The Valle Seco Estate
- The Valle Seco Estate was founded in 2009 by Federico Lencioni & Francisco Sarabia who decided in that year to put to vine a small plot of land from their vast highland ranch. They had noted for years that this parcel was consistently covered in fog in the morning and breezy throughout the morning, two traits that made it ideally suited for growing grapes. Since then it has been a bit of a fairytale success story for these ranchers turned winemakers whose grapes have been sold since the beginning to wines that have consistently won top awards in every competition they entered. Selling grapes was never their plan A, and in 2018, when the vineyards had reached a level of maturity that they felt confident in, they started making their own wine. They teamed up with the well-known winemaker/enologist Sergio Heras, (originally from Argentina) who has been making wine Northern Baja for a decade and is one of its most well-respected winemakers, and stage two of the dream began. Today they make 4 wines: A natural Cabernet Sauvignon, a traditional red blend, a rosé of Mourvedre and another blend called K3 that is not exported. While the rosé and red blend are not made with native yeast, the yeast used is certified organic and throughout the rest of the process of making the wine they maintain a very low intervention approach. Here are some of the details about their estate and vineyards:
- Their southeastern facing vineyard site is located 18 miles from the Pacific in Valle Seco at an elevation of 1,800 ft. Soil is composed of decomposed granite, sand, and some clay.
- Their vineyards are completely isolated from any other wineries and farmed organically and sustainably.
- The vast highland plain where the winery is located has better water reserves that most of the viticultural regions of Northern Baja, and it is accessed by a pump powered by the wind. That’s right, the windmill that appears on their logo is an image of the windmill that was erected nearly 100 years ago and still serves to pump up the water from the underground aquifer for use in the winery.
Total production: 29 acres under vine, 4 wines, 1,000 cases
2018 Tinto - Valle Seco
Tasting Notes and Drinking Window:
A bold and rich red wine that graciously reveals the unique terroir of this high elevation valley that lies inland and above the well-known Valle de Guadalupe. An expressive nose of red fruits, chocolate and espresso undertones leads to a bright palate of well-integrated tannins, rich and silky texture and a beautiful lingering finish. Bravo.
Drinking window: Upon release - 8 years
only 165 cases made
34% Petite Sirah, 33% Mourvedre, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon
Sergio Heras - Mexican (lives in Valle de Guadalupe)
Valle Seco – From the only vineyard in a high elevation valley which lies up above Valle de Guadalupe where the Guadalupe river originates. Elevation is 1,800 ft, and the soil is largely granite with some clay. Vines planted in 2009 and 2016. All estate owned.
Grapes are picked and final selected by hand in the night to maintain acidity, and then cold soaked before pressing. Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks with organic certified yeast, seeds and skins, at low temperatures for a period of 3 weeks. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was racked off and aged in 1st use French Oak barrels for 12 months and then an additional 12 months after bottling.
Sulfites: 40 ppm