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Juan Pelizzatti was a telecommunications marketing professional in his mid thirties with a passion for wine, thinking of a project where he could invest his soul and his dreams.

The crisis, for a short period of time, gave many Argentines the impression that there was not much left to lose and that only a radically new vision of the future could help them survive it. Juan was one of them: armed with his family’s life savings and a legacy of winemaking from his Italian grandfather, he took a month’s vacation from his job and literally walked the province of Mendoza in search of a new land.

Luck and some good advice helped him find the perfect place in Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo: 150 ha of almost bare land formerly planted with Malbec vines where only 30 hectares had survived the very bad years preceding the crisis.

Many years and a lot of work later, this estate has become one of the most promising new wine projects in Argentina, representing one of the most successful business models of the new wine landscape in Argentina. In the meantime, Argentine exports have sustained double digit growth, whilst Malbec, once a rare local grape, has achieved the status of an internationally demanded variety.

Chakana wines are made in a winery built on the Agrelo estate with a capacity of 2,000,000 litres. Small tank sizes have been chosen to maintain the identity of the different parcels of soils. The modular design has been tailored to the vineyard development. The winemaking process at Chakana is based on a careful and detailed management of grapes and process control.

Alberto Antonini first came to Argentina in 1995, after key contributions to the Super-Tuscan movement in the italian winemaking landscape at Antinori and Frescobaldi. He immediately sensed the potential of Malbec and devoted most of his work in the following 15 years to the re-discovery and perfection of this now Argentine gem.

He now consults for over 10 projects in Argentina, as well as renowned properties in the US, South Africa, Australia, Romania, Armenia, Chile and Italy.

Alberto Antonini winemaking philosophy is focused on using modern technology to express the terroir potential in making high end wines, while respecting the true nature of the grape flavours.