Hi, wine lovers! How are you doing? I’m great, and ready to continue my exploration of the wine routes of Argentina. Today I have a lot to tell you about my second wine tour of San Rafael and its wineries, so put on some music, and let’s get on the road to discover the wines of San Rafael.
Wines of San Rafael: Boutique wineries
Scrugli C. Wines Vineyards & Lodges
My latest wine tour of San Rafael adventure began with Scrugli C Wines Vineyards & Lodges. For the past 48 years, the winery have been harvesting their grapes by hand at the Finca Di Carlo vineyard in the Las Paredes area of Valle Grande.
Their almost 80 hectares of vines are irrigated by the Atuel and Diamante rivers. The varieties grown include Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay and Riesling, among others and they are used to produce some very good wines across different lines.
Of course, I have recommendations: first there’s Don Leandro Bonarda (I enjoy a lot of Bonardas from San Rafael because they tend to be fresh and juicy), and I also noted down their Nonno Carlo Cabernet Franc.
Chaglasian Winery & Vineyards
The next boutique winery on my wine tour of San Rafael was Chaglasian Winery & Vineyards. They currently produce limited editions of fine wines made with their own grapes.
They grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda and Cabernet Franc, among other varieties, and process them in a specially designed winery.
But that’s only one aspect of the project. The winery also has a top-class hotel complex made up of six suites surrounded by 10 hectares of garden and vineyard.
The complex is located on the outskirts of the city, just six miles from the centre, in a stunning natural landscape.
I suggest that you seek out the Merlot from their Colección Arení and the Chaglasian Brut Nature Rosé, an elegant sparkling rosé made using the traditional method.
La Mala María
Founded in 2016 by the oenologist María Celeste Alvaro, La Mala María is one of the youngest, most original and disruptive projects in the area.
This stop on my wine tour of San Rafael is all about empowering women and combining art with unconventional varieties, a concept they describe as “rebel oenology”.
The team is currently made up of three oenologists and a designer and their wines are exported to different countries, including Brazil and the UK.
Alvaro founded La Mala María after working at several major Argentine wineries, and she’s never looked back.
Their labels, stories – which you can read here – and wines are all part of the same amazing concept. The grapes they use come from different vineyards in Mendoza and produce three lines: Joven, Selección and Pequeñas Partidas.
La Mala María also teamed up with Antoine Fouquette and Franco Nicovera – the “Botinical Wizards” – to create a vermouth that draws on ancestral knowledge about the herbs that grow among the vines in different parts of the world.
Of course, I have my own tips: La Mala María Natural Bequignol is restoring value to a fascinating and little-known variety, while in the Selección line, the Pinot Noir is amazing.
Bodega Casa Araujo
My final recommendation from my wine tour of San Rafael is Bodega Casa Araujo. In 2001 Carlos Araujo decided to leave his role as an industrial farmer in Santa Fe in order to return to his roots and get into viticulture. So, he got to work and revived the old family business.
Located in Villa Atuel, at a height of 1700 feet, Casa Araujo places great emphasis on caring for the environment and respect for the terroir. Their vines get their water from the Atuel River.
Today, they have 100 hectares under vine spread across two vineyards which mainly produce red grapes such as Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo, with a few whites such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The winery is certified as an organic producer and one of its foundations is its ties to the local community. My picks from Casa Araujo are the Nucha Malbec Orgánico and the Tempranillo from the Cask line.
Well, that’s the end of part two of my wine tour of San Rafael. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I did. I’ll be seeing you soon for the next instalment of my adventures on the wine routes of Argentina. Cheers!