Patagonia is known for wines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Malbec, Semillon and Torrontés Riojano. It is also known for something very different but very important – dinosaurs. Patagonia is gaining reputation as one of the best place where to look for fossils of dinosaurs and how cool it is to have a dinosaur in your wine cellar! That is exactly the case for one family owned winery in Patagonia, Argentina.
Familia Schroeder is producing quality wines using modern techniques. The winery is located in Valley of San Patricio del Chañar, Patagonia. Vines grow on a hillside plateau which makes this winery stand out from the rest. The rise is around 22 meters from the lowest point to the heighest. Their lines are called: Familia Schroeder, Saurus, Saurus Barrel Fermented, Saurus Seleccion, Espumantes, Alpataco Select, Alpataco, Puestero Select and Puestero. The Lines Saurus and Saurus Selection were inspired by Titanosaurus found from the winery when they were doing construction works in their wine cellar. The dinosaur was named Panamericansaurus Schroederi, after the family name. When visiting Familia Schroeder’s winery you get to see the dinosaur and they have tours in the winery as well.
Titanosauruses are the biggest dinosaurs. Panamericansaurus Schroederi was a long-necked herbivore, they could grow up to 30 metres (98 ft) in length and weigh of up to 80 tonnes. There are many other dinosaurs found from close by. One of the biggest Titanosaurus is called Argentinosaurus. In Patagonia a local rancher found the Argentinosaurus’s leg in 1987 and after that many other parts were found. Sadly the skeleton was incomplete but those parts found were enough to help the scientist estimate the size. Recently paleontologists found another enormous skeleton of Titanosaurus and it is thought to be the biggest land animal who ever walked on the Earth. Dreadnoughtus schroni was found in Patagonia, Argentina and the skeleton is very complete. The bones found help the paleontologist to get a better idea how the massive dinosaur looked like and behaved. It is believed to have lived 77 million years ago and the skeletons amazingly great conditions was caused by a quick death by quicksand so the skeleton was buried deep for millions of years. It’s weight was approximately around 65 tons and the length around 26 m. The name Dreadnoughtus means “fears nothing”, which is a very suitable name for this massive dinosaur who had to fear nobody.
Patagonia is almost 50 % of Argentine’s territory. The land in there is very rocky which makes it easy to find the bones as they are well revealed. Paleontologist keep on finding new specimens that are changing the way we thought about dinosaurs. For example it is believed that herbivores and carnivores never lived together but new findings say the opposite. Today’s South America can be one of the only places in the world where giant long-neck herbivores and carnivores lived together. It is not known if the meat eaters were a threat to the enormous plant eaters because size wise the plant eaters were just too big! But if the meat eaters would have attacked in a group who knows… When the continents split the dinosaurs started to develop in a different way. Then something happened, all the long-necks died in the northern continents but in the south they survived and even more, they became even bigger and bigger. It is believed that in today’s South America was a home for the biggest dinosaurs ever.
So the next time when visiting Patagonia make sure to keep your eyes wide open, you might find your own dinosaur!