It started as a trip to Buenos Aires and Mendoza to discover the land of tango, gauchos and wine. What began for us as a casual adventure became a journey of wine discovery, and a budding love affair with Argentina. Tasting wines and visiting wine regions has been a major part of our travel experiences around the globe. When we decided to take a trip to the wine country in Argentina, we immediately fell in love with the Malbecs of Mendoza, the terroir, the Andes, and especially the people. Purchasing our own vineyard and making our own wine was an organic next step that evolved into a dream come true!
At first, our interest was to grow grapes and produce wine just for our own consumption. But as the popularity of Malbec wines grew around the world, we began to see the wine business as an opportunity to work at something for which we shared a passion. In a short period of time, we increased our wine production and began exporting SoloContigo private label wine to the U.S. and Canada.
We decided to call our wines “SoloContigo” — Spanish for “Only With You.”
Our first red wine production was Premium and Super Premium Malbec. The Malbecs have deep violet hues and lush intense aromas of blackberries, chocolate and spice. The flavors of ripe fruit and rich tannins fill the mouth. Our wine consultant is the renowned South American wine maker, Santiago Achaval. About SoloContigo’s Super Premium Malbec, Santiago said, “this wine is silky on the palate and rich in flavor… an absolutely spectacular wine!”
With the success of the Malbecs, we extended our wines to include Sauvignon Blanc and Torrontes. We wanted a Sauvignon Blanc that had a clean fresh taste with more fruity, floral aromas and a soft subtle finish on the palate. The results were beyond our expectations!
The Torrontes grape is unique to Argentina. The SoloContigo Torrontes is a lovely white wine, clear and golden in colour with citrus, floral aromas and a hint of orange and grapefruit in the mouth. The SoloContigo Sauvignon Blanc and SoloContigo Torrontes were introduced together, so we once again increased production. While Torrontes is a little-known varietal in North America, it’s already standard fare enjoyed on patios in South Beach (Miami Beach, Florida).
We are excited to work at something we love and look forward to the coming years with new varietals, new wines and new markets for SoloContigo.
Noel and Terry Neelands
Tasting Notes: In color, it is a bright purple, with an aroma full of fresh red fruits and delicate black pepper, accompanied by delicate hints of vanilla from the oak aging. On the palate, it is round, medium bodied with gentle tannins.
Pairing: Pairs well with a wide range of foods from beef, white meet or even meat-based pastas.
SECOND-USE FRENCH OAK AGING
THIRD-USE FRENCH OAK AGING
STAINLESS STEEL AGING FOR SIX MONTH
Tasting Notes: Intense dark violet color, with a surprising brightness. Aromas of red fruit and cherries, combined with subtle notes of violet and subtle flowers, marking the varietal presence. The berry flavors pop on the palate as the wine has both good depth and very lively acidity that leads to an incredibly long finish. A great example of what a Mendoza Malbec should be.
Pairing: Compliments medium-strong cheese, venison, wild game, steak, pork, quail, and lamb. Can also be paired with white meat or pasta Bolognese.
FIRST-USE FRENCH OAK AGING
SECOND-USE FRENCH OAK AGING FOR 14 MONTHS
Tasting Notes: in color, the wine is an attractive, intense ruby. It expresses fruit notes of plum, black cherry, and dark fruits, with several spices like thyme, clove, black pepper and dark chocolate, given by its aging in oak. On the palate, it is elegant, full bodied, delicate and complex, with a persistent finish. A memorable wine, perfect for unforgettable moments.
Pairing: This is a wine to enjoy with grilled or roasted meats like beef or lamb, or even pasta Bolognese.
FIRST-USE FRENCH OAK AGING FOR 22 MONTHS
Tasting Notes: A water-white, lemon colored wine with bright aromatics of citrus fruits, like lime and grapefruit, among with floral fragrances like orange blossom and hints of honeysuckle. The wine is light-bodied, yet ripe and intense with stone and citrus fruits along with hints of white pear. Vibrant and harmonious in the mouth with zesty acidity and an elegantly crisp mouthfeel.
Pairing: Best enjoyed in its youth either by itself, or as a wonderful partner with smoked meats, mild to medium-strong cheeses, and seafood — especially crab.
TORRONTÉS RIOJANO GRAPE
STAINLESS STEEL AGING FOR FIVE MONTHS
First SoloContigo Wine vintage
Located in Los Sauces, Tunuyan, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina
The number of feet SoloContigo vineyards are above sea level
Arid with Mediterranean characteristics with 300 days of sunshine
Our grapes grow in poor rocky soil with loam and clay in its composition
The water that feeds our vineyard is snow melt that runs down from The Andes Mountains
Grape varietals: Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Torrontes, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache
The valley grapes are sourced from three different estates in the region
The land of tango and gauchos. The land that began our love affair with wine.
SoloContigo’s home is in the province of Mendoza, one of the great wine capitals of the world.
Crowning our Vineyards—the Andes—the highest peaks in the Americas, and our water source.
An ideal blend of hot days and cool nights aerating a rich mixture of rocky and clay soil.
Argentina ranks among the top five wine producing countries internationally. And, at the heart of Argentina’s wine making country lies Mendoza—the crowned jewel of Malbec varietals in the world. Nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountains of Argentina lies the Valle de Uco region, regarded as one of the top wine yielding regions in Mendoza. It is no coincidence that SoloContigo selected the Valle de Uco as the site for our vineyard. A trifecta of nature, the Valle de Uco boasts a high-altitude, alluvial soils, and the optimal variety in temperature, from hot days to cool nights. These forces of nature combine to produce lush and flavorful grapes with varying color intensities, enhanced aromatic elements, and rich textures.
The altitude ranges from 3,000–4,500 feet above sea level, which allows for cool air flow and for the vines to absorb more solar radiation than vines growing at sea level. The top layer of the Valle de Uco soil contains a high rock concentration, with a sandy rock layer beneath, followed by a layer with high amounts of clay. Avalanche-type mudslides occur during periods of heavier precipitation, which brings the mineral rich soils from the Andes down into the Valle de Uco, supplying us with our loam soil, which is farther down near the roots of our vines. This rocky soil is vital as it enables the water to drain quickly, and our vines only absorb just the right amount of limited water they require.
The Valle de Uco climate offers the ideal setting for wine-making. The cold winter temperatures allow for the soil to rest and regenerate during the spring. Argentinian summer (January-February), our key vine growing season, presents with long, hot days (88° F average) paired with cool nights (63° F average). These varying temperatures trigger an enzymatic reaction, preserving the quality of our grapes and enriching their color.
SoloContigo’s premier winemakers and illustrious vineyard crew proudly dedicate themselves to scientifically and artfully crafting the best quality wines. Indeed, they collectively thoroughly evaluate and plan harvesting around the weather conditions, and review and measure their results. Our skilled farmers perform all work by hand, from planting seeds, to stripping leaves, to full harvesting. We evaluate our grapes anecdotally by look, feel and taste, as well as test them in our laboratory for empirical analysis.
From our Valle de Uco vines to your glass, we are delighted to share with you, the SoloContigo experience!