To celebrate Rose's birthday we visited Bodega Casarena for a tasting menu-style lunch. The Bodega reopened in 2007 after extensive refurbishment and produced their first wines in 2010. The site had been taken over during the military dictatorship here in Argentina. Compared to Carmelo Patti and Lagarde, they were a polished new set-up in the Lujan de Cuyo region.
The two original buildings have been retained and extended to house more tanks and storage and bottling facilities. We had a tour through the buildings and the underground tanks that the previous owner rented to independent winemakers. These are now used to cellar select batches of each vintage.
The stainless steel tanks are designed specifically for the winemaking process. They allow for the 'cap' (top layer of grape skins) to be broken on a regular basis and for the circulation of liquid through the skins by pumping from the bottom to the top of the tanks every two hours during the 28 day fermentation period.
They mature the wine for half the time in concrete tanks and half in oak barrels so as to avoid the wine becoming overpowered with oaky-ness (it's getting technical now). Due to the dry climate in Mendoza, they have to run humidifiers around the clock in this cellar to stop barrels cracking and wine turning to vinegar.
Behind the Bodega there is a shiny new restaurant where we were treated to some fantastic wine and food. One highlight for me was a courguette/zucchini raviolo. A good steak and a glass of Malbec obviously made an appearance.
With uninterrupted views of Aconcagua in the distance we decided to wander the vineyards after lunch.
Later returning to the terrace where Rose was able to call her fam on Wifi.
A great day at Casarena Bodega y Vinedos.