Geography: Mendoza, Argentina
Appellation: Lujan de Cuyo
If you are lucky enough to secure an appointment, a visit to Carmelo Patti's small, rustic winery in the heart of Lujan de Cuyo will without question be one of the more memorable wine tours of your life.
Carmelo is one of Mendoza's great old-school winemaking personalities and runs every corner of this quirky operation himself. Originally brought to Argentina on a small boat from Sicily when he was one year old, Carmelo was a catalyst for the rebirth of fine wine production in Mendoza in the eighties and is, to this day, one of the most respected enologists in the country. Carmelo's winemaking style is equally unique as his character, and he insists on holding all wine until he deems it "ready" for release which generally means 4-5 years after harvest at the soonest for reds. All wines are made naturally, with no chemical additives and only native yeast.