Hess Family Estates has acquired Bodega Familia Muoz, in the wine capitol of Cafayate, furthering a commitment to Argentina’s Calchaqui Valley, where Hess already has its flagship Bodega Colom, one of Argentina’s best known and most prestigious wineries.
The winery, which includes 200 acres of vineyards planted to Malbec, Torrontes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, will become the new home for Amalaya, which features Malbec crafted from sustainably farmed vineyards located on average between 5400-5900 feet above sea level. Bodega Muoz will be known going forward as Bodega Amalaya, which honors the heritage of the native Calchaqui Indians. Amalaya was previously produced at Bodega Colom, and will continue to benefit from the expertise of the winemaking and viticultural teams there.
Amalaya Vino Tinto (red wine) is crafted primarily from Malbec, with vintage variations in blending small percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda and Tannat. The Amalaya wines are often described as “modern”, both accessible and affordably priced. Since its introduction in 2008 with the 2006 vintage, the wine, priced at $17 retail, has received both critical acclaim and broad market success. The name Amalaya, or “hope for a miracle”, is rooted in the desire of the native Calchaqui Indians to keep the gods of nature content.
The winemaking team is led by Colom winemaker Thibaut Delmotte, with notable Hess Family winemaker Randle Johnson serving as consulting winemaker.
Argentina’s Calchaqui Valley, home to both Colom and Amalaya, sits in the northwest Province of Salta, in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountain. The high altitude results in intense daylight, with cool nights impacted by the mesoclimate influenced by the Andes, allowing grapes to retain acidity and reach physiological maturity with complex layers of flavor.