Bodega El Esteco



Region of production



Calchaquí Valleys, Cafayate Valley




Continental Desert

Soil composition

Mainly sandy and stony


1950 hectares owned, of which 780 hectares are cultivated


Certified sustainable and certified organic

Production Volume

79% red wine, 21% white wine

Varieties Grown

Cabernet Franc , Cabernet Sauvignon , Chardonnay, Malbec, Marsanne, Merlot, Pinot Noir , Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Tannat,

Ages of Vines

Average of 28 year-old vines

Behind the Wines

Alejandro Pepa

Bodega El Esteco’s head winemaker Alejandro Pepa didn’t hesitate for a second when offered the chance to work in the wilds of the Calchaquí Valleys. A Mendoza native, Pepa has always loved discovering new vineyards. As a student of enology, Pepa was taught all about the exceptional terroir of the high altitude Cafayate vineyards. He quickly saw the truth in this. Almost 20 years later, Pepa is more passionate about the region than ever. The warmth of the local people, and his amazing team at the winery, also compel him to stay.

A vineyard reaching for the sky

French immigrants David and Salvador Michel founded Bodega El Esteco in 1892. In the Calchaquí Valleys they found a paradise of abundant sunshine and towering mountains. Their winery is recognized as a pioneering establishment in the art of Argentine winemaking.

“Among the lush vegetation of the Yunga forest, the rivers and rocky mountains, there emerges, unexpectedly, a stretch of desert where magic happens…”
Alejandro Pepa, vinificateur en chef

Unique High-Altitude Vineyards

Bodega El Esteco’s most emblematic vineyards lie at 1700 to 2000 metres above sea level. The sandy alluvial soil, high sun exposure, low humidity, and wide day-to-night temperature variations make for truly unique terroir. Pure water, sourced from the mountains, nourishes the vines. North to south row orientation allows moderating northerly winds to cool the vineyards.

Aromatic Whites and Powerful Reds

The mosaic of vineyards owned by Bodega El Esteco allows them to plant a wide variety of grapes. Cooler sites favour the production of crisp, fragrant white wines like Torrontés and Sauvignon Blanc. Warmer, sunnier sites are better suited to bold red grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Tannat. The common theme running through all of El Esteco’s fine wines is vibrant freshness, great balance, and finesse.

Environment and Community

Water is a precious resource used throughout the winemaking process. The scarcity of rainfall in the Calchaquí Valleys makes irrigation necessary.

Bodega El Esteco uses precisely targeted drip irrigation minimize water waste. They are also working closely with local authorities to improve the quality of water available, not only for their winemaking activities, but also the local drinking water.

El Esteco at Table

The savoury turnover, empanadas, are part of the culinary tradition of many central and south American countries. In the Cafayate region, they are baked in clay ovens rather than fried. El Esteco’s favourite wine pairing for these tasty morsels is Torrontes. Its light, fresh style cuts through the rich pastry perfectly. El Esteco’s full-bodied Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are the ideal accompaniment to the region’s speciality: Cabrito al Horno (roasted goat).