Amalaya is an exquisite representation of the unique weather, altitude and soil conditions in Argentina’s Northern Calchaqui Valley, located in the province of Salta. The wines honour the heritage and religion of the indigenous Calchaqui people, which is to keep the gods of nature happy and to strive for an equilibrium of forces to ensure sustainability over time. The most worshiped goddess, “Pachamama,” or “Mother Earth,” presides over planting and harvesting and is prayed to each year for a miracle. This “hope for a miracle” translates to “Amalaya” in the local indigenous language and is symbolized by the holistic spiral. With respect to Pachamama, the winemakers of Amalaya treat all their vineyards sustainably.
In an area considered unfarmable by even the Incas, most saw nothing more than the rugged landscape of the high desert, Donald Hess saw the potential for great wines. The Calchaqui Valley sits in the northwestern region of Argentina in the eastern foothills of the Andes, at an altitude of 1,800 meters above sea level. This high altitude defines the terroir of the region, allowing viticulture to thrive despite its close proximity to the equator. At 1,800 meters the vines receive intense sunlight during the day, while remaining cool at night, helping to retain the crisp acidity and concentrated fruit characteristics of the grapes. This diurnal temperature variation extends the growing season, leading to a more balanced finished wine. Here, in the Cafayate wine region, in the province of Salta, the continuing commitment of Hess Family Estates is found in Amalaya.