The story beginnings in 2003. Urs Gmür, although earning his live in finance, always had a strong attraction for agriculture. Between a mother from a peasant family and a grandfather working in the wood sector, his interest naturally developed over the years and intensified during holidays spent on his great-uncle's farm in Thurgau/CH
Constantly on the lookout for market indicators, Urs came up with a pragmatic observation: in view of exponential demographics and changing food trends, feeding the world would become the top priority more than ever. A certainty that will open the doors to an unexpected future. In 2003, Argentina was in the midst of an economic crisis and resident Swiss families were repatriated to their country of origin. The situation did not fail to challenge Urs, who contacted the Embassy in Buenos Aires to investigate the possibility of acquiring a farm.
Word of mouth works, he visits the future Pecne Te estate which immediately appeals to him. However, it will take another two years before he returns to buy the property.
Located in the province of Mendoza, renowned for its arboriculture, fruit growing and wines, the estate extended over 40 ha, to which an additional 75 ha have been added today. Provided with a right of water, it presented all the assets necessary for an optimal exploitation. The first step was to level the land, create a 10,000 m3 water retention pool and install a drip irrigation system. Then plant some 5,000 walnut trees, 6,000 plum trees, 900 pistachio trees, some 100 olive trees, a plot for growing tomatoes (intended for drying) and, gradually, up to 25 ha of vines.
Between 2008 and 2010, three close friends decided to participate in the development of the domain. At the same time, a happy coincidence adds a dimension to the project, the meeting with the Vaudois artisan-winemaker Philippe Bovet (www.philippebovet.ch). He did not hesitate to join the adventure and to introduce the teams on site to the art of viticulture. Since then, he has been traveling regularly to Argentina to coordinate and monitor operations.
In 2016, the project took off to begin a new stage: the arrival of a handful of investors close to the group and the increase in share capital made it possible to professionalize the processing of products and their preparation for export. The steps taken include the creation of a hangar and the purchase of specialized equipment, in particular for drying nuts, prunes and tomatoes. Following the construction of a professional cellar using selected European equipment, Philippe Bovet takes the reins of the winemaking part, provides advice and establishes protocols. In 2018, the estate vinifies for the first time its own harvest of Bonarda, Malbec and Torrontés.
The philosophy, know-how, methodology and thoroughness of Philippe Bovet are all guarantors of the quality of the wines produced by the estate. Respect for the product and nature, sharing and transmission are the watchwords of the approach adopted by the Swiss winegrower.
Furthermore, the climatic conditions (https://es.climate-data.org/america-del-sur/argentina/mendoza/mendoza-1893/) are ideally suited to the practice of sustainable agriculture.
Pecne Te products are in the process of being certified to Argentinian, European and Swiss standards, and stand out for their excellent value for money.
The Finca and the Bodega Pecne Te in brief:
• Located at the foot of the Andes in the province of Mendoza / Argentina
• Area of 125 hectares
• 25 hectares of vines in Malbec, Bonarda, Syrah, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier
• first bottling 2017 (Malbec)
• Production capacity: 150,000 liters• 5,000 walnut trees, 6,000 plum trees, 800 pistachio trees, 100 olive trees
• High quality products, packaged and packaged on the estate
• about ten employees
• Shareholding> 90% Switzerland
• The production of our wines is under responsibility of Philippe Bovet, who is classified among the best Swiss wine producers by Gault Millau and by the European magazine Vinum.• International distribution, currently mainly in Europe and Switzerland - customers private, F & B (restaurants, wine bars ...), merchant, specialized wine merchants, wine clubs.
Die Region Mendoza
The province of Mendoza is located at the foot of the Andes in Argentina. Its highest peak, Aconcagua (6,880 m), is some 110 km bird-fly distance from the city of Mendoza. The region has characteristic continental climatic conditions: cold winters and hot summers. At a latitude of about 33 ° in the southern hemisphere, average temperatures of 30 degrees are measured in summer (December) and 5 degrees in winter (July), specifiying that those can even drop to minus 10 degrees. So, despite the relatively high average annual temperature, it is evident that no subtropical plants are grown here. The province of Mendoza can be described as a semi-desert, in which large-scale agriculture would not be possible without artificial irrigation. The average annual precipitation is about 250mm (roughly a sixth of that of Switzerland). Centuries ago, Native Americans used an intelligent irrigation system to channel water from the Andes to the plains, making the land arable. A similar system is still used today. The Pecne Te estate, like most fincas, also has a well to get use of groundwater.
All the products produced by Pecne Te come from sustainable agriculture and meet high quality requirements for Argentinian, European, Swiss and Halal standards. Today, the assortment includes nuts, dried prunes, sun-dried tomatoes, pistachios, olive oil and wines produced with the collaboration of Swiss wine-maker Philippe Bovet (link). All stages of production are managed internally: growing, processing, packaging and preparation for export.
The world’s population continues to grow. In densely populated countries such as China and India, we see a trend towards a more western lifestyle, associated with increasing purchasing power and an increase in calorie consumption. It is therefore evident that the agricultural sector needs to intensify its production capacity in order to meet the growing demand for food. On the other hand, the number of agricultural land is limited and reports on land degradation due to pollution, urbanization and climate change draw an alarming picture. In this context, it is difficult to imagine that the pressures exerted on agriculture, and in particular on production prices, will continue for a long time. Eating better to live longer and healthier is becoming a philosophy adopted by an increasing number of people – culinary mentalities and habits are evolving ...
Let's go back briefly to the period around the First and Second World Wars: about 80% of income was spent on food. Today, this rate is around 15%. Indeed, cars, entertainment electronics and holidays in distant countries are currently on the rise. By observing economic flows over time, this situation could however change again…
In our view, agriculture will still have a bright future: the trend to spend more on organic apples or Max Havelaar bananas testifies to the evolution in progress. The consumer is willing to invest in a quality product. The purchase is increasingly oriented towards "contextual factors" such as the use of chemicals, working conditions, packaging, or transport to the final consumer.
Furthermore, we believe that the production of high-quality food is not limited to the economic aspect, but is of vital importance insofar as sustainable agriculture can contribute to a healthier environment and to the safeguard of our planet. In this context, the arid climatic conditions of Mendoza prove to be ideal, since the absence of rain indeed limits the recourse to chemical treatments. Today, we are making every effort to ensure that Pecne Te products meet European and Swiss standards for sustainable agriculture.
In this same perspective, it is finally important to us to adopt a business model that minimizes the path between the producer and the end consumer. We therefore favor direct deliveries provided by us, which allows us to ensure optimal transport and storage, and ultimately benefits the consumer in terms of quality and price.