The San Rafael Bodega Viñas del Golf was acquired by a group of North American investors, its name was changed, and its production will increase.
The department of San Rafael is one of the bastions of Mendoza’s wine culture. Birthplace of large wine cellars like Jean Rivier, Valentin Bianchi, Roca and Goyenechea, it is the second most important department of the province in terms of wine culture, with a cultivated surface of more than 16,000 hectares. Specifically, one of the icons of the zone is the wine cellar “Viñas del Golf,” a very promising enterprise.
The story begins in 1995, when Richard Jurado was summoned by a group of San Rafael golfers to advise them in the construction of a field. As a result of this trip to the lands of southern Mendoza, Jurado fell profoundly in love with the region and the local wine culture. Consequently, the project that at first only included golf courses gradually began to grow until it also contained vineyards, a wine cellar, a restaurant (Great Wine Capitals Gold Medal for Best Restaurant in Wine Tourism) and a lodge.
The construction of the wine cellar began on an estate of more than 350 hectares in October 2002 and was made in phases, the first of which was finalized in 2003. The conservation and preservation room is at ground level, while the wines mature in the subterranean cave.
Currently, the establishment works on a small scale. It is harvested and filled by hand and placed in French Oak Barrels. Then, the bottles are carefully labeled by hand and sold exclusively as well as –of course- in its own restaurant.
Wines with High Handicap
Viñas del Golf has various high quality lines of wine among which two are highlighted: Blend’s and Oak Barrel Aged.
The first is an integration of Grand Blend 2003 and Blend Rosé 2006. Grand Blend 2003 is a cut of 23% Merlot, 26%Malbec, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Bonarda. It has an intense black color, aromas of spices like cinnamon, a scent of nail, nutmeg, black pepper, anise, as well as ripe plum, truffles and coffee. A fresh and sweet entrance makes way for a velvety texture of great persistence and a pleasant finish. As far as the Blend Rosé 2006, the acidic red fruits are emphasized, especially strawberries and raspberries that give the wine a cherry red color of medium intensity. Its aroma has important notes contributed by the syrah. It has a sweet entrance into the mouth, a little acidic and fresh.
On its behalf, the Oak Barrel Aged is comprised of Bonarda, Cabernet, Merlot, and Malbec, all from 2003. They are wines of strong character and complexity, aromatized with notes of black pepper, chocolate, toasted coffee, red fruits and vanilla. In the mouth, they are perceived as very structured, intense, harmonious, and persistent.
Months ago, Viñas de Golf was acquired by the North American group of investors “Cotton” that decided to apply their name to the traditional wine cellar, in spite of the fact that the brand already had made a name in the province and the country. Part of this strategy was to put up signs, from the city to the establishment, with the new name. Naturally, more than one got lost trying to arrive, including us…
Algodón Wine Estates plans to increase current production of Viñas del Golf from 90,000 to half a million bottles, according to Leonardo Bazan, from the wine cellar. In addition, the wine’s image has changed with the redesigning of its labels with the new name, “Algodón Viñas de Golf.”
In spite of all of these changes, what’s essential remains in tact. Call it Algodón or Viñas de Golf, the wines from this cellar are worthy of flattery and recognition by all those who have the pleasure to taste them. They are a true ‘hole in one’ of Mendoza’s wine culture.