Out of the darkest times, the bright seeds of new ideas are sown. At 7:52 AM, five days into the ascent of Argentina’s Aconcagua Mountain, the summit was tantalizingly close when climbers Tony Hartl and Alex Chang ran into trouble—serious trouble. Tony’s blood oxygen was plummeting, his lungs crackling and straining in the thin air. High-altitude pulmonary edema was setting in. The goal was no longer the summit; it was survival. Evacuation became the only option.
As they began the arduous descent, the best friends were already thinking about how this experience would change their lives and their dreams.
While recovering in Mendoza, Argentina, Tony and Alex felt an immediate kinship—some might call it simpatico—with the people, their land, and their relaxed, joyful way of life. Their warmth and hospitality were captured in the region’s quintessential wine, Malbec.
Lives change, we are pointed in new directions, and a mission is born. For Tony and Alex, it was a passion to achieve an audacious goal: create the finest Malbec in the world. More than that, given the entrepreneurs’ long history of philanthropy and desire to give back to the people who’d welcomed them so warmly, they wanted the wine to give back as well.
To reach these goals, Tony and Alex assembled a team and went to work. Award-winning winemaker Giuseppe Franceschini, with his ties to wines of both the Old and New World, shared their vision and passion. Together, they secured exclusive access to the one of the best vineyards in the Altamira district, Mendoza’s most prestigious appellation.. The vines are own-rooted, and we know that the soil is a mix of alluvial clay, limestone and gravel. Organic practices and hand cultivation ensure the long-term health of the vines, and high Andean glaciers in ancient canals provide the water. The Malbec is then aged for 16 months in the oldest wine cave in Mendoza, in oak barrels made and toasted to exacting specifications.
As plans were coming together, the team created a program to give back to the people of Mendoza. With each bottle of Seed Wine sold, a local child now receives a brand-new schoolbook, planting seeds for the future of the region.
Seed Wine is exactly what Tony and Alex envisioned when their adventure on Aconcagua came to its untimely conclusion: A 100% single-vineyard Malbec, handcrafted in small batches—fewer than 200 cases per year—that expresses the true flavors of the region and the simpatico Tony and Alex felt for the people and the land of Mendoza, Argentina.
Seed is about making wines that not only capture the flavor, but the spirit of a very special place.
Wine has always been about place, and there is no better place in the world for Malbec grapes to grow than in Mendoza, Argentina. Mendoza is at a latitude that blesses the region with the perfect convergence of sunshine, temperature, day length, and seasonal change for wine growing. Bordeaux, Napa, and Tuscany lie at similar distances from the equator.
When your goal is to make not just a good Malbec but the very best, you can’t settle for any vineyard in Mendoza. Seed Wine is made exclusively from grapes grown on a single, high-altitude vineyard in the Altamira district, high above the Uco Valley. The vines here grow on 42-year-old rootstock that penetrates the rocky alluvial soil all the way into limestone deposits, imparting the grapes—and the resulting wine— with a balanced and well-rounded complexity.
Our growers irrigate the prized vines with glacier melt that flows to the estate from ancient canals, and insist on using only hand-cultivation techniques. This includes pruning away nearly half the grapes shortly after flowering, creating exceptional flavor and intensity in the remaining fruit.
Most years, there are enough of these ultra-premium grapes to make just under 200 cases of wine, which are then aged for 16 months in hand-toasted French oak barrels, stored deep inside the oldest wine cave in Mendoza.
This is a painstaking labor of love every step of the way. We can’t make very much, but inside every bottle of Seed Wine you can taste the true flavor and spirit of place. More importantly, you experience what is perhaps the ultimate in a Malbec.
While we come from very different backgrounds, the Seed Wine team was built on a shared love of great wine, the creative process, and the idea that our work can, and should, give something back. We believe the world is alive with possibility.
Wine is life. Life is short. Savor every drop.