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  • Writer's pictureApu Winery

High Altitude, Low Yield

Updated: May 23, 2021

low yield, apu winery, high altitude wine, peruvian wine

Our high mountain vineyards have an inherently low yield. Although the relationship between yield and grape quality is highly disputed, we firmly believe that our wine has exceptional quality and intensity due to a lean grape yield, less than 1 ton per acre. For us, a small harvest and smaller berries mean more concentrated flavors.

Many factors influence our grape production, such as the age of our plants, poor soils, high altitude, and occasional spring damage.

1: Age of our plants

Imported from Chile in 2015, our Sangiovese, Sauvignon blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon vines are currently the only plants in production in Apu. Currently, these young plants produce scarce and small berries, although their size increases with each season.

2: Poor soils

In the Apu vineyards, a thin top layer covers the rocky calcareous soils, forcing the roots of the vine to search for nutrients and moisture deep below the surface. This stress on the vine forces berries to develop, producing smaller fruit and, therefore, a lower yield.

3: High altitude

There is less oxygen at our extreme altitudes. Plants that receive less oxygen absorb nutrients more slowly and therefore grow at a slower rate. The end result is smaller berries with a high proportion of skins and seeds to juice and a higher concentration of phenols, the chemical compounds responsible for the intensity of the wines.

4: Occasional spring damage

Hail storms can be a threat to our vines. For example, in the spring of 2018, large hailstones destroyed around 30% of our grapes. This makes our production per vine even more scarce, but it gives us a more concentrated fruit.

In conclusion, these 4 factors contribute to the low yield, which means that we have smaller grapes with more intense flavors and aromas. The end result is a unique and quality Peruvian wine.

Echeverría, Gerardo, et al. Efectos del tipo de suelo sobre el rendimiento del viñedo y la composición de las bayas en la costa del Río de la Plata (Uruguay) . 3ª ed., vol. 51, Oeno One, 2017,

"Aprenda todo sobre el suelo, el terruño y el clima de Burdeos". The Wine Cellar Insider,

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