The valley is irrigated through a network of channels excavated in the late 1820s by British colonists, who directed the abundant snowmelt flowing from the Andes into the desert.
Terroir & Vineyards
The Río Negro Valley in Patagonia is a glacial bed 15.5 miles wide, stretching 310 miles along the river’s banks at an elevation of 750 feet above sea level. The climate is dry, with maximum humidity of 30% and an average of 7 inches of annual rainfall. This aridity, coupled with constant winds and the natural barrier of the surrounding desert, results in a complete absence of phylloxera and vine diseases, which allows Chacra’s Pinot Noir vines to grow on their own rootstock. The soil is mainly composed of clay, pebbles, sand, sediments and limestone. The valley is irrigated through a network of channels excavated in the late 1820s by British colonists, who directed the abundant snowmelt flowing from the Andes, creating an oasis in the middle of the desert.
Defining a Terroir
During the ripening period, in the first quarter of the year, diurnal temperatures vary widely, ranging from an average of 82.4 °F (28°C) during the day to 48.2 °F (9°C) at night. The seasons are precisely defined, with hot summers, cold winters and mild springs and autumns. The conjunction of the geographical, geological and weather conditions determines the existence of a particular terroir in the Rio Negro Valley, unique for its characteristics and extremely appealing for growing vineyards.
1932 “Treinta y Dos” Vineyard
This was the founding vineyard of Chacra, acquired in 2004 and consisting of a plot of land still supporting vines planted in 1932. These vines produce tiny bunches of small, concentrated berries. Because of the arid climate in the Río Negro Valley, the root louse phylloxera fails to survive here, and the vines can grow on their own rootstocks, a condition believed to produce superior fruit.
1955 “Cincuenta y Cinco” Vineyard
Purchased in 2006, the 1955 vineyard consists of vines planted in that year. These old vines, growing on their own rootstocks, produce reduced quantities of concentrated fruit that is used in Barda Pinot Noir.