Zuccardi Valle de Uco: Best Architecture and Landscaping in the World
The global organization of Great Wine Capitals awarded Zuccardi Valle de Uco with the gold award for best architecture and landscaping in the world. The award was given last week in Porto, Portugal, at the annual event that unites the eight international wine capitals.
These international awards, known as Best Of, recognize the best practices in the world of Wine tourism. Eleven years ago Mendoza became a Great Wine Capital, or GWC. The other Great Wine Capitals that participate in and help with the promotion of the most highlighted destinations for wine production and services are Bilbao-Rioja (Spain), Valparaíso-Valle de Casablanca (Chile), Valle de Napa- San Francisco (United States of America), Bordeaux (France), Cape Town-Cape Winelands (South Africa), Mainz (Germany), Adelaide (Australia), and Porto (Portugal).
Julia Zuccardi, responsible for Tourism at Familia Zuccardi, describes: “We are ecstatic about being recognized for this. Zuccardi Valle de Uco is the fruit of many years of work and the labor of a large team of people that share my brother Sebastian’s vision, and as a result created a unique winery, with a particular identity that faithfully represents the origin of where the wines are made.”
Inaugurated at the end of last March, the Zuccardi Valle de Uco Winery is located at Paraje Altamira, 130 kilometers southwest of the city of Mendoza. As the result of the vision of Sebastián Zuccardi, who in 2009 created the base of the project with the realization of a Research and Development area, it is conceived for the elaboration of wines of terroir, where the focus is put on the region in which the vines are planted.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WINERY ZUCCARDI VALLE DE UCO
From a construction point of view, the winery is a part of its surroundings constructed with materials from the vineyard, rocks from the vineyard Piedra Infinita, water and sand from the Tunuyan river. The walls are all different and have a specific curvature in the ceiling that contributes to its identification with the mountain range, a natural protagonist that gives Zuccardi wines their identity. Another characteristic of the construction is its sustainable profile. It posses’ much natural light, so much so in fact that the use of artificial light is not necessary because of large windows that illuminate the workspaces. The construction is crowned with a metal dome that reflects sunlight from the exterior, the different moments of light that shine through the mountains and landscape during the day.
What stands out the most in the interior are tanks that hold from 2,500 to 10,000 liters, all constructed with concrete, without of epoxi on the inside, that permits us to create wines discriminating vineyard lots where the grapes were harvested and vinify them separately. The winery has a barrel room of peculiar characteristics, with 500 liter barrels (more than double the size of standard barrels) and foudres of 2500 liters made of French and German oak. The use of the oak in the creation of the wines is absolutely rational, shying away from any kind of standardization. In the aging area, an enormous boulder was found when during construction of the winery, and we decided to leave it as a symbol of the project. An iron structure with a 10,000 bottle capacity houses the best wines from each year.
The landscaping, just as with making wine, respects the most important qualities of the terroir. The rock, a principal element of Paraje Altamira, is present everywhere in the gardens. A lot of the pieces of smooth rock, of different sizes, where extracted from the same parcel. The veins, typical topographical forms from this area that seem to get closer to the Andes mountains, are simulated in the garden generating the sensation of nature protecting this area; just like the flow of the alluvial soils. The water, it is present through unique forms from the area like pools and small waterfalls thanks to different levels. The water creates a reflection of the winery and it’s imposing architecture.
The plants that were chosen for the front of the winery are indigenous to Paraje Altamira; chañares, acacias, larrea, kageneckia, thyme, caesalpinia gilliesii, and native vervains. In the back area of the winery the principal focus of the garden if the view of the Andes Mountains, accompanied with a 1700 m2 of grass, planted for events. Also, from the gallery of the restaurant one can appreciate the array of rocks that allow us to value the immensity of the mountains.