My name is Tomás Achával. I found my life’s calling in 1994 when I was chosen by LVMH to manage Moet & Chandon wines and wineries in Argentina. After many years spent traveling the world and managing luxury brands, I had finally found the work that would become the foundation of my life. There was just one problem – I knew almost nothing about wine.
The vibrant and talented communities across my country’s wine regions gave me an intimate knowledge of wine and the best possible conditions for grapes’ growth and development. Nómade Wines is much more than a wine project; it is a way of life.
Trained as an engineer, Tomas Achaval spent his early career working with multinational corporations across the globe. Eventually selected by LVMH to manage Moet & Chandon’s operations in Argentina, he fell in love with the world of wine and soon decided to make his life’s passion his life’s work.
Under the Nomade brand, Tomas has collected a group of vineyards from some of Argentina’s finest terroirs, from Salta’s Calchaqui Valleys in the far north to Pategonia’s Rio Negro Valley in the south.
Tomas quickly zeroed in on the Uco Valley as some of the finest terroirs in Argentina. The Valle de Uco is a key winegrowing region in the province of Mendoza. An hour’s drive south from the city of Mendoza, it is home to some of the region’s finest vineyards, and is sometimes referred to as “the Napa Valley of Argentina.”
The valley follows the northerly course of the Tunuyán River as it flows down from its source on Mount Tupungato, a massive Andean lava dome of Pleistocene age. The dry continental climate of the lower Valley brings little rain, so the river is an important resource for vineyard irrigation.
Soils throughout the Uco Valley are alluvial and fairly uniform: a clay and rock base with a stony, sandy surface. These free-draining soils are excellent for quality viticulture, as they stress the vines, leading to decreased vigor and lower yields, while the roots plunge up to 30ft into the ground seeking water and pulling up a tremendous base of minerality into the fruit.
Malbec shines here, producing terroir-driven red wines with a distinctive floral aroma. Cabernet Franc and Syrah are much less widely planted, but some great results have been achieved. The high elevation (2000-3600ft) creates a relatively cool climate, which in turn allows for long hang times and great ripeness while preserving acidity. This, combined with vines deeply rooted in the alluvial soils, creates wines with great expressiveness of both fruit and terroir.