The construction of the winery that today
holds between its thick adobe walls countless stories and memories
began in 1902, in the San Martín District, between the
Andes and the "Pie de Palo" Hills. As one of the few
buildings that withstood the three earthquakes since 1944, it
is almost a provincial heritage.
Colonisation of the area began in 1902, the same year the construction of the
winery started on a small plot of land with traditional local materials: adobe
for the walls, and a mixture of mud and reeds for the roof.
In those days the
wine was stored
in the cellar, in rows of
small brick containers one above the other.
At harvest time, an Otto Deutz engine actuated the wooden pulleys of the crusher that received the wood buckets full of grapes.
To attain the right
temperature for wine making, there was a 12 meters (39.37 feet)
high cooler built with reeds from the area that cooled the water
as it flowed through the reeds and, by a simple heat exchange
process, lowered the temperature of the hot, fermenting must.
The winery had the tallest and probably the first windmill in the area, an Agar Cross that, to this day continues moving its arms with the wind and drawing gushes of water to supply the taps, just as it did in the old days, and a Marmonier piston pump imported from France.
Today, defeated by new technology, the old tools rest in patios and porches as testimony of the simple working methods of those days.
As years went by, the storage capacity provided by the original brick containers, which are still in use, was increased with two, considerably larger aisles.
Over the tall adobe walls, the roof -a metal sheet- rests on a wooden structure of French pitch pine that was brought to San Juan by railroad from the port of Buenos Aires, 1200 Km. away. Don Augusto often told how the timber was brought from the rail station, that was several kilometres away, on carts pulled by mules over sand dunes and across desolate areas.
This traditional winery that has been in the family for many generations, was the beginning of the new company that the Pulenta brothers established with their sons.
The 40,000 litre capacity of the old storage area was expanded to 2,000,000 litres and today, the winery has state-of-the-art technology including modern coolers, stainless steel tanks, presses, automatic temperature control systems and other wine making equipment from Italy, France, the United States and Argentina.