We headed to Monteviejo vineyards, one of the seven members of Clos de los Siete, on a sunny morning for pre-lunch libations. The vineyard itself is an architectural marvel, sleek and modern with a long sloped roof – the purpose of which becomes apparent later. Vines seem to run right into the Andes, which are incredibly close and offer glimpses of white snow on top.
This vineyard is unique in that along with the wine, each year they host a rotating art installation – this year’s theme is women – and all the ways in which artists choose to interpret them. Distributed all around the building are paintings, sculptures, collages, and installations – a nice complement to the stark building.
We embarked on our tour around the fermentation tanks and barrel room – now seeing the purpose of the sloped roof. The slope is actually a ramp for trucks to bring the grapes up to the top of the building – it is designed in such a way that the grapes are dumped into tanks from this top level, and gravity provides the mixing and crushing services normally done mechanically or by hand. Genius. Beside the stainless steel tanks is the ageing room. Another interesting feature in Argentine wine making – since the country has such “variable” and difficult importation customs, it can sometimes be impossible to import the correct barrel size in high enough quantities. So, larger barrels are used when need be, meaning the grapes have less contact with oak. Mechanical mixing devices have to be introduced to ensure adequate contact and flavour is achieved.
We headed upstairs to the most amazing tasting room and bar – with a patio seemingly sitting directly against the mountains.
Inside we tried a Torrontes, Malbec, and one of the best blends I´ve had, the Lindaflor – dark, deep, and intense, with lots of vanilla, chocolate, and spice notes. Heavy stuff for 11 am.