When the agricultural engineer Alfonso Scherer travelled to Argentina in 1926, he wanted to cultivate the mate plant. In doing so, he laid the foundations for an entire city.
The seeds of the mate plant are so hard that untreated they will not germinate. This mystery was solved by the Jesuits in the 17th century. The mate seed was eaten by birds and excreted. Only then could the hard seed sprout be planted. For hundreds of years, the only mate available was gathered by the Guaraní from wild growing mate trees. Mate can now finally be cultivated.
Today each sip of PUERTO MATE® Tereré brings with it the taste of adventure, because PUERTO MATE® has what others can only dream of: a real story! The story begins far away from Argentina, in Zurich, Switzerland, with a professor, author and specialist in subtropical and tropical global commercially valuable plants named Andreas Sprecher von Bernegg. In 1923, von Barnegg received the teaching assignment for tropical agriculture at the agricultural department of ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich). His enthusiasm for agricultural crops and mate tea in particular inspired his students, including a certain Alfonso Scherer. During a round of mate tea, the professor planted the idea of cultivating the plant in South America in Scherer’s head.
GENUINE FOUNDING FATHERS
In 1926, Alfonso Scherer, now an agricultural engineer, joined other Swiss scientist to embark on a research expedition for a company that had purchased large quantities of land in South America and was now looking for people to cultivate the land. On September 26th, 1926, they landed in the Argentine province of Misiones, and together with Paraguayan agricultural workers founded the settlement of Puerto Esperanza in the middle of the jungle. At the plantation of Alfonso Scherer, which is still family-owned and produces our mate, they began to put their goal into action: the cultivation of the mate plant.