Over the past couple days we spent a lot of time lounging around on the B&B property…making food, catching up on our blogging and staring out at the vines, There was also the cutest little puppy who decided to make himself at home in our room.
Of course, we also spent time drinking wine but also visited Michel Rolland’s property. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Michel…he is one of the best known names in the wine industry, a world-renowned wine influence. He owns vineyard properties in many places including France (which is where he’s from), Argentina, South Africa and Spain. He has a specific style and through his consultation, helps 100s of clients achieve oak influenced and fruit-heavy wines. Just by putting his name on a bottle of wine…will help sell it.
In Argentina, we saw his vineyard, Clos de los Siete was nearby right in Uco Valley so drove over without an appointment in hopes to taste a few of his wines. Vineyards always seem to have the most beautiful landscapes and this one was no different…with about 2100 acres of planted vines sitting on the foothills of the Andes mountains…it was gorgeous. We parked and were greeted by a women who agreed to give us a tour of two of the five wineries that were on the property. Basically Michel got together with 6 of his friends and they each divided the vines to make five wineries. Each owner runs their own winery and wine making but all contribute some of their fruit to put into one bottle of wine called, Clos de los Siete.
The property was so large that we needed to drive through the dirt roads between vines to get to the two wineries we were touring. The tour guide jumped in our backseat and directed us to the first stop, Cuvelier Los Andes. The wineries themselves here in Mendoza are so dramatic in both size and technology with amazing architecture. She gave us a quick walk through pointing out the fermenting tanks, and barrel rooms before getting us over to our second winery, Diamandes
The Diamandes uses a gravity system (most of winery is underground) and technology to keep things like temperature control efficient. Even though the soil looks rocky/sandy, the altitude is high and the weather is extreme…this family found their “diamond” in the rough because the wine region of the Valley de Uco produces some of the best wine in Argentina (in our opinion anyway). The tour guide talked through the architecture (same as the O’Fournier building) as well as the specific process followed from picking grapes to fermenting.
After our tour, we drove back to the guest building where we picked out a couple of wines to purchase, one being the wine made from all properties (Clos de los Siete) and one of Michel Rolland’s nice (and expensive) bottles for our wine cellar. We drove back to our place to find some dinner and get things packed up since we are leaving for a different part of Mendoza tomorrow.