The Bodega Alfredo Roca is a familial vineyard in San Rafael, and was created in 1905. Currently, the fourth generation heads the vineyard. We’ve met with Alejandro, director of the company, and his sister Carolina who is in charge of marketing (their other sister, Graciela, manages the commercial part in Buenos Aires).
They own 114 hectares in total, split into Finca la Perseverancia, Finca Los Amigos y Finca Santa Herminia. They cultivate a wide range of grapes varieties: Malbec (main variety), Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo, Bonarda and Sangiovese for the red wines, as well as Chardonnay, Chenin, Sauvignon Blanc and Tocai for the white ones.
They benefit from a special climate: almost no rain and cold nights which permit a low maturation to the grapes. These conditions provide intense colors and strong aromas to the wine. At the foot of the Andes, their vines are irrigated with defrost water from the mountain. However, by visiting the vineyards, we also discovered their main weather issue (which is commun to vineyards in Mendoza): the hail! To protect their vines from hail, they had to install nets over it.
Talking about harvests, we realized that everything is harvested with machines. One of the main reasons is the difficulty to find people willing to harvest! In a country with a high unemployment rate, it seems contradictory.
During our stay, we’ve worked with José y Fédérico, the two winemakers of the Bodega. We’ve helped them checking the fermentation process, by measuring the temperature and sugar level of the juice of each tank. We discovered original tanks: big pools with huge capacity buried in the soil.
We’ve also been in charge of the yeast for the sparkling juice. So we’ve calculated the yeast quantity to add by taking into account the density, PH, temperature, sugar level (bricks) and then we’ve made the blend. Finally, we’ve pumped over the red wines from the tanks.