Tempus Alba and the attribute of genetic research - VinoApp Wine ClubVinoApp Wine Club

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Written by
Jorge Bourdieu

Published
July 25, 2019

Tempus Alba and the attribute of genetic research

Tempus Alba winery, in Maipú.

Tempus Alba winery, in Maipú.

The winery Tempus Alba is a 100% familiar project that was born in 2002 with the construction of the winery, located in Coquimbito, Maipú, Mendoza.

However, the Biondolillo family has more than 100 years of winemaking path, soon after their ancestors fell in love during the journey to America from Italy (just like in Titanic), and it is currently managed by the fourth generation of the family.

The head of the winery is Aldo Biondolillo who serves as CEO and president. Aldo is an agronomist, winemaker and also economist; José Luis Biondolillo, chief winemaker; Mariano Biondolillo, industrial engineer and production manager and Leonardo Biondolillo, agronomist and commercial director. They complete the family workforce. In addition, Sibila Genolet is responsible for institutional relations and tourism.

Vineyards, surrounding the winery.

Vineyards, surrounding the winery.

In total, they have 120 hectares planted with vines, with vineyards that reach 100 years old. All this is distributed in the farms that are located in Tupungato, Uco Valley, at 1,200 meters above sea level; in Anchoris, south of Luján de Cuyo, at 1,040 meters, and in Coquimbito, Maipú, in vineyards surrounding the winery, at about 800 meters above sea level.

But in Tempus Alba, there is something really unique. Their passion and devotion to genetic research, more exactly, for Malbec. For more than 15 years the Biondolillo family has been intensely working in a program of clonal selection of Malbec.

The development of the research was supported and assisted by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Argentine Republic. They took the Argentine emblem grape, Malbec of course, as a strategic factor for the development of the winery, trying to get to know it in depth to extract its maximum genetic potential. In other words, the primary interest is to achieve the best possible Malbec.

Genetic research of Malbec in Tempus Alba.

Genetic research of Malbec in Tempus Alba.

All this work is called the VERO project and it started in 2000 on a vineyard of 8,000 plants in the area of Maipú, consisting of genetic material from most of Mendoza’s wine regions in order to possess as much diverse genetic material as possible.

After a few years with the vines in full production, almost 600 plants were visually selected. To this end, they observed the size of the grains and the vigor of the vines, among other factors. This selection was implanted in Coquimbito, Mendoza, and is the genetic basis of VERO.

VERO, project and wine.

VERO, project and wine.

Anyway, we need to take into account that each plant is a different individual to the others and that they do not grow and mature exactly the same way, despite their genetic relationship. So that, they re-identified the best plants, which they multiplied and planted on the farm La Alborada, located in Luján de Cuyo.

This set up the basis from which the 25 best exponents were selected, always through observation in the vineyard. From this selection, only 10 were chosen, by a sensorial blind tasting. These top ten integrated the VERO 2007, the first harvest of the wine of the same name.

From that moment on, research and laboratory multiplication of these best clones began, in which there is no gene crossover but a natural selection whose goal is to replicate the best plants only.

In this way, in Tempus Alba they consider that they have a differential to offer to the consumer: within the variety malbec, they select the best of the best and work only with those exponents.


Jorge Bourdieu

@jorgebourdieu

Sommelier and lawyer, in that order. Professor in the career of Sommelier at EAV (Argentine School of Wine). Head Sommelier at Vida Wines, importer of Argentine wines in the USA. He used to work at Bodegas Atilio Avena and Goyenecha. He was a member of the tasting panel of Austral Spectator. 50 years.

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