Brothers Francois and Jacques Lurton, 5th generation vignerons from Bordeaux, starting making wine in Argentina in 1992 and found the perfect site for their own vineyards and winery at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in 1996. The land was analysed by their father, Andre Lurton, who likened it to the gravel soils of Pessac Leognan, the supreme white wine appellation of Bordeaux. Piedra Negra’s winery is located at the centre of it’s vineyards and in an unusual location: one hour and a half’s drive away from Mendoza and far away from any main town. Piedra Negra translates to “black stone,” an homage to it’s location, and is now solely operated by Francois Lurton.
Piedra Negra has 136 hectares of vineyards, which are divided between Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris. Located in the Alto Uco Valley, the vineyards experience a continental climate, less than 200mm of rainfall per year and have poor, well-draining soils. When planted in 1996, the soil was cultivated for the first time and was found to have perfect pH. The soil is a combination of sand, granite schist, alluvial deposits and large, rounded pudding stones. The hot, dry summer days with extreme temperature drops at night allow the grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The yields in these conditions are naturally very low and of extremely high quality. High-density planting (4500 vines/hectare) and short pruning are practised to ensure a low yield. The risk of hail is a continual problem at the vineyards and the vines are protected by nets. The vineyards are 100% Organic.