Early in the 20th century the plains around San Rafael, a town in the Southern end of Argentina's Mendoza wine region, were dry and yielded little fruit for their labor. Steam tractors were brought in to build a system of irrigation canals. When water flowed from the Rio Atuel to the fertile land beneath the Andes, farmers planted vines and olive trees. In 1915, on the Villa Atuel estate, the first wines were produced.
Today, Villa Atuel is a national monument where the vines, in the deep and slightly alkaline soils of the estate, are still drip-irrigated with water from the Rio Atuel. To preserve this link to history, the owners decided to bottle their best wines under the El Tractor label.
El Tractor is owned by Mack & Sch?hle a producer, importer and distributer of a broad range of international wines. Founded in 1939, the company has been family-owned ever since. They produce wines in Italy, Spain and Germany as well as import and distribute international wines on a global scale. They own several wineries of high quality including properties in Germany that are 600 and 800 years old respectively.
An integral part of the Mack & Sch?hle Group, Mack & Sch?hle International is responsible for the worldwide distribution of wines outside the German markets. One of those markets is Argentina, which is a relatively new acquisition, though no less important than the rest and in their typical fashion, chose the best they could find.
One of the unique things about Mendoza is that the vines are grown on their own rootstock. One of the last areas in the world where this is so. Over 150 years ago, a plant louse called phyloxera devastated the vineyards of Europe. It was caused by Europeans bringing American vines, where phyloxera resides, to Europe where they feasted on the European vines until there were none left. The only cure was to replant grapes using American hybrid rootstocks which are resistant to phyloxera and then graft the European vines to them.
Our selection is a deeply colored wine with vivid red, purple and blue hues. Clean and bright with a complex and long finish offering velvety red fruit and caramel. This goes well with braised short ribs.