Altos Las Hormigas and Le Sommelier International cement partnership in China


Le Sommelier International, widely recognized as one of China’s top Spanish wine importers, is expanding their carefully curated range and taking on their first Argentinian brand, Altos Las Hormigas.

Altos Las Hormigas’ stunning Malbecs and their sister brand Colonia Las Liebres, which specializes in Argentina’s second signature grape variety, Bonarda, will be landing in China in June. An intimate ‘sneak-preview’ tasting, with a group of select sommeliers and key trade figures, took place to great applause last Thursday at El Bodegon in Shanghai.  


The partnership will broaden Sommelier’s current offering which is particularly strong in Spain, as well as a plethora of boutique, niche producers that tap in perfectly to China’s sommelier community as well as adventurous consumuers looking to explore new varieties and regions. Their current list boasts wines from the likes of Raul Bobet, Peter Sisseck, Oliver Haag and Jean Marc Lafarge, and now with the addition of Altos Las Hormigas, Alberto Antonini and Attilo Pagli, two of the world’s greatest Tuscan winemakers, making wine in Argentina.  

Both brands fit perfectly into Sommelier’s criteria for brand selection, namely wines that have limited production and old vineyards that are farmed using sustainable, organic and biodymanic techniques to ensure the production of wines that truly reflect their unique sense of place while representing exceptional value.

“A new adventure begins!” said Altos Las Hormigas Founder Antonio Morescalchi. “It has become clear during our numerous meetings and discussions that Altos Las Hormigas and Le Sommelier International share a passion and a vision: wine is not a commodity, wine is a story to be told, and a learning that never ends!”

Altos Las Hormigas was established in 1995 when friends Alberto Antonini and Antonio Morescalchi took a trip to visit to the up-and-coming wine regions of South America. It took only one stop to find what they were looking for. There were immediately impressed by the vineyards thriving in the high altitude and dry climate of Mendoza, Argentina, and were captivated by the potential of a New World wine region so deeply rooted in the Old World. 


They returned to Tuscany powerfully impressed not only by the region, but also by the unexplored potential of Malbec, a grape that had a strong local tradition but, at the time, was largely ignored and misunderstood. While the rest of the wine world saw Mendoza struggling to shed its bulk wine image, the two young Italians saw Mendoza as a place where traditional viticultural values and unblemished terroir could be reinvigorated with a modern winemaking approach and international experience. Against all odds and local advice, they cemented their goal to become Malbec Specialists

Today Malbec is considered Argentina’s leading grape variety and Altos Las Hormigas is recognised as one of the world’s leading Malbec and Terroir specialists. Their Malbecs are consistently ranked as some of the best expressions of this grape in the world. Renowned wine critic Robert Parker has said: “Readers can be assured that I will be buying these wines for my own cellar…a tour de force Malbec.”   

Colonia Las Liebres, the sister brand of Altos Las Hormigas, was developed to focus solely on the cultivation of Argentina’s second signature grape, Bonarda. In 2000, Alberto Antonini and Attilio Pagli, the winemakers of Altos Las Hormigas, fortuitously discovered the potential of growing single varietal Bonarda in Mendoza by keeping yields to a minimum to enhance the grape’s concentration and structure.

Colonia las Liebres, which means Colony of Hares, depicts a wild hare. This image alludes to the personality of the wines, springing from their place of origin, as that of the wild hare that roams the vineyards, effortlessly bringing along a sense of place. The Traditional Method Bonarda Brut Rosé, which has spent six months aging on lees to give this wine greater complexity and texture, is no dobut one of a kind.


The following opening selection of both brands will be available through Le Sommelier International from June:  

-        Colonia Las Liebres Tradtional Method Bonarda Brut Rosé 2015

-        Altos Las Hormigas Tinto 2017

-        Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Clasico 2017

-        Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Reserve 2015

-        Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Appellation Gualtallary 2016 

“The opportunity for Altos Las Hormigas and Colonia Las Liebres in China is significant,” says Nimbility’s Founding Partner Francesca Martin, “and we believe that Le Sommelier International is the perfect partner to introduce these brands to the market, due to their strength in the premium on-trade, the focus channel for these wines around the world. The incredible diversity of Malbec styles that Altos Las Hormigas represents, from the lighter Tinto and Clasico, through to the fuller, more structured Reserve and Appellation Gualtallary, offers consumers a Malbec for any occasion.” 


For more information about Altos Las Hormigas in Asia please contact

Apolline Martin