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Fabre et Montmayou - Temporada

Mountains in Mendoza

Hervé Joyeaux Fabre was born in Bordeaux, and first purchased vineyards in Argentina in 1992. He made the smart move of paying attention to French traditions and buying plots of older vines planted in the early to mid 20th century, which had been planted at the optimum lower density of 6,000-7,000 vines per hectare. His vineyards planted in the commune of Vistalba at about 1100m altitude - interspersed with olive trees - are some of the highest in the city of Mendoza.

Hervé and his team at Temporada use drip irrigation to ensure the vines get an adequate water supply during the hot, dry weather. In the past irrigation has caused vines to be superficially rooted because the systems were only hydrating the surface of the land; now they are buried around 60cm beneath the soil so the water penetrates deeper.

Hervé buys in some fruit and uses younger vines for his everyday wine production, but his oldest vines - malbec, planted in 1908 - are used to make his wonderful Grand Vin. In all cases, grapes are sorted both before and after de-stemming to ensure that only the best fruit is selected. After that, there is minimal technological intervention in the winery: grapes are fermented using natural yeasts, with extended skin maceration for extra colour and structure. This technique allows the quality of the raw material to shine through in his consistently excellent wines.

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