Bodega Salentein is really special and should be on everyone’s hit list when they visit Mendoza. Not only is there lots of interesting wine on offer, there is also an impressive large art gallery, outdoor sculptures, two restaurants and the most amazingly designed winery. You can stay at the posada too, which if staying in Mendoza is worth your while as it’s 1.5 hours from Mendoza City.
Bodega Salentein is stunning – breathtaking really – set at 1200m in the Valle de Uco in the Andes – only a few miles from where I had my gaucho day as it happens (you can plan to visit both better than I did – visiting days apart and staying in Mendoza in between is not the best way to do it).
Bodega Salentein is designed in the shape of a Jesuit cross, this is in homage to the origins of the wine industry in Argentina as the original vines were planted by Jesuit priests who needed the wine to celebrate mass.Things have progressed since and Argentine wines can compete internationally, and are more likely to appear on a restaurant wine list than in a church.
Far from traditional, the Bodega is sleek and modern yet fits beautifully into its surroundings in the Andes. The four wings of the Bodega cellar converge and meet at a circular central chamber which is it with daylight from above. It resembles an amphitheater and was inspired by ancient classical temples. This is no surprise when you are standing in the middle of it.
When you stand in the centre and speak – or shout or sing – bang in the centre – there is the most incredible sound as your voice bounces back from every wall to great you. The wines are stored around this in stainless steel tanks and aged in French oak casks. They often have concerts here too.
The wines were great. Three ranges at three different price levels are offered. I loved the Primus range, especially the Malbec which was rich with berries but also pepper and spice. A perfect match for an Argentine steak dinner. The lower priced Killka range had some terrific bargains worth seeking out including a lovely rich Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Magically I hit on the day when they were launching the Killka ranged and a new exhibit from a very successful local artist in their beautiful gallery. Some brilliant Argentine dishes like Locro were served up, and of course lots of empanadas.
I will have to return and stay in the posada on site on my next trip, it is beautiful and they run cookery classes, tasting tours, horse riding and much more. They also organise a Transfer + Tour & Tasting + Lunch for $150 per person.
Bodega Salentein is beautiful, cultural and delicious. Magical, I loved it. I just wish that I had more time there.