The winery tour of Bodega Tapiz started out in their vineyard…the tour guide had us take a close look at the grapevines, how they are watered, the soil they were planted in and then of course how the grape tasted straight off the vine.
We followed the guide towards the huge warehouse and stopped to listen briefly as to which piece of machinery was used for what during the wine making process. Once inside the building, we saw tons of stainless steel tanks holding all kinds of wine and we listened to the details of aging wine…in fact, the tour guide gave us each a wine glass and had us taste “grape juice” which had only been in the tank for a handful of days vs. the same grape juice which had been aging for quite some time in a different tank. We had never gotten to taste the juice out of a tank that early in the wine making process and were very impressed by how much we were learning in this particular tour. For example, when we tasted the grape off the vine, it was important not to chew the seeds nor the skin of the grape which have all the tannins in them…just the juice to see how sweet it was.
After our tank tasting, we walked over to the room in the back filled to the ceiling with oak barrels. There was a women outside of the room standing in front of a line of barrels with gloves on and what looked like a long piece of wire with a white tab on the end of it. The white tab was lit with a match and started burning like incense, she then placed it inside the barrel. The white tab was actually sulfur dioxide and they were using this method to keep the barrels clean when there was no wine being stored in them. The sulfur keeps the oxygen out which keeps out things like bacteria and mold.
The guide pulled us into the room stacked with barrels which all contained wine being oak aged and pointed out how the walls were filled with small rocks in place of standard insulation…they did this to keep the room cooler than the rest of the warehouse. He gave us tastings of the various oak aged wines before the tour ended and then we found ourselves in the small shop looking for something to buy.
We ended up buying a case of wine…the quality paired with the price placed Club Tapiz as one of our top favorites in Mendoza.
After our tour, we stopped in the little town to pick up some ice cream from the local Heladaria (ice cream shop) and placed a to go order at a small neighborhood restaurant. We took all our food back to our hotel where we ate, drank and chilled out for the rest of the evening.