Decero, meaning “from scratch”, was born of a bare patch of land and a family´s love affair with wine. Winemaking in Thomas Schmidheiny´s family went back to his grandparents in Switzerland and, just as Napa had inspired his mother, Adda, in the 1970s, so too did Agrelo capture the heart and mind of Thomas, when travelling over the Andes into Argentina, 20 years later.
Starting “decero” was exactly how Thomas Schmidheiny dreamt of beginning a world-class vineyard, free from constraint of tradition and full of passion. Here in Agrelo, the source of some of Argentina’s finest red wines, Thomas instinctively knew that he had found the place to continue the family legacy and to handcraft wines whose allure would lie in being true to their origin.
The beautiful yet desolate spot Thomas had found was cradled in the heart of the Agrelo, in the foothills of the Andes. This land, bare apart from wild shrubs, was to become our Remolinos Vineyard.
We named the vineyard after its strangest and most special natural attribute, the remolinos, or tiny whirlwinds. These gusts of wind stir up the bare soil into dancing spiral forms which thread their way through the vines, keeping the grapes in perfect condition during the growing season. Situated 3,500 feet (1,050 meters) above sea level, our vineyard is the highest in Agrelo: here the cool night westerly air from the Andes passes over a land that is warm by day.
In coming to understand the unique qualities of this place, certain things became very clear to us. We would make no compromises, planting only the red varieties perfectly suited to Agrelo. The soil presented a tapestry of natural variations that meant we would have to get to know it and nurture it inch by inch, knowing the reward would be that every parcel of wine would have its own character. Our viticulture had to be sustainable, treading lightly in the environment and having a positive role in the life of the local community. Our winemaking philosophy required both local knowledge and international expertise, but above all it needed to be hands-on from start to finish: we called it our “amano” approach.
With Thomas’ world-class vision and conviction in starting from scratch, Finca Decero is a legacy for generations to come. We are proud to have built Decero from the ground up, and of the wines we have crafted by hand to be true to their origin, our one-of-a kind Remolinos Vineyard in Agrelo.