journalist David Smith and Argentinean wife Sonia Ruseler. They bought a piece of land in what is now Paraje Altamira and planted some 20 hectares of grapes. They now make some 12,000 bottles of wine with the help of winemaker Alejandro Vigil, and they still sell the majority of grapes. Serious and classical reds.. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019)


Producer Details
Wine Production Area
Argentina - Mendoza -
David Smith & Sonia Ruseler
David Smith
50 acres (20 hectares)
Grape Varietal(s)
Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc
Age of Vines
16 years (average)
Annual Production
1,500 (9-liter cases)