A French sense of style and a Native sensibility are the airs that Bodega Ruca Malen successfully attempts to convey. Earthen buildings rise out of the ground to dominate the vista, backdropped by the ever looming Andes. The winery, the label, even the wines are a melange of local and Old World.
Situated south of Mendoza, but north of the Uco Valley, Ruca Malen is a bit off the beaten track for many tourists. That is unless you happen to be driving to or from Chile. Highway 7, the notorious main artery between Argentina and Chile winds perilously down from the highest peaks in South America. Just a stone’s throw before it joins the 40 expressway which connects Mendoza to the south, 7’s never ending parade of trucks pass before Ruca Malen’s finca.
This wide plain is one of the most recent additions to the ever growing vinous landscape. With the success of Ruca Malen and its few neighbors, this area is likely to see more growth in the coming years. As with any of the undeveloped areas around Mendoza, scrub and tumble weeds give the area a barren demeanor that makes it hard for any but the most visionary to imagine anything growing here.
It is the addition of water and more than a little experience that allows these wilds to be tamed for the vine.
It is the very brutal nature of the environment that assures the highest quality wines. Here the high quantity and easy money of the northern vineyards are traded for the potential of quality at the cost of vigilance. With enough effort, and as always, money, this region is transformed from chaos to orderly rows just waiting to deliver their highly concentrated juice.
For the visitor Ruca Malen is a haven, offering an impressive lunch and wine venue, and a rare opportunity. Here you may try your hand at one of the most important arts of the wine making process, blending. This critical skill is turned into a good natured competition as each of the final fusions are tasted blind and assigned their place in the hierarchy according to the group.
A less daunting task is working through the five courses of food and wine pairings at lunch. The menu changes seasonally and is only finalized after a series of brutal tastings by the senior staff. Each potential offering is debated to ensure the ideal marriage of gastronomy and enology.
KEY: Restaurant Tours Special / Educational Tastings - Size Organic Hotel
www.bodegarucamalen.com Might Use Flash
Hours: From Monday to Friday. 10 am / 11 am / 3,30 pm May be closed on Weekends and or Holidays
Ruta 7 Km 1059
Agrelo 5509 - (Lujan)
54 261 562 8357
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(click on the coordinates on the left side of the map that comes up)
Distance from Mendoza:
31.2k / 19.5m
GPS Decimal Coordinates:
Tourism Contact Info (from website): http://www.bodegarucamalen.com/form/contacto-en.php
Details from Website: Visiting hours: (with lunch): Everyday from 12,30 to 13,00 (with tasting): From Monday to Friday. 10 am / 11 am / 3,30 pm
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