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SPI Group acquires Argentine winery

SPI Group acquires Argentine winery

SPI Group (SPI) has acquired a significant share in ultra-premium Mendoza, Argentina,
Archaval Ferrer winery. 

Val Mendeleev, SPI’s chief executive office says: “The winery is renowned for producing ultra-premium Argentinian wines, which score some of the highest rankings from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.

"We were impressed with the quality of the wine and the brand name that the team, headed by Santiago Achával Becu, has developed and improved year after year.  The brand offers very good growth prospects and together with the management team of we plan to nurture these to their full potential over the coming years.”

Santiago Achával Becu, president at Archaval Ferrer. comments: “We are thrilled to become part of the SPI Group.  This partnership presents a fantastic opportunity for our wines to achieve greater distribution and recognition the world over.   wines are a combination of great terroir, passion for making wines that respond to that terroir, and a fantastic team of collaborators who share this common dream and make it possible.”

As part of the agreement between the two companies, Santiago Achával Becu will retain his position in Archaval Ferrer.  He will also be involved at a senior level in SPI’s wine portfolio development as the company continues to look for additional global opportunities in the ultra-premium and premium wine sector.



Founded in 1998 in Mendoza at the foot of the Andes mountains, Archaval Ferrer was started by Argentinian Santiago Achával Becu (Stanford MBA graduate and a senior corporate manager prior to starting the wine company) with his partners from Argentina and Italy. They agreed to focus on two founding principles:  the search for the highest quality in all of their products and respect for the terroir.   The desert-like conditions of soil and climate are ideal for growing Malbec and other red varietals.  Low yields, poor and well-drained soils and great thermal amplitude combine to produce balanced wines with a complex and deep structure.

Over the past ten years has achieved tremendous success and has been dubbed ‘’The Best of The Best of Argentina’’.  This is evidenced by the high quality of its distribution network covering 47 countries and the very high ratings given by international wine critics.  Since the first year of its operations, wines have scored every year, in every one of its vintages, over 90 points by Wine Spectator and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, and have averaged 92.5 points.  Its most recent review by Wine Advocate yielded outstanding scores for its top three wines (98 for Finca Bella Vista, 97 for Finca Altamira, and 96 for Finca Mirador), and excellent results for its medium and entry level wines (93 for Quimera and 91 for Malbec Mendoza).  The prestigious global Wine Spectator Top 100 list (2010 edition) named as one of world’s top wines, listing its Malbec Mendoza 2009 in 68th place.  

The portfolio of wines:

Finca Altamira, RRP: US$105/ €70
Finca Altamira has a bright, expressive character, offers a mix of red and black fruits, with graphite notes and a strong violet overtone.  It is made from grapes from a single vineyard in the Uco Valley which was planted in 1925 and is located at 1,080 metres above sea level.  The vineyard has sandy loam and volcanic ash which give way to big round rocks, eroded by the flow of the Tunuyan river. 2004-2008 vintages: Wine Advocate rank - 95-98

Finca Mirador, RRP: $105/ €70
Finca Mirador has a brooding character with notes of rich spice and liquorice and light floral undertones.  It is made from grapes from a single vineyard in Medrano, which is 720 metres above sea level and has deep loam soils, half of which were planted in 1928 and the other half in 1945. 2004-2008 vintages: Wine Advocate rankings - 94-96

Finca Bella Vista, RRP: US$105/€70

Finca Bella Vista is a well structured and elegant wine made from grapes from a single vineyard in Perdriel, which is 980 metres above sea level and was planted in 1910 on very deep gravel beds.   It has ripe tannins with dark fruit and mineral notes, and has been described as ‘almost Burgundian’ by American wine critic Matt Kramer. 2004-2008 vintages: Wine Advocate rankings - 96-98


Quimera, RRP: US$45/ €27Made of Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot) grown in the predominantly in the Uco Valley, as well as in Medrano and Perdriel, this wine is blended not at the end as is standard practice but immediately after fermentation. 2004-2008 vintages: Wine Advocate rankings - 92-94

Malbec Mendoza, RRP: US$25/ €18
This is a blend made of Malbec from different regions and altitudes in Mendoza, Medrano in the East through to Lujan de Cuyo.  It expresses the essence of what Malbec is all about.
2004-2008 vintages: Wine Advocate rankings - 91-92

About SPI Group
Founded in 1997, SPI Group (headquartered in Luxembourg) operates across 120 markets all over the world and is one of the world’s leading spirits groups with primary operations in the production, sale and distribution of its portfolio of spirit brands. The Group owns or manages over 350 brands, among them its global vodka brands such as Russia’s iconic Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya brands.  
SPI Group has been a strong acquirer and integrator of spirits and wine companies, having completed 15 acquisitions of producers, importers, distributors and retailers of beverages.  Its entry into the fine wine business started in 2006 with the establishing of a joint venture between SPI Group, the Frescobaldi family and Michael Mondavi.  This joint venture includes three top wine estates in Italy: Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, Castelgiocondo and Luce della Vite, producing premium and ultra-premium wines such as Castelgiocondo, Brunello, Luce and Masseto. 
The investment in is in line with the SPI strategy of focusing on exclusive, premium and great-tasting wines.




1 April 2011 - Felicity Murray