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Experience – Ruca Malen – Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina.

Ruca Malen, which means “the house of the young girl,” takes its name from an indigenous legend of the Mapuche Indians. A young tribal woman looked up to the heavens and fell in love with a handsome god. He gifted her a house, overlooking the world’s splendors. The beauty of the Ruca Malen estate, which overlooks the beautiful Andres mountains reminds of this location.

The founders, Jean Pierre Thibaud and Jacques Louis de Montalembert, share familial relations to some of France’s foremost winemaking houses. From their time spent together at Chandon Argentina, Thibaud and Montalembert saw the incredible potential of Mendoza as a winemaking region and endeavored to produce wines that drew from their French heritage while uniquely expressing Mendoza’s incredible terroir. The pair recruited enologist Pablo Cúneo, whose intimate knowledge of Argentinean terroirs combined with winemaking expertise has led him to be one of the most respected winemakers in Mendoza.

Ruca Malen believes that wine should be made in the vineyards, and they have devoted themselves to understanding the terroir. The profound knowledge of the diverse microterroirs along the Andes Mountain Range is evident in every sip. Ruca Malen’s vineyard holdings span the Uco Valley, Tupungato, and Lujan de Cuyo, with the vast majority in the Uco Valley. Planted in 1996 along the base of the Andes in sandy loam, rocky, porous soil, at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level, the unique microclimate can be characterized as Mediterranean, where warm sunny days are balanced by cool breezy nights that allow the grapes to mature steadily.

Hand-crafted using traditional French winemaking techniques in a modern facility equipped with the latest technology, the goal is to produce elegant, food-friendly wines that express the true identity of each varietal. Ruca Malen boasts a portfolio of high quality wines that accentuate the varietal’s natural characteristics, while reflecting a sense of place, and conveying a level of excellence in craftsmanship.

Ruca Malen was the first winery in Argentina to adopt the “tasting menu” concept. Today, the internationally acclaimed winery restaurant is the most successful in the country, where the dishes are specifically prepared to further enhance the wines. Tourists from all over the world flock to Ruca Malen to enjoy the wines of winemaker Pablo Cuneo paired with the authentic, imaginative cuisine of chef Lucas Bustos for a truly Mendozan experience.

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