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Bodegas Caro: a little bit of France in Mendoza

Near Mendoza City, there is a winery that shows and presents an assemblage of an exceptional blend. It is a blend of different cultures, dreams, and determination of the two owners which are very important for viniculture around the world. This idea may be the reason why the owners Baron Eric de Rothschild, from Château Lafite, and Nicolás Catena, focus only on assemblage wines. Such wines reflect the different blend which frames the exceptional experience of the winery itself.

In the morning we left early and had wine at 10.30 AM which is something that is very common here in Mendoza for wine experience. We had this non-orthodox breakfast in Caro Wineries, which is a well-preserved viniculture establishment founded in 1884.

La vie est belle in Caro Wineries. Why? Because it is a magical winery located in the urban area of Godoy Cruz. It´s magical because brings us the feeling of being in France while the history of Mendoza stayed in its underground cellar. But it is better if we go back to the start of the tour.

The entry to the winery is pleasant, like a good wine. Like a daydream. Filled with wood floors, red upholstered chairs, little round tables and lamps that would light the room even if they were off. It takes us to Paris and Paris moves to Mendoza, to this old winery because of its detailed preservation to make this timeless atmosphere. On one side, the exquisite wines are displayed in the bar, but we will go back to them later. First, we start the tour in the big hall with brick walls barely eroded over the years.  This gallery is almost empty because it is also used as a multiple events room. This decoration stripped of objects leads our sight to a mysterious spiral iron staircase. Through this stairs, we will go down to what is called as the “Room of Dreams”.

THE CELLAR

As we go down the narrow stairs, the temperature goes down as well and the shivers we felt are easily forgotten because of the view that is presented in front of us. It is called the “Room of Dreams” because it is an oneiric view which represents the wine dream. In this underground cellar, cradled by lots of barrels, lies Aruma and Petit Caro, the entry level and the reserve wines respectively.

As we look up, we can see the preservation work that has been carried out to maintain the history through so many years. Such mysticism reminds us of old European cellars. In fact, the Baron Eric de Rothschild himself said in one of his annual visits to the winery, that even though the winery is outside of France, the place felt more like France to him. 

At the bottom, we can see a little door which we cannot go in, but maybe in the future, it may takes us to discover more secrets. We turn to the side and see another entryway that takes us to a smaller cellar where Caro, the iconic wine, is aging. In this place, we can also do some tasting.

THE TASTING

“Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered”. Even though, this quote of Giorgio Armani is not at all related to wines (or is it?), María Eugenia Sánchez, the woman in charge of tourism and our guide, uses it to explain the type of wines we are about to taste. As we all know, describing a wine is subjective and abstract, but if we must choose a word to define the wines of Caro Wineries, most people would agree that this word is “elegance”.

The tasting consists of one glass of each of the three labels: Aruma Malbec 2016, Petit Caro blend 2015 and Caro blend 2015 and the explanation of their origins. 

Even though we mentioned earlier that the Baron and Nicolás Catena had decided to produce assemblage wines, it did not make sense to only make blend wines in a soil with all necessary conditions for the production of Malbec. That is why they also bet on a 100% Malbec wine in their entrance range to emphasize the personality of this varietal and the experience of the Argentinian family with it.

Finally, we finish this tour with wine tasting in a Parisian atmosphere. This is a clear example of how the elegance of wine should be remembered. How would we forget the tour in Caro Wineries?