High Altitude, Low Yield
Updated: Aug 17, 2019
Our high mountain vineyards have an inherently low yield. While the relationship between yield and grape quality is hotly debated, we strongly believe that our wine has exceptional quality and intensity because of a meager grape yield of less than 1 ton per acre. For us, a small crop and smaller berries means more concentrated flavors.
Many factors influence our grape output, including 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 at Apu. These young plants currently produce grapes that are sparse and small, although their size is increasing with each season.
2: Poor soils
In Apu’s vineyards, a thin top layer covers rocky limestone soils, forcing the vines’ roots to seek nutrients and moisture deep below the surface. That vine stress forces the development of grapes instead of leaves and canopies, producing smaller berries and thus, lower yield.
There is less oxygen at our extreme high altitudes. Plants that receive less oxygen absorb nutrients slower and therefore grow slower. The end result is smaller berries with a high ratio of skins and pips to juice and more concentrated phenolics, the chemical compounds responsible for intensity in wines.
4: Occasional spring damage
Hailstorms can be a threat to our vines. For example, in the spring of 2018, large hailstones destroyed about 30% of our grapes. This makes our production per vine even more meager, but gives us more concentrated fruit.
In conclusion, these 4 factors all contribute to low yield, meaning we have smaller grapes with more intense flavors and aromas. The end result is a unique, premium Peruvian wine.
Echeverría, Gerardo, et al. Effects of Soil Type on Vineyard Performance and Berry Composition in the Río De La Plata Coast (Uruguay) . 3rd ed., vol. 51, Oeno One, 2017,
“Learn Everything about the Soil, Terroir and Climate of Bordeaux.” The Wine Cellar Insider, www.thewinecellarinsider.com/wine-topics/dirty-little-secret-soil-terroir-bordeaux/.