The Legend

Gualfin, or la finca as it is known in Spanish, is a place of myth and majesty, of folklore and faith, of strength and survival. The historic power of the Diaguitas and later, the Incas, who tamed Gualfin’s mountain heights, can still be felt — particularly, locals say, when the sun is setting over the blue-gray mountains.

The name, Gualfin, means “the end of the road,” or the “place at the end.” And it is, at the very edge of the civilized world. Up in the mountains and out on the puna (the high, dry desert) behind the ranch life can barely survive.

Dry and harsh, this is a country that tests one’s spirit. Those who live there have fought hard to survive; to cultivate the resistant, rocky mountain land; to feed, clothe, and warm their children. The basics.

The basics may be lost to the modern world, but not at Gualfin. The way of life here has been safeguarded by the surrounding mountains and deserts for centuries.  Toiling away at over 8,000 feet above sea level, the people are kind, yet tough; they’re fighters — they have to be.

In 2006, an unfamiliar figure appeared on the land. A tall, lanky gringo, his name was Bill Bonner. A world traveler, entrepreneur, and best-selling author, the towering Argentine mountains both enchanted and challenged him. Other potential buyers had looked at the ranch. But rather than the remote and forlorn windwept outpost that the others had seen, Bonner saw something different. Unique. Majestic. And splendid. It was something that had been forgotten by time.

Bonner promptly bought the 200,000 hectare property, an ideal refuge for himself and his family. He little suspected the land had entrepreneurial ideas of its own.

As it turned out, his private, desolate wilderness, where even cacti fight for survival, wasn’t as barren as it looked. Hidden away on the property were some valuable grape vines from Europe. Bonner was intrigued to learn that the plant, brought over from France in the mid-1800s, had been irrevocably changed by the local climate’s extreme temperatures and difficult environment.

The vines had evolved to produce a very different kind of grape, one that could survive harsh mountain conditions. The result was fantastic: a highly-concentrated, exceptionally flavorful mountain fruit.

The vines had evolved to produce a very different kind of grape, one that could survive harsh mountain conditions. The result was fantastic: a highly-concentrated, exceptionally flavorful mountain fruit.

There was only one thing to be done with such a delicious and distinctive grape, Bonner decided — make wine. The result is one of the finest Argentine wines currently on the market. Except, it’s not on the market. You will not find Gualfin wines in your local Trader Joe’s, much less your local wine store. Gualfin wines are exclusive, and only available to members. Click here to learn more.