Chris’ note: The markets are closed in honor of Presidents’ Day. So today, we’ll hear again from friend of Legacy Research Will Bonner. Will is the founder of Bonner Private Wine Partnership. And as he revealed in Part I of this two-part insight, all wine isn’t made equal.

Most folks think that the anti-aging properties of wine come from antioxidants it contains. As Will explains below, antioxidants do indeed have age-fighting effects. But the real health benefit comes from extreme-altitude wines as a result of a specific kind of nutrient they are dense in…

Over to Will…

There is a myth that red wine is good for your health because it contains antioxidants.

In reality, the antioxidant effect is no more impressive than it is from a host of other foods.

The real health benefit of red wine comes from a part of the vine known as the “sirtuin pathway.” And it becomes active when the vine comes under stress.

The sirtuin activation lengthens the vine’s lifespan and makes it more resilient. So it can endure conditions that would annihilate most other plants.

In the process, chemicals known as flavonoids, which give plants their vibrant colors, flood into the grapes. This thickens and darkens their skins.

A lot of vines – especially in the relatively dry climates of Italy and Spain – get a bit of “sirtuin activation.”

But nowhere is the effect as intense as in the extreme-altitude vineyards of the Calchaquí Valley.

The remote Calchaquí Valley

Most winemakers like to challenge their vines. But at more than 8,000 feet above sea level… surrounded by arid mountains… under a blazing sun… and enduring nights where temperatures can suddenly drop 70 degrees… ours cling to the edge of survival.

Pucarilla, where the family vineyard is, in the Calchaquí Valley

We have done no official tests. But the grapes we grow in the Calchaquí Valley may have one of the densest flavonoid concentrations of any grape in the world.

Researchers have found that high-altitude UV exposure is linked to higher flavonoid levels in grapes. By some estimates, the flavonoid levels in our grapes may be up to 10 times that of other, lower-altitude grapes.

The near-black color of our wine has been known to stain even stainless steel. It’s a telltale sign of that flavonoid presence.

The near-black color of our wine is a telltale sign of high flavonoids

How Wine Really Fights Age

Here’s why that matters…

Scientists have found that these flavonoids pass from the grape to the wine. When you drink that wine, the flavonoids it contains “trick” the body into activating its own sirtuin pathway.

This transmits the sirtuin benefits the vine enjoys… to you.

To fully explain how sirtuins work would require more space than we have here. The short version is they regulate DNA replication and gene expression.

As we age, these sirtuins may become less effective. Errors accumulate as our bodies begin to lose control over replication and expression.

Activating your sirtuin pathway may be a key step in the fight to slow – and even reverse – aging. It also makes your body more resilient to disease.

Investors in this science include pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (to the tune of $720 million) as well as several highly regarded doctors and scientists.

One of them is the head of MIT’s Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research, Dr. Leonard Guarente.

Great wine, so say the Italians, is not made by the winemaker. It is spoken by the land. Flavonoids and sirtuins make that bit of folk wisdom a scientific fact.

When you drink a glass of extreme-altitude Malbec from our vineyard in Argentina, your body quite literally experiences what it is to live on the open range 5,000 miles away, at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level.

As my brother’s fiancée (she’s now his wife) will tell you, it’s worth the bruises.

Passing the Gualfin Test

In Part I of this two-part series on extreme-altitude wines, we began to relay the story of the Gualfin Test, to which future spouses in the Bonner family are subjected.

My younger brother’s fiancée had been riding with us up to see our vineyards at Gualfin, when her horse suddenly charged up an embankment toward a cluster of trees, the poor girl clinging on for dear life.

We found her knocked from her horse, shaken and bruised, but still among the living.

Wiping away tears from the shock, she got back up. The mare stood close by with its head bowed sheepishly. (As I wrote Friday, that which is not useful way out here… is dinner.)

After a first fall, a novice rider can be reluctant to get back on. But there wasn’t much choice. Even if we had a phone to call for help (there are no cell towers or phone lines for at least 50 miles), the path was impassable by car.

My brother helped his fiancée back on her horse. She took a deep breath, nodded her head, and urged the mare forward.

The rest of us exchanged glances… and smiled. She had passed the Gualfin Test.



Will Bonner
Founder, Bonner Private Wine Partnership

Chris’ note: Will you pass the Gualfin Test? We have a limited number of bottles of extremely high-altitude wine from the Calchaquí Valley. It’s never before been available in the U.S. And it’s packed with sirtuin-activating flavonoids.

You can reserve yours by going here. Supplies are limited and will sell out. So I can’t guarantee you’ll have access to these rare bottles if you wait. Go here to reserve yours today.

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