Wine lovers, here is one of the highlights of your stay in Argentina! Originally from Bordeaux and Cahors, the Malbec grape variety is found in the terroirs scattered in the splendid region of Mendoza a privileged field of expression. Add excellent restaurants and you will have no excuse not to make this part of Cuyo a must for your trip to Argentina.
A history of geography
There are three distinct zones concentrating the bodegas : Maipú , the most accessible, in the extension of Mendoza , then Luján de Cuyo . But it is by moving away towards the Valle de Uco that the landscapes touch the grandiose: sea of vines with, in the background, the peaks of the Andes . The passing seasons only amplify the contrasts of colors: shades of orange and red glittering vines against the whiteness of snowy peaks in autumn, intense green foliage against ocher tones of arid slopes in spring.
Small wine route …
Far from the small family estates that can be found in the majority of French wine regions, most bodegas are like monumental constructions where architecture, design and outdoor gardens compete for ambition and – sometimes – audacity.
Our route begins at Bodega Caro , located in Godoy Cruz , between Mendoza and Maipú . It was born from the alliance between the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and the Catena family. The historic building has been superbly renovated and reveals a beautiful interior, between brick and wood.
The wines ( Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in cement vats and oak barrels) are beautiful. The Petit Caro and its pretty notes of stewed fruit enchants the palate when the Caro , elegant and voluptuous, imposes its quiet strength. Unlike her counterparts, the Caro bodegais open at night (until 10 pm) and multiplies cultural events, some of them around the tango.
Presidente Alvear, 151
© Bodegas CARO
Direction Lujan de Cuyo , 19 km south of Mendoza , in the bodega Matervini. The originality of the tasting in this small (but very design) bodega lies in the fact of tasting Malbec spread over the eight different soils (30 ha) that account the exploitation, all over Argentina. A high-end and subtle trip. Among our favorite wines, Antes Andes and Perdriel .
Cobos 2142, Perdriel
Next step of our journey: Finca Decero . A superb property that offers, from its terrace, a dazzling view of the vineyards and the Andes . Gardens and vineyards are very meticulously maintained. Of the 210 ha of the estate are produced pretty wines, including the solid and gourmet The Owl and Just Devil .
Bajo Las Cumbres 9003, 5509 Agrelo
Several options for the guided tour, information about the site
We move a little further from Mendoza and we go to the majestic Valle de Uco with some of the highest vineyards in the world, which enjoy an exceptional microclimate at the foot of Mount Tupungato (6,550 m).
The vineyards of Valle de Uco at the foot of Mount Tupungato
© L. Decoudin / Michelin
The Zuccardi Valle de Uco winery , one of the most recent (May 2016), required an investment of 15 million US dollars. The result is up to expectations: buildings with clear lines that mix raw materials (concrete) and wood, boldly thought out and soothing gardens (pebbles, water, plants), impressive interior. The wines are excellent: do not miss the Zuccardi Aluvional La Consulta and Zuccardi Aluvional Gualtallary …
Zuccardi Valley Uco Valley
Paraje Altamira s / n – calle Costa Canal Uco s / n, La Consulta
Wednesday- Sunday 10h-16h – reservation 48h in advance on [email protected] [email protected]
…. and gourmet detours
Some bodegas are home to excellent restaurants and offer the ideal combination of sublimated local products and the best wines of the region. A name was blown to us: Juan Tomas Ventureyra . This demanding and creative young chef, deploys all his talents to offer, in two establishments, superb lunch menus in several times, which celebrate the beautiful products offered by the terroir and rely on the culinary traditions of the Mendoza region .
Ruca Malen - Superb setting among vineyards with snow-capped peaks in the background.
Ruta 7, km 1059 – Agrelo
The snow-capped peaks of Ruca Malen – Mendoza, Argentina
© Ruca Malen
Trapiche – A restaurant with a sleek and refined contemporary design that adjoins the beautiful Florentine-style building built in 1912.
Nueva Mayorga s / n, Maipú
Exterior of Trapiche restaurant
Another style, another atmosphere, the Casa El Enemigo , or the stripping world of Alejandro Vigil ! The oenologist welcomes guests into his contemporary style house and offers menus that enhance his nectars, wines of authorship that express the quintessence of their terroirs. On the plate, vegetable garden, fruit orchard and local meat, worked simply but precisely. Also an art center that exhibits local contemporary artists. An atypical and endearing place.
Casa El Enemigo
Videla Aranda 7008, Maipú
www.enemigowines.com - Mon-Sat 9.30-17.30