Founded in January 2002 by Rosaura Etcheverry, of the family winery Castillo y Viejo in Uruguay, and Duncan Killiner, a winemaker from New Zealand, Jelu Estate is located in Mendoza.
In the 1990's, Duncan worked as a "flying winemaker," consulting at wineries around the world. For ten years, he worked over 80 harvests, traveling from Brazil to Mexico to Italy and Germany, eventually settling in Uruguay where he met his wife Rosaura; in 2003 he was offered a job in Mendoza. After six months here, he realized the potential of the terroir. And while 60-65% of the wine was consumed locally, the couple then realized the opportunity for export.
Establishing Jelu to promote the area's terroir, the couple sources organically grown grapes from a few regions, including the Zonda Valley in San Juan, and Patagonia. Dry and hot, with riverbed stones that radiate heat, Zonda Valley yields grapes that are harvested in January (the southern hemisphere's equivalent of July) to produce lush, full-bodied wines. With temperature variations of 50 degrees in one day during the summer months, Zonda Valley gives the wines a uniqueness that is quite difficult to match.
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