At the beginning of September 2012 in the Hyatt hotel there was a rather glam gathering of some of Mendoza’s tourism moguls for an awards evening for The Best of Wine Tourism 2013. As the eighth wine capital in the world, wine tourism in Mendoza is a growing scene.
Gold – Atamisque Lodge: This stony roofed winery in the middle of the Uco Valley is turning into quite a complete resort. With a winery, restaurant, golf course, trout farm, fruit farm and now 6 lodges. Also designed by Bormida & Yanzon, the luxury lodges have Jacuzzis, a terrace and a fireplace. Not bad for nestling into the beauty of Uco. www.atamisque.com
Silver: Entre Cielos; Bronze: Casa Antucura
Gold – Casa del Visitante, Familia Zuccardi: Located in the middle of one of its vineyards, Zuccardi’s intimate restaurant is a lovely little gem in the East of Mendoza. The restaurant menu has two options – either a gourmet five course paired wine lunch, or an all-you-can-eat asado style meal with lovely homemade empanadas, bread, BBQ-ed veg, desserts and limitless Santa Julia wines. A great way to let the belt loops loosen and indulge in good Argentine cuisine. www.familiazuccardi.com
Silver: Olivas, Hotel Intercontinental; Bronze: Bodegas Lopez
Gold – Mundo Salentein: Not only is it a beautiful winery on the outside but this award suggests Salentein is just as beautiful on the inside with environmentally and socially sustainable practices. Environmentally they try to manage the vineyard and winery in the most sustainable way, use recycled water, have solar panels and El Portillo was Argentina’s first carbon neutral wine. Socially they have two schools within the farm for which they provide donations, equipment and food; and have a Tuesday choir with free tuition and breakfast for children in the rural schools nearby.
Architecture, parks and gardens:
Gold – Pulenta Estate: Designed by the well known architects Bormida & Yanzon, this winery on the edge of Lujan is pure minimalist beauty with a simplistic design made of concrete and rocks that makes the most of the mountain and vineyard view, while blending in with the environment and maximising its functional gravity flow system. The gardens spread out into the vineyards and a hospitality lodge, El Rancho, is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine in the shelter of the building with gorgeous Andean views.
Silver – Bodega Los Toneles; Bronze – Finca La Jacinta/Finca Decero
Art and Culture:
Gold – El Camino del Vino, Frontera Films: This quirky hour long is all about a sommelier rediscovering his palate as he travels Mendoza’s beautiful wine country and meets the true people in wine and some familiar faces along the way. Six wineries star in the film and you’ll recognise lots of Mendoza landmarks.
Silver: Fundacion Rosas para la Cultura; Bronze: La Casa del Contratista
Gold – Entre Cielos: Entre Cielos is South America’s first proper hammam and the experience certainly is a unique spa time to indulge, relax and feel at one with your body and the beautiful Mendocinean surroundings. Working your way through different chambers at different temperatures, the therapeutic hammam circuit takes about an hour and can be complimented by olive oil foam massages or an indulgent dinner in one of their gorgeous restaurants. www.entrecielos.com
Silver: Bodegas Familia Zuccardi; Bronze: Vino de Maipu circuit
Services related to wine tourism:
Gold – Mendoza Holidays: Offering a range of different wine tours in Mendoza, this tour operator can give tourists a malbec experience day, food tours, outdoor activities like rafting and horse riding, golf tours, spa days and can help you get those all important Vendimia tickets. www.mendozaholidays.com
Silver: MDZ Wine Tours; Bronze: Mendoza Viajes
Gold – Clos de Chacras: This gorgeous little boutique winery offers a great tour and personal experience as you work your way around its traditional bodega which still uses a lot of traditional techniques. Guides are friendly and offer tours in English too and you can finish your visit tasting their busty red wines by the small fishpond or inside their restaurant. www.closdechacras.com
Silver: Bodega Los Toneles; Bronze: Pulenta Estate
By Amanda Barnes
Published in the October/November 2012 edition of Wine Republic