Argentina and her wines are hot, hot, hot! Ascending to the top with great wines of great value!
Say Argentina today in the world of wine and several key words automatically come to mind.... Malbec, Malbec, Malbec... and that’s just the beginning! Although the Malbec grape is to Argentina as Shiraz is to Australia, Zinfandel to California and icewine to Canada, the 5th largest wine producer in the world is commanding a great deal of attention for a variety of her wines.
The last ten to fifteen years has been a time of incredible growth and evolution for the wines of Argentina, in which the winemaking tradition of 500 years and the adoption of new technologies and know-how have been blended. Add to this the many aspects of Argentina’s unique environment; pure water snowmelt from the Andes for irrigation, high elevation vineyards, dry climate lending ease to natural and/or organic production, a land of contrasts offering great diversity of terroir and wines, and the deeply rooted wine culture, is there any wonder why so many are saying Yes or Salud to Argentine wine?
On our recent visit to Argentina, we had the opportunity to visit a number of spectacular wineries located in the two largest wine regions; Mendoza responsible for approximately 70% of the country's production and San Juan, approximately an hour to the north of Mendoza City.
We’d like to introduce you to a winery in San Juan "on the radar" as one of the best wineries in the region which is owned by Bodegas Salentein located in Mendoza. Salentein is a spectacular winery which we had the occasion to visit prior to arriving in San Juan (details on that portion of our trip is on a separate article). We are excited to share this other important region and key winery with the help of our "supreme" guide Customer Relations Manager for both, Maria Lorena Cepparo.
Our first stop in San Juan is Bodegas Callia, an incredibly impressive winery situated in the Tulum Valley nestled between the Pie de Palo hills to the north and the Zonda Valley to the south. Among the four valleys in San Juan, the Tulum Valley is the most significant and has its vineyards planted, on average 650 metres above sea-level. We are to soon learn, the significance of altitude, of terroir and of climate through our conversation in the vineyard with the very charming and passionate Vineyard Manager Gustavo Matocq. But first, we are greeted once again by Maria Lorena Cepparo, her passion and extensive knowledge of wine, of the region and for Callia is contagious. We shortly discover that we cannot stump Lorena, she is a veritable walking encyclopedia with great personality!
Lorena will be our guide for the day, "we will start in the vineyard where you will meet Gustavo, our vineyard manager" she says, "and then from there we will have a tour, a tasting and a little lunch". Are we ready? Absolutely!
Georgia inspects the stainless steel tanks with Ariel Cavalier, Winemaker Bodegas Callia and Maria Lorena Cepparo, Customers Relations Salentein Family of Wines.
As we walk around the property Lorena explains that the philosophy of Bodegas Callia is to live in harmony with the Valley of Tulum landscape. "You'll notice that the bodges is painted the colour of sand and melds with the dunes typcial of the region" she tells us " every detail including the native vegetation that surrounds the winery was treated in such a way to respect and preserve the natural local landscape". The winery itself is a marvel, home to 8000 square metres of tanks with a capacity of 9,000,000 litres, outfitted with stainless steel tanks and modern pneumatic presses this gigantim winery is a force to reckon with, particularly for the consistent terrific tasting and quality ratio wines it produces. Very impressive!