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AT A GLANCE:

Position: The World’s Best Vineyard and The Best Vineyard in South America
Name of wine estate: Zuccardi Valle de Uco
Country: Argentina
Wine region: Uco Valley
Standout points: Architectural gem of a winery complex, stunning views of the Andes range
Winemaker: Sebastián Zuccardi
Wine style: Terroir-driven wines expressing the high-altitude limestone terroir of the Uco Valley
Website: http://www.zuccardiwines.com

A tribute to the Andes
Located at 1,100m above sea level and set against the sublime backdrop of the vast Andes Mountains, the Zuccardi winery is one of the most impressive on the planet. It’s an architectural gem that’s integrated into its surroundings, offers amazing views of the Uco Valley, but is also very functional. It’s also home to terroir-driven wines that can be tasted in one of two tasting rooms – one below a steel dome that reflects the sun and the sky, and another next to the barrel room.

Part of the landscape
The estate sits in the alluvial fan of the Tunuyán River, where epochs ago rocks and boulders of chalk and granite were carried by glacial meltwater from the mountains. Constructed with rocks from the Zuccardis’ Piedra Infinita vineyard, and water and sand from the Tunuyan River, the winery contrives to be part of the landscape. Inside, natural light floods in through slatted windows. The winery is set over three levels: the offices, grape reception area and tank openings are on the first floor; the production area and research lab are on the ground floor; while the basement holds the cement tanks, 3,000-litre foudres and used barrels. The aim throughout the production process is to retain the influence of the land and this special location on the grapes.

The winemaker’s vision
The Zuccardi family has been making wine since the 1960s, but it’s with the introduction of third-generation winemaker Sebastián Zuccardi that the family has pushed the envelope on finesse through its exploration of the different sub-regions of the cool, high-altitude Uco Valley. The Zuccardis’ aim for its Uco Valley wines is, in Sebastian’s words, “not to seek perfect wines, but those which express the region”.

Complete your visit with a meal
If you are fortunate enough to visit this stunning valley, a visit to this unique winery is a must. The visitor centre, which showcases the stunning views of the vineyards and mountains, is open from Wednesdays to Sundays, while winery tours and tastings in English may be reserved in three different time slots throughout the day. The Piedra Infinita Cocina restaurant, meanwhile, offers a refined four-course seasonal and regional menu as well as recommended wines for pairing.

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