During our stay in Maipu while visiting the wine area southeast of Mendoza, we had the pleasure of visiting one of the top wineries in Argentina: Zuccardi.
The Zuccardi wine tour is very well organised and is the one that will provide you with an in depth session on the wine making process.
The Zuccardi winery was founded in 1968 by Alberto Zuccardi who was an engineer with Italian roots. When his son – Jose Alberto – joined the family business in 1980, he instigated many of the changes that resulted in the production of high quality wines. Zuccardi is now one of the top wineries in Argentina and the third bigger exporter of wine in Argentina.
The Zuccardi estate has 837 hectares and its vineyards are situated across 5 locations:
- La Consulta: located in San Carlo, Mendoza at an altitude of 1,080 meters above sea level. (Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec)
- Vista Flores: located in Tunuyan, Menodza at an altitude of 980 meters above sea level. (Malbec, Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon)
- Altamira: located in San Carlos, Mendoza at an altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level. (Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Caladoc, Ancellotta, Tempranillo)
- Santa Rosa: located in Santa Rosa, Mendoza at an altitude of 620 meters above sea level. (475 hectares)
- Maipu: located in Maipu, Mendoza at an altitude of 650 meters above sea level. (180 hectares)
How to get to the Maipu Estate
The location of the winery is quite isolated and far from Maipu compared to the other wineries that we visited in the area. Zuccardi can be reached either by car, taxi or with an organised travel agency.
We didn’t know how far away exactly it was. We just found out as we were trying to make our way there. You cannot get here by bus and most certainly not by bike. Our only option was taking a taxi. We made a deal with the driver: he would bring us there, wait for us and then bring us back to Maipu. This cost us 350 ARG$.
We arrived at 11 in the morning just in time to join the guided tour. We entered the welcome area where there are some windows displaying the many products and awards won by the winery.
This is a top class winery. They produce both high quality wines and wines for mass consumption like their most famous brand, Santa Julia.
Zuccardi Wine Tour Experience
Our tour guide was very well informed and gave us plenty of details about the history and the winemaking process at Zuccardi. This was a very interactive and interesting part of the Zuccardi Wine Tour. Our first stop was where the grapes arrive by truck. The guide told us that all the grapes are handpicked.
The second stop was to one of the warehouses where there are the steel tanks for the first fermentation for both red and white wines. Here, we also found out that in Argentina the wines marked with the word ROBLE (wooden in English) don’t need to be aged in oak barrels to get this label. They explained to us that it is sufficient for the winery to put some sticks/wooden poles into the steel tanks to give them a taste of wood and make them more suitable for the market. Nowadays, the market is asking for oaky wines, with some vanilla taste and more round in the mouth.
For me, even though I have visited almost one hundred wineries in Italy that was the first time I had heard about this technique. You never stop learning!
The next stop was the huge, and when I say huge I mean I’ve never seen such a big cellar for ageing wines. Thousands of American, Slovenian and French barrels for different ageings were lined up on shelves. I was amazed! This gave me an idea of how big the Zuccardi winery is. It is here that the best wines of Zuccardi are aged before the bottling process.
The Zuccardi wine tour doesn’t include a visit to the bottling line system. So after visiting the cellar with the barrels we headed back to the main building.
Here, we entered the wine tasting area that was a big room with a high ceiling, a wonderful artistic atmosphere with paintings hanging on each wall. Some tables were set up at different sides of the room – all of them used for wine tasting. I was extremely impressed. This is a wine tasting area and also used for other events. And then we arrived at the disappointing part of the tour. The wine tasting. They opened three bottles – all of them from their entry level wines. 1 Malbec, 1 Cabernet and a blend. All young wines, aged in steel tanks with very short persistence and not surprising at all. I was kind of disappointed actually, but overall the tour was lovely and for sure I wasn’t expecting them to open their high end line but at least one in the medium range.
Wines to try before you die
Next to the wine tasting area, there is a shop where you can buy as much Zuccardi wine as you like. I strongly recommend these two:
One thing I also strongly recommend is to have lunch or dinner at the Zuccardi restaurant. This will be an amazing dining experience matched with their best wines. It is pricy but worth every single penny!
For more information about the Zuccardi Wine Tour visit their official website here. If you are interested in more wine tours in Mendoza click here. We strongly recommend to stay in Maipu at least one night in order to visit the many wineries around this area. Find accommodation in Maipu.