Mountains, the natural jewels of our planet, are not only breathtaking landscapes but also vital ecosystems. 15% of the world's population is given home by them and nearly half of the global biodiversity hotspots are harbored here.

On December 11th, International Mountain Day, we raise a toast to the high altitude vineyards near those majestic peaks and the challenges they face.

Salta vineyards, one of the higher altitudes for grape growing in Argentina (Credit: Hector Ramon Perez,

Mountains play a crucial role in providing freshwater to half of humanity, sustaining agriculture, and offering clean energy and medicines. But they are in danger from climate change, overuse, and pollution, which puts people and the planet at risk. As the global climate warms, mountain glaciers melt, impacting freshwater supplies downstream. This, coupled with steep slopes, leads to deforestation, soil erosion, and habitat loss.

The consequences extend beyond the mountains themselves. Over 311 million rural mountain dwellers in developing countries live in areas susceptible to progressive land degradation, with 178 million facing food insecurity. It's a global problem that requires urgent attention. We must collectively reduce our carbon footprint and prioritize the conservation of these natural wonders.

Exploring High-Elevation Vineyards

What many may not realize is the growing intrigue in viticulture within mountainous regions. High-altitude wine regions give home to some of the world's finest wines, which have an extra layer of complexity to winemaking. "High altitude" is a relative term, and Europe's highest vineyards, reaching up to about 1,200m or 4,000 feet above sea level. They are found in Italy's Aosta Valley and neighboring Alpine regions.

Beyond Europe, South America boasts some of the world's highest vineyards. In Argentina's Salta and Chile's Elqui Valley, vineyards soar above 2,000m (6,500 ft), with peaks exceeding 3,000m (10,000 ft). In tropical areas, higher altitude cools the climate, with temperature dropping by 0.5°C for every 100m increase in height.

At VinoVoss, we recognize the importance of preserving mountainous ecosystems and want to use International Mountain Day as a reminder of the need for nature-based solutions, best practices, and investments to enhance resilience and reduce vulnerability.

To celebrate this day, we have chosen mountain wines that showcase winemaking skills and reflect conservation values.

Wines to Savor and Support

Les Crêtes Petite Arvine

Grown in the heart of the Alps, this Petite Arvine showcases the elegance and finesse that high-altitude vineyards bring to white wines. Notes of crisp apples and mountain herbs create a refreshing experience.

Pyros Single Vineyard Block No 4 Malbec

From the mountain range and foot of the Andes, this Malbec thrives in the high-altitude vineyards of Salta or San Juan. Expect bold flavors of dark berries and a hint of mountain spices, reflecting the unique terroir.

Elqui Red Blend (Chile)

This Carmenère, Syrah, Malbec from the Elqui Valley's elevated vineyards presents a symphony of black fruit, pepper, and a touch of eucalyptus. The cool mountain nights contribute to its vibrant acidity.

Sip, Savor, and Support the Mountains

As we raise a glass to International Mountain Day, let's not only savor the exceptional wines born from high-altitude vineyards but also commit to preserving these precious ecosystems.

By supporting sustainable practices in viticulture and embracing the beauty of mountain wines, we contribute to the conservation of our natural treasures. Cheers to the mountains and the wines that pay homage to their majesty!

Lotte Gabrovits

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