Source: The Globe & Mail
By: Cassandra Drudi
05.16.2008The city of San Rafael, which is about 230 kilometres west of Buenos Aires, is in the heart of Argentina's geographically diverse Mendoza province, a region in which 70 per cent of the country's wine is produced.
This 45-acre property just 40 kilometres from San Rafael includes a 25-acre vineyard, and a two-storey house with nearly 3,000 square feet of living space. It contains six bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a kitchen with a pantry and breakfast nook. A 400-square-foot covered patio, traditional wood-burning oven and swimming pool are notable outdoor features.
The 25 acres of the property devoted to viticulture include 12-1/2 acres of fine-wine varieties bonarda, syrah (or shiraz) and malbec, and 12-1/2 acres of traditional Argentine varieties. The grape harvest is currently 90,000 kilograms a year, and is projected to grow to 230,000 kilograms within the next two years.
"There's a romance to raising wine grapes," says Roger Gallo, a friend of the current owners.
The owners live on the farm almost entirely self-sufficiently, producing three-quarters of the food they eat in addition to the grapes they grow for wine. There is a vegetable garden and an orchard with more than 3,000 plum trees and 50 olive trees, as well as other fruit trees, including quince, peach and apricot.
"San Rafael is a kind of unique spot in Argentina because it's been the destination for a lot of expatriates from around the world," Mr. Gallo says. The current owners have often hosted parties for the expatriate community on their property, he adds.
The owners also keep horses, chickens and ducks, as the property has a 700-square-foot barn. A tractor is included in the sale.
Asking price: $310,000 (U.S.), or about $314,600.
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