The Achaval Ferrer Bodega produces some of Argentina's more recognized fine wines. For example, their 2002 Malbec Mendoza Finca Altamira scored 94 points (the highest yet for an Argentine wine) in Wine Spectator. Santiago Achaval is also a member of the team of folks working on the Vines of Mendoza Private Vineyards Project. If you purchase a vineyard you would work with Santiago to identify the grapes you want to grow and the processes you want to use to design your wine. If that doesn't sound like fun I am not sure what is.
In addition to having some of the highest quality wines in Argentina, the winery was also one of the friendliest and down to earth that we visited. The bodega is brand new with a beautiful formal tasting room/conference room. But, the real treats lie underneath in the cave. The cave houses all of the secrets of Achaval Ferrer including the latest editions of Altamira and Quimira two of our favorite wines. For our visit the wonderful Patricia showed us around the winery and gave us the full picture of what makes Achaval Ferrer wines unique. As Patricia explained to us that they trim every vine so that it produces just one bunch of grapes and that the winemaker determines each blend by purely by taste we felt like we had entered another world of wine.
An interesting side note to our visit was that it came the day after an earthquake in the region. Patricia described her feelings as the ground around the bodega rose and fell like water and we got to take a look at how the tanks had pulled away from the walls. Thank goodness that the tanks weren't damaged and all of the barrels and bottles came out unscathed - I can't imagine having to go a year without a vintage of Achaval Ferrer.