AT A GLANCE
COUNTRY > NICARAGUA
REGION > DIPILITO, NUEVA SEGOVIA
FARM > LA ARGENTINA, ROGER PERALTA
ALTITUDE > 1200-1350 masl
VARIETY > CATURRA, CATUAI
PROCESS > WASHED
Apple, chocolate, raisin. Sweet with a balanced acidity and a juicy body.
Finca La Argentina is the jewel in the Dipilito crown. It has been owned by Roger Peralta and his family since 1920 and is an incredibly beautiful farm. A steep 30-minute drive from the local mill town of Ocotal, Nueva Segovia’s capital, is all it takes to reach Finca La Argentina. The 80 hectare farm is set within, and is indeed part of, a beautiful mountain forest where many varieties of indigenous trees flourish alongside all kinds of flora and fauna. Such varied vegetation provides ample shade for the coffee that grows there.
Finca La Argentina is managed by Juan Carlos along with 40 permanent employees and 150 pickers during the harvest. Ripe cherries are handpicked and sorted between December and March. There is a wet mill on the farm where the ripe red cherry is deposited and weighed from each picker. The cherries then enter floatation tanks where ripes and unripes are separated by density. Ripe dense cherries are then pulped in a San Carlos depulper which removes the skin of the cherry using a cylindrical piece of metal. The sticky beans are then fermented for between 14 and 18 hours before being washed in channels lined with stones which provide friction to remove any remaining mucilage. The washed beans are then taken to the drying patios at the nearby mill of San Ignacio where they are regularly turned by rake to ensure good, even drying. The overall drying process will take around 10 to 12 days.
The quality control at both the wet and dry mill is second to none having benefited from visits by milling expert Jeremy Wakeford, who has made a number of improvements to bring about greater consistency and a better overall cup profile. In January 2010 Finca Argentina achieved Rainforest Alliance certification in recognition of the great care that is taken of the land and the people who work it. The audit carried out by the Rainforest Alliance produced a good score allowing for full certification. However the Peralta’s are keen to achieve an even higher score in future years and are planting a greater variety of trees across the whole estate, as advised by the auditors.