Grape Escapes: Cavas Wine Lodge
Ask Cavas Wine Lodge owner
Cecilia Díaz Chuit to suggest a tranquil place for lunch, and she might send you
off—with a picnic of serrano ham and arugula sandwiches on just-baked
whole-grain bread—to explore the property’s vineyard on a mountain bike. Any
location you choose will afford vistas of snowcapped Andes peaks, but you need
not leave your bungalow to enjoy lunch with a view. Díaz Chuit will arrange a
spread of charcuterie and cheeses on your rooftop patio, where you can look out
over the vineyards of Mendoza while sipping one of the Malbecs that are making
this region famous.
Set in the foothills of the Andes, Mendoza is the world’s
fourth-largest winemaking region—and growing fast. The excitement in this dry,
mineral-rich province is palpable, thanks in part to the success of Catena
Zapata, Achaval Ferrer, and other premium Malbec producers, many of which invite
visitors to taste their wines straight from the barrel.
The concierge at Cavas Wine Lodge will organize visits to
Catena Zapata and Achaval Ferrer, as well as to boutique operations such as El
Lagar de Carmelo Patti, which specializes in limited-production Malbecs from
Mendoza’s Luján de Cuyo district. Cavas itself sits in the middle of a 35-acre
vineyard planted with Bonarda, a light red grape from Italy’s Piedmont region.
Each year, the hotel produces—exclusively for the enjoyment of guests—about
2,000 bottles of Bonarda wine.
Cavas guests reside in one of 14 stand-alone bungalows that
recall chic Mediterranean villas, with arched doorways, interior courtyards with
gurgling fountains, and adobe walls painted eggshell white. A spa offers
Malbec-seed body wraps, while a restaurant pairs Malbec wines with such
Argentine classics as rib-eye steak with chimichurri sauce. Dinners can be
served on your rooftop patio or in the main lodge, but the most compelling view
at night is of Cavas’ wine collection over dinner in the candlelit
Cavas Wine Lodge, +54.261.410.6651, www.cavaswinelodge.com
Location: Twenty miles south of downtown Mendoza in Luján de
Cuyo, the first region recognized as an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée for
Fourteen identical and spacious (nearly 1,000 square feet) adobe bungalows, each
with minimalist furnishings, claw-foot tubs, and outdoor terraces with private
plunge pools that all but spill out into the surrounding vines.
Sebastián Flores’ specialties are served in the main lodge, on your patio, or by
candlelight in the cellar.
Wine: The hotel will arrange private tours at Catena
Zapata and Achaval Ferrer. Also nearby is the estate of Carlos Pulenta, a member
of one of Argentina’s most prominent winemaking families, who four years ago
opened a high-tech, low-production winery and a world-class French restaurant in
Luján de Cuyo.