Otronia | Patagonia

Otronia Vineyards in Patagonia, Argentina

Otronia is located at 45.33° S in the province of Chubut, the most southerly winemaking region in the world. Their vines are planted on the shore of Lake Musters, once called ‘Otron’ by the region’s indigenous people. The environment here is incredibly hostile, with very little rainfall, bitterly cold temperatures, year-round frost risk and blusterous winds of up to 110km/hr, all providing highly challenging conditions for viticulture. In addition to implementing nets, thousands of trees have been planted to help shelter vineyards from battering gales. Proving that fortune favours the brave, these merciless conditions give rise to elegant wines with distinct vibrancy, aromatic intensity and a unique sense of place.

In 2010, 50 hectares of organically certified vineyard were planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Torrontés, Riesling, Merlot and Malbec. These comprise a fascinating mosaic of small, individual plots, each meticulously selected for a specific variety according to its soil type and microclimate. In the winery, rising star Juan Pablo Murgia (named ‘Young winemaker of the Year’ by Tim Atkin MW in 2021) is supported by world-renowned consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini. Alberto’s influence is evident in their hands-off approach. They also use concrete eggs and large, neutral French oak to enhance the wine’s character, not mask it. The Chardonnay is a blend of the best fruit from the limestone soils of blocks 3 and 6. Aged for 18 months in old French foudres, the wine displays lovely freshness and purity. The Pinot Noir is sourced from the sand and clay soils of ‘Block 1’. It is fermented with 50% whole bunch to enhance its perfume and structure. With aromas of wild strawberries and herbs, alongside silky tannins on the palate, it displays precision, elegance and tension.

Proving that these wines are getting better and better every vintage, Otronia was promoted to ‘First Growth’ status in Tim Atkin MW’s 2023 Special Argentina Report, a remarkable feat considering the relative infancy of the project. Despite this, Juan Pablo admits “we're all still learning, it’s all so different from how we do things in Mendoza”. This desire to explore, experiment and learn, as well as to develop a vineyard in a region as marginal as this, singles Otronia out as one of the most individual producers in Argentina.