Each lot, ranging from just over a half acre to the most spacious being over 2 acres, has unobstructed views of the Andes and the gorgeous Uco valley. Starting at US$76,000, one of the draws of choosing this development over others is the level of quality control you are assured over the proprietary vines of the adjoining La Ñusta Vineyard, which every La Morada homeowner has a stake in. Andres Rosberg, President of the Argentine Sommelier Association, is involved with this project and is very hands-on. Together with renowned agronomist Marcelo Canatela, they have chosen ungrafted Malbec cuttings from 60-year-old plants that are currently being cultivated organically, carefully selected for their quality from the prestigious Val de Flores Vineyard.
The high quality of these grapes could easily create wine valued at more than $100 a bottle, and will only be made available to La Morada homeowners. Only the most meticulous care will be given to these community vines, from drip irrigation of Andean water from an aquifer almost 600 feet deep, to having rye and roses grow between the rows for premium soil management. Already under construction is a clubhouse with spacious suites, a large wine cellar, and a community area available for owners at La Morada.
As for construction, La Morada can either build for you or provide you with reputable builders, architects, and designers that work up to US or European standards of construction. House sizes will range from 1,600 square feet to 6,600 square feet, with a three-bedroom brick and mortar anti-seismic vacation house on the smaller end starting at around $250,000. At La Morada it is possible to enjoy a sanctuary-like home in an absolutely pristine area at the foot of the Andes without having to sacrifice luxuries such as wireless internet service or a gorgeous community pool. Association fees are quite low at around $150 per month. The staff at La Morada can also assist with property management of your house to earn rental income when the home is not in use. They can arrange gardening services or maid service, and a concierge can help make the most of your time in Valle de Uco by assisting you with trip and event planning.
See more at the La Morada de los Andes website.
Casa de Uco Private Vineyards and Villas
Opened in 2017, Casa de Uco is a luxury boutique hotel also nestled in the Uco Valley. They have a variety of different rooms and private villas available for visitors as well as a famed restaurant led by Chef Juan Ignacio Perez, who worked with Francis Mallmann at his 7 Fuegos restaurant in the Uco Valley. For winelovers seeking a little more, the project includes options to purchase your own private vineyard or private villa built within the vines.
Owners can be as hands-on or as hands-off as they would like. The vineyard is run by agronomist Alberto Antonini and his very capable team. Owners can work in close contact with the team down to picking their own grapes, blending their own wines, or creating personal labels for their bottles. Or, they can just sit back and the team will bring them their wine when its ready. Each hectare produces about 7,000 bottles a year, so simply selling 100% of your grapes will provide a return on investment.
Casa de Uco also offers investors a chance to purchase their own private wine villa, built amidst the vines on their property. These lots are 2,500 meters squared and the villas are designed and built by Alberto Tonconogy & Associates in accordance with the overall design and feel of the property. Owners can take advantage of all the services provided by the hotel: round-the-clock concierge, room service, or spa treatments, as well have their villas maintained and rented by hotel management staff for a nice little profit each year.
For more information about their project, check out their website: www.casadeuco.com
Diligent Investing in Argentina’s Wine Country
But don’t get ahead of yourself. There is a lot of due diligence to do before you make any investment in a vineyard property, especially one in a foreign country whose regulations and laws are probably unknown to you. David English, of English and Associates, is an American who owns a firm based in Mendoza that helps people to navigate the sometimes frustrating and nonsensical ins and outs of the Argentine system. He provides consulting on buying property or operating a business in Argentina. Over the years he has seen many naïve investors get so caught up in the romance of owning their own vineyard that they overlook some basic intelligent investment details.
David’s firsthand advice from helping hundreds of foreigners successfully invest in Mendoza: “Before you invest in a project, ask the developer for all of the paperwork up front. You will want to clarify things like how the development works, what services are and are not provided, how you will file taxes as a non-Argentine landowner, how money will be transferred from overseas to Argentina for the original purchase and for all subsequent payments for services rendered, what happens in the case of disputes, etc. The best developers will have all of this information thought out and ready to hand to you in an easy-to-understand format.
Investors must realize that growing grapes in Argentina is far more than just a romantic notion. It involves an international real estate transaction and if you intend to sell your wine, international business activity. But all in all, Mendoza is an area that still has plenty of available land, and prices should rise as Malbec is currently very hot in certain markets like the US now and still has room to grow in the international market.”
You can see an earlier interview we did with David English on investing in Mendoza here.
By doing your homework and investing in a reputable project, there is no reason why you cannot or should not make your dream of owning your personal vineyard lot a reality. The famous Mendoza sun and your very own sumptuous Malbec await you!
Story by Cathy Brown, photos courtesy of La Morada, The Vines Mendoz and Eric Mohl, updates by associate editor Lydia Carey.