This winery tour is a must do in Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina.
The Province of Mendoza is Argentina’s main wine-producing region. The generous soil and climate provide healthy vineyards loaded with grapes ripened by the ever-present sun. This region is home to countless wineries, many of which are open to visitors. Some are centenary old, others are less than three years old; many have been opened to visitors and share their wine making process. The annual grape harvest festival, the Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, is held in the provincial capital, Mendoza, at the end of February and the beginning of March.
The province is divided in four main wine producing areas. This tour takes us to the Central Area or Primera Zona (the closest to the city of Mendoza) which includes the counties of Luján de Cuyo, Maipú, Guaymallén and Godoy Cruz. This is the home of Malbec and where some of the most prestigious Argentine wineries are located. Originally from Bordeaux, France, this variety found the ideal place to prosper in Mendoza given the agro-climatic conditions of the area.
BODEGA LA RURAL – MUSEO DEL VINO- Only 16 km away from the capital city of Mendoza, La Rural, the award-winning wine estate, originally owned by the Rutini family, blends tradition with cutting-edge technology in their wine making, helping them to gain a position alongside the great French and U.S. wineries.. Enjoy a tour of La Rural and its museum tracing Argentina’s wine history, from the early days of the Jesuit missions to its present-day success on the international wine scene.
ZUCCARDI- In 1963 the fouunder of Familia Zuccardi, Engineer Alberto Zuccardi, acquired a plot of land in Maipú (Mendoza) to experiment an irrigation system designed by him and based on methods used in California (USA). After this successful experiment,
his passion for viniculture took him to enlarge his grape crops and to begin the winery construction in 1968. Nowadays the winery produces 800.000 boxes per year, cultivating 650 hectares (1606 acres) of vineyards at their own estates in Maipú and Santa Rosa, both in the province of Mendoza. Familia Zuccardi has a special wine cave, which is the starting point of instructive visits to the winery. The complete elaboration process is unveiled, from the grape harvest, through production and conservation methods until the sought after final wine tasting!
TEMPUS ALBA WINERY- Tempus Alba is a medium-sized family-run winery, highly professional and with a high degree of technical sophistication. Tempus Alba offers two tourism circuits. The tours begin at the sight-seeing deck overlooking the vineyards. In this vineyard we also find the initial stage of the winery’s Malbec.
LAGARDE- Lagarde Winery on the outskirts of Luján de Cuyo, was founded in 1897. The winery is one of the oldest and most traditional in Argentina with vineyards over one hundred years old. The winery was bought by the well known Industrial entrepreneurs, the Pescarmona family, in the early eighties. Special features at Lagarde are its century old vineyards so narrow they require a mule to till. Other distinguishing features in the winery are cast iron fermentation tanks and a boutique champagne operation where we can see at first hand wines being bottle with the champenoise method.
TAPIZ- Tapiz Winery was originally owned by Kendall Jackson the huge wine company which owns several Napa Valley, California wineries. Now it is under private Argentine ownership. One of the real highlights of a visit here is the tour. The tour is typically one on one with the guide and is very informative. The tour starts in the vineyards and if there is juice in the tanks you might get to tank taste! One of the highlights of the tour is the tasting of the same varietals which are grown in different "terra noirs" or locations. There is a huge difference in the taste and structure of these wines even though they are the same varietals (the same species of grape). Tour ends in their barrel room with additional final product tasting.
CATENA ZAPATA- The Catena Zapata family has been making wine in Mendoza for well over 100 years. The owner is a doctor who attended UC Berkeley in California and visited Napa Valley many times bringing several of the Napa winery techniques to apply at this winery. The main winery was built in a large stone pyramid. Be sure to walk up to their second level - there are excellent views of the entire Andean snow capped panorama spread out in 180 degrees above the valley. Another highlight is their tasting room enclosed by glass overlooking their barrel room.
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