The essential “not to leave at home” tool for anyone considering buying or planting a vineyard in Argentina. Share years of insight garnered by two Americans, Tom and Yvonne Phelan, who have gone through the Argentine vineyard purchasing process and now live in Mendoza and San Rafael where they are developing their 108 acre La Vida Buena Boutique Vineyard Development and Wine Club.

Here are just a few of the issues you will confront when shopping for a vineyard and are discussed in the “Argentine Vineyards Buyer’s Guide.

  1. Why you need someone who speaks Spanish and your language
  2. Why you may need a Vineyard Manager
  3. Why you need an Agronomist who provides a Report before you buy
  4. Why you should inspect the vineyard with your Agronomist
  5. Why you should use a Vineyard Manager to interview Vineyard Worker(s)
  6. Why you should inspect a Worker’s House
  7. How to use a NEW Survey that will evidence CURRENT water rights, boundaries, grapevine quantities, grape types etc.
  8. Ghost grapes and why you need to review the “Official” receipts for the prior year’s grape yield
  9. Reviewing the Vineyard’s Registry Documentation
  10. Why you should inspect the condition of electricity, gas, water, septic, water well etc. for the Worker’s House and all other buildings
  11. When to instruct an Escribano to conduct a Title search
  12. Can you get and do you need American Title Insurance?
  13. Firing a Worker before hiring him, when you need to talk to an Argentine Accountant regarding current and past Vineyard Worker’s wages and benefits
  14. Why you need to establish Argentine AFIP Form
  15. Why you need to open an Argentine Bank Account with AFIP #
  16. When you need to have your Escribano create a Boleto (contract) spelling out details of your vineyard purchase
  17. Reviewing the Boleto with your Argentine Attorney
  18. Signing the Boleto and tendering a 10% – 50% deposit
  19. Instructing the Escribano to prepare a “Bill Of Sale” for all vineyard chattels, e.g. tractor, implements etc.
  20. The proper protocol to wire money to your new Argentine Bank Account and proof of where the money came from
  21. Why you will pay a 2%+ Escribano Fee plus a 2% Transfer Fee based on the vineyard’s sale price
  22. Closing the deal with your Escribano.

THE ARGENTINE VINEYARDS BUYER’S GUIDE is designed as a quick study course on vineyards  based on real life actual experiences of two Americans who pursued and fulfilled their dream of owning a vineyard and Bodega in Argentina.  

The knowledge obtained by the authors regarding the purchasing of an Argentine vineyard evolved from numerous trips to Argentina, many of which were month long, and the eventual understanding that things in Argentina don’t necessarily work the same way as in the US.

And like most countries, very definitely Argentina has its share of bureaucracy that must be dealt with in an appropriate and effective manner.

With premium vineyards in California’s Napa and Sonoma Counties fetching $300,000 per planted acre of grapes it was only a matter of time before Americans began to look elsewhere, to look far beyond the shores of the USA.

Can adventurers today afford a modest yet respectable "turnkey" vineyard, e.g. five acres in Argentina?

The answer is yes if you agree that $129,950 is affordable for a turnkey five acre vineyard capable of producing up to 15,000 (750ml) bottles of premium, perhaps even award winning Malbec wine, each year that would retail in the USA for $12.00 - $25.00 per bottle.

Critics like Robert Parker Jr. call Argentina the "sleeping giant" of wine countries and have given numerous 90+ scores on Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. 

Selecting the best soil (“terroir”) is the first step in the vineyard buying process and it also creates the first proverbial “fork in the road,” should you buy an existing vineyard or plant a vineyard from acquired vacant land.

Both the positive and negative aspects of the vineyard purchasing process are explored in the book as they both play important, integral parts of the ultimate success or failure of scouting for, acquiring, perhaps planting and ultimately having a vineyard managed.

For those who opt to build a vineyard from scratch the selection of land is covered in detail; e.g. Agronomist’s Report, Soil’s Report, Survey, Title Insurance, Escribano’s role, an Argentine lawyer’s role etc. including the clearing, tilling and leveling of the land, creating an irrigational system, what types of grapes to grow (Malbec v. Chardonnay), the best water supply system (irrigation v. well), what style to plant the grapes (parral v. espaldero) and whether or not netting (tela) and “Hail Damage” insurance are justified expenses. 

For those who opt to purchase an existing vineyard (finca) the entire scouting process, going under contract and closing dynamics are explored and explained including "ghost grapes" where a vineyard Owner can't or won't produce “official” receipts for the prior year's harvest that evidence the type of grapes sold, the weight and the price paid. Argentine law requires a vineyard owner register his vineyard and receive from the Winery receipts for all grapes sold.

By reading this course you will shave months off of the normal vineyard scouting and buying “learning curve” and likely save a lot of money, time and headaches in the process.

Owning a vineyard can be exciting, profitable and enjoyable, i.e. consuming wine made from your very own vineyard.


Real Estate Agent and 3rd Party Facts 

Argentina has areas that require licensing for real estate agents, however, licensing is not mandatory for those who want to act  as 3rd Party reprentatives with "pocket" listings. Typically they are not licensed ergo you must be careful when dealing with these people.

In the Mendoza Province there does not exist any MLS (Multiple Listing Service) thus it is common that several real estate agents and or 3rd party representatives have the same property for sale and at different prices and terms.

Any legitimate Real Estate Agent or 3rd Party who aids you in purchasing a vineyard or suitable vineyard property deserves to be compensated.

Commissions paid for a real estate transaction are customarily:

3% paid by the Seller to the real estate agent or 3rd Party who made the property known.

3% paid by the Buyer (you) to the real estate agent or 3rd Party who made the property known to the Buyer. Thus it is possible for a real estate agent or 3rd Party to earn both sides of a transaction (3% + 3% = 6% commission).

Unfortunately unlike in the USA a real estate agent or 3rd Party may have a vested interest in the property being represented and not be required to disclose it to you. For example the real estate agent or 3rd Party might not tell you he/she:

* Owns the property but gives you the impression someone else owns the property

* Is a partial Owner of the property

* Has an Option on the property for less than you are paying (flipping the property)

* Loaned money to the owner and is entitled to a share of the profits

* Have prior knowledge about a problem with the property; e.g. Title, Water Rights, Survey, poor grape

   quality, neglected grapevines, volcans (sink holes) etc.

            How can you know which way to turn? Who to trust? How to get a straight answer?


For more information e-mail me at: or call me at:

San Rafael  02627 15 641 767

USA (919) 321-8448 


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