Bodega Melipal is one of Mendoza's new bodegas that are ultra-modern and yet embrace the region's long-standing traditions of wine-making. The bodega leaves no detail forgotten--woven native rugs from the Andes adorn the walls, tiny potted succulents grace tables in the dining room. The building itself is stunning, a combination of wood, steel,glass and stone that is a tactile and visual exploration. In the entryway, a large window in the floor gives a view tothe level below, where a stone disc engraved with the Melipal logo, surrounded by tiny white rocks glows--it's actually their aging room, full of huge French oak casks.
Melipal serves only a few wines--the Reserve Malbec is a must, as is the wine-pairing lunch (served with reservations). Spend the afternoon, as we did, with Hebe, the Hospitality Manager, who made us feel like family while touring the bodega, or get a glass of wine and sit on the modern white lounge chairs on the patio. Gaze at the vista of the Andes in the distance, blazing sun, azure skies, and rows of vines, with a cool blue reflecting pool in the foreground. This is wine the way it should be--steeped in Mendoza's tradition, and reflecting the modern age that's to come.
(Melipal Reserve Malbec is available in the US--in Denver at Tipsy's and at Argonaut)
Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza--off Route 7 between Dominio del Plata and Ruca Malen, Agrelo
More photos available on my flickr photostream, From Argentina with Love
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