AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 26
Name of wine estate: Bodegas Salentein
Wine region: Uco Valley
Standout points: Spectacular Andean landscape; five-star Posada Salentein hotel
Winemaker: José Galante
Wine style: Focus on high-altitude New World reds
For the awe-inspiring grandeur of its architecture and design, Bodegas Salentein takes some beating. Over two decades, Salentein has been instrumental in establishing the Uco Valley in Mendoza as a world-class appellation, developing a unique combination of plantations that range over 22 miles and five different microclimates across the valley.
Embraced by the sun and cordillera winds, the estate comprises 2,000ha of land surrounded by the dramatic Andean landscape. Two wineries, a cultural centre, a chapel and a 16-room Posada, or guesthouse – complete with pool – provide visitors with a five-star winery experience. How about a juicy flame-grilled veal steak, or empanadas straight from the restaurant’s clay oven – naturally served with a glass from the estate’s Portillo, Killka or Salentein range at the Posada restaurant? Cosy yet refined, the restaurant allows guests to enjoy the most contemplative of meals with a privileged view of Salentein’s Merlot and Pinot Noir vineyards.
From the sepulchral barrel cellar to the bodega’s very own chapel, with its impressive religious sculptures and its atrium where open-air masses can be held, a sense of the sacred pervades here. Highly recommended is a tour of the broodingly elegant Kilka, an art gallery-cum-cultural space where visitors can learn more about what it takes to make Salentein wines and enjoy the estate’s valuable Argentinian and Dutch historic and contemporary art collection. Outside is an educational vineyard with samples of the different Salentein vine cultivars and a sample of the trickle irrigation system used in the vineyards, offering a practical demonstration of the methods employed to transform this desert region into a winemaking oasis.
Top of your list?
From its distinctive high-altitude terroir wines to its regional gastronomy offering, art collection, state-of the art architecture and striking natural landscape, Bodegas Salentein has put together a formidable oeno-tourist offering, which should put the Uco Valley high up on any wine lover’s list of places to visit.