Winery Profile: El Porvenir
Located in the Salta Province of Argentina, El Porvenir Winery is located just a few blocks from the Cafayate central plaza. The name literally translates to “The Future,” but this family owned and operated winery somehow manages to blend state-of-the-art winemaking techniques with a great respect for the traditions of a region just beginning to make a name for itself.
Everything about the winery reminds visitors that they’re no longer in Mendoza. Though the ritual of sipping and swirling is much the same, the wine in the glass and the landscape beyond are anything but a repetition of Mendoza province.
In the outer courtyard of El Porvenir, the zealous desert sun beats down on the enormous oak barrels, antique relics turned into garden décor and weathered by the heat of Salta sunshine. Pots of succulents and cacti adorn the adobe structure and just inside the tasting room the sound of creaking corks and clinging glasses can be heard.
Though production is limited to only 200,000 bottles a year, still El Porvenir winery manages to produce three distinct wine labels each occupying a distinct space in the market. Amauta is a line that consists of four red blends and three varietal wines, including Malbec, Tannat, and Torrontés. Laborum is the winery’s emblematic wine label and consists of single vineyard varietals, each with the goal of showcasing the effect of Cafayate’s unique terroir on some of the world’s most beloved wine grapes. Finally, El Porvenir is the family’s icon wine label and the winery’s ultra-premium brand. Though the varietal composition changes every year, it is always made of four red varietals and is aged in new oak barrels for a bare minimum of 18 months.
The tasting room guide introduced each wine in turn, explaining the region’s emblematic grape variety and setting the Laborum Torrontés apart from the rest. Among winemakers and wine aficionados alike, Torrontés has a little bit of a scandalous reputation. As a grape variety, it is often referred to as “the liar.” And while its intentions may be good, Torrontés certainly has a trickster nature. Highly aromatic, it is known for its citric perfumes and notes of pink grapefruit, white flowers, and tree fruit – all of which lead the drinker to expect a certain sweetness on the palate. Not so. Sweet aromas are followed by bright acidity and a crisp refreshing finish…in that sense, it’s a little liar.
“Torrontés is known as a liar, but this one has an honest side,” insisted our guide. “As a nearly-organic wine and with such careful vineyard practices, the winemaker tries to bring out the inherent truth of the grape variety.” And she was right, the 2013 Laborum held true to its tricky nature, exactly what we thirst for in a bottle of high altitude, Northern Region Torrontés.
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