Al Este Bodega y Viñedos is a winery in Médanos, Buenos Aires, Argentina. It consists of vineyards (in owned lands that exceed 300 hectares) and an adjacent winery, located 640 km south of the city of Buenos Aires on the southern tip of the Buenos Aires province. The project has been developed under the direction of the Italian wine maker Alberto Antonini . In its first submission to a wine contest, Al Este has been awarded a Silver Medal in the White Wine category in the 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards, the world's largets wine contest celebrated in London. Al Este's award winning wine is recommended by Decanter in sixth position as one of the top chardonnays in 2009

In the early 1900s several European immigrants arrived to Médanos and brought the wine making tradition with them. Although at some point a multitude of small growers planted a combined surface of approximately 200 hectares of vineyards, they were unable to successfully complete the wine making process given lack of scale, inadequate technology and the country’s ups and downs which lead to their disappearance . The Médanos terroir, that had traditionally been dedicated to garlic and pastures, has striking similarities to Bordeaux, France in terms of its soil, weather conditions and proximity to the sea. More recently, the idea of starting a wine project in Médanos got reignited as a result of a trip to France which provided renewed confidence in the terroir’s potential . In 2000, a hectare and a half was planted on an experimental basis with nine grape varietals. In a second stage, after analyzing the obtained quality standards for each grape variety at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologí­a Agropecuaria (INTA), 25 additional hectares were planted mainly with six varietals .

Grape varieties
Al Este produces several varietals. Red: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tannat, Cabernet Franc White: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

Vineyards and winery
The vineyards are located at 39 degrees latitude south, where the Patagonia and Pampa converge, approximately 40 km from the Atlantic Ocean . Windy springs help develop thicker skins that contribute to the intense color of these wines. The geological foundation of the Médanos region is limestone, leading to a soil structure that is heavy in calcium. The soil has high sand content, which doesn’t retain as much humidity, and as a consequence this terroir absorbs and liberates heat faster creating a large temperature range which favors the development and growth of grapes . Topography: Flatland with meadows (médanos) Soil type: Sandy over a calcareous plate Irrigation system: Dripping Frost protection: Water spraying by aspersion Harvesting and grape selection: Manual Plant support system: Espalier The winery produces red and white wines, which are aged in French and American oak and in bottles in its underground cellars. It is the first company to grow, produce and sell premium wines in the Buenos Aires Province.