Dieter Meier, known for the great success of the Swiss electronic band Yello – the “godfathers of techno” (www.yello.com), is the visionary owner of Ojo de Vino Estate. The company, located in Mendoza, Alto Agrelo, will start the construction of its winery at the beginning of July. This will demand a USD 2.6 million investment in infrastructure and equipment.
Meier is a connoisseur of Argentina. His first contact was with the livestock industry in 1986, when he invested in lands that go from Río Negro to the region known as ‘Pampa húmeda’. Since then, he exports Premium organic meat, and this way, he got closer to the wine industry. In one of his trips, he was impressed with the style of high-end Malbec and in 2000 he decided to buy 840 acres in the heart of Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. Currently, there are 210 acres cultivated, 160 planted in 2002 and 12 in 2011. Moreover, this year, USD 330 thousand will be invested in the plantation of 37 acres in Agrelo and 24 in Río Negro. All these vineyards have organic certification.
With respect to the new facilities, Patricio Eppinger, general manager of the firm, commented that Ojo de Vino was designed by Architect Santiago Irigoyen who based his work on an industrial concept. “The winery will have a capacity of one million liters and the latest, top-notch equipment. Our aim is to produce 700 thousand bottles.”
Also, before completing the construction, the winery will be open to tourism. “In order to stand out from the surrounding wineries, we offer an outdoor restaurant of traditional Argentine food. Apart from lunch, the tourist also can take an early dinner, before sunset,” the manager explained.
Ojo de Vino, produced 445,300 kilos in 2012, and marketed two ranges of wine: Dieter Meier Puro 45% and Ojo de Agua 55%. In the next few months, the firm will release two more wines: 2011 Dieter Meier Puro Cabernet Sauvignon and 2010 Dieter Meier Puro Malbec Selección.
5% of Ojo de Vino’s wines are sold in the domestic market and the rest is sent abroad. Switzerland, concentrates 65%, and since 2010, Germany has become a strong market with 20%, followed by the US, Norway and Canada.
In Argentina, Ojo de Vino expects to grow from a commercial point of view by making top quality and affordable wines that express the potential of the terroir. To do so, the winery has hired the renowned winemaker Marcelo Pelleriti who leads the team in the management of vineyards and winery, and Juan Gonzalez as permanent winemaker.
According to the winery’s winemakers “Alto Agrelo is considered the best wine making region in Mendoza. At 3,280 feet, the dry and warm climate, the fluctuation between day-and-night-time temperatures and the ice water from the Andes create ideal conditions for the growing of top organic wine.”