Cerro del Guazuvirá – Lavalleja

In 2014, a new micro-terroir was explored on the Guazuvirá hill, in Lavalleja. It is an extremely rocky terrain of mostly unaltered volcanic granite, originating 520 million years prior after a cycle of intense volcanic activity at the end of the Cambrian period, on a massive geological fault called “Sarandí del Yí shear”.

Although robust machinery capable of breaking the rocks was used to cultivate the vineyard, there were still areas of solid rock slabs that had to be blasted with explosives. Once the granite fragmentation work was finished, we had to remove dozens of truckfulls of large rocks, on which we could not cultivate, leaving only those that did not exceed the size of an orange.

An individual “planting bed” was added where each plant was placed to ensure the proper conditions to begin growth in such an extreme environment. This consisted of a fertile soil substrate with a moisture gel that allowed the crop to begin its development uninhibited. Once past the early growth stage, the vine plant takes root in the stone to extract the scarce nutrients from the deeper layers and then begins to produce grapes. Irrigation is essential at all times as the soil retains very little water.

As the environment is very wild and natural, there are many species of animals that do not normally exist in traditional viticulture areas. This is the case of a small deer called Guazuvirá, that we discovered really likes to eat vine leaves, forcing us to place a protective mesh throughout the vineyard, also limiting access to fruit-eating birds that often feast on the grapes. All cultivation techniques are aimed at achieving the much-needed balance of cultivation in an extreme, magnificent and unique terroir, just 27 km from the sea, generating concentrated, aromatic and exceptional wines.