Patricia Ortiz is the owner of one of the most prestigious wineries in Argentina. With three brands, Tapiz, Zolo and Wapisa, she is making some of the best and most unique terroir driven wines coming from three distinct areas. With determination, confidence, and strong business acumen, Patricia has built Tapiz into one of the most dynamic and technologically advanced winery.
Patricia is a medical doctor and psychologist by background. Her and her husband had a strong passion for wine and traveled the world drinking and exploring wine regions. During their visit to Mendoza, they fell in love with the land and immediately bought a vineyard in Tupungato. Patricia first grew grapes and later started making wine for family and friends. In 2003 Patricia saw a rare opportunity to expand when Kendall Jackson was selling their winery, and as they say, the rest is history. Since then she has acquired prime vineyard properties throughout Argentina and has grown her brand into three distinct labels from three very different regions of Argentina. Her vineyards are located in Salta, Mendoza and Patagonia.
Patricia made huge investments in land, technology and research; hiring some of the best oenologist for her winery. For Patricia it was important to buy and own the land and grow grapes herself. Her vineyards are located at different altitudes from 3000 feet to 5000 feet above sea levels with the majestic Andes as a backdrop. The elevation makes the vineyards some of the most unique in the world. The Wapisa winery in Patagonia is the only coastal vineyard in the region. Patricia has deep respect for the land and is extremely conscious of the environment. Her vineyards are sustainable and several sites are certified organic.
Patricia hired the talented Fabian Valenzuela as the winemaker from the very beginning. In 2012 they both took a bold step to bring on Jean Claude Berrouet to be their consulting winemaker. For those not familiar with the name Jean Claude Berrouet, they are certainly familiar with the name Petrus. Jean Claude Berrouet was the world renowned winemaker for Petrus. It was a major coup for Patricia to get Jean Claude Berrouet to come out of retirement and work alongside her and Fabian Valenzuela to make the best expression of terroir driven wines in all of Argentina. Jean Claude Berrouet has bought elegance and sophistication to the wines they produce.
I had the wonderful opportunity to have dinner with Patricia Ortiz at the historic Delmonico’s Steakhouse in NYC. Throughout our dinner and our conversations her commitment, dedication, and passion for wine was infectious as well as inspiring. Patricia is a true visionary, continuously planning and strategizing for the future. She is a dynamic leader, and a big proponent to shining light on the wines of Argentina.
Wapisa is the only coastal vineyards in all of Patagonia. The breeze of the sea and the complexity of the soils are expressed in this Sauvignon Blanc. A freshness is exhibited on the wine that is characteristic of Patagonia. A very unique Sauvignon Blanc that has its own flavor profile, one that cannot be compared to New Zealand or Sancerre. It is expressive and has character and personality all its own. Made in Patagonia, this Sauvignon Blanc has nice minerality and salinity from ocean influences. Citrus and white flowers aromas stand out with a delicate touch of ginger. On the palate there is citrus flavours of pink grapefruit and lime. The wine is fresh and intense, with balanced acidity.
This is undeniably the best Merlot from Argentina. Its name is a homage to its winemaker Jean Claude and exudes a personality that is more Right Bank Bordeaux. This is a rare Merlot from a single vineyard from San Pablo Estate, Uco Valley, Mendoza. It is a blend of 91% Merlot, 3.5% Petit Verdot, 3.0% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Cabernet Franc. The wine is deeply intense on the nose with its finesse and elegance. A wine that is expressive of it’s terroir. There are notes of red fruit, strawberries, licorice and cassis with hints of baking spice. The wine is elegant with nice tannins and is structured and concentrated with a silky finish. It is a wine that represents the art of precision from the vineyard to the glass.
Zolo selects grapes from estate vineyards throughout different key regions of Mendoza. Located at various altitudes, each of these terroirs provides a different expression of fruit and varietal concentration.
The purpose of the winery’s Zolo classic line is to create a family of fruit-forward, great value wines, which can be enjoyed with a wide range of food or by themselves. The Zolo Reserves, with their ultra-high concentration, long ageing in new French oak, and aromatic complexity are made for special occasions
Zolo has been a leading Argentine brand since 2004, and is estate-grown & sustainably-farmed. The wine exhibits an intense ruby red color and is powerful and complex. The nose is concentrated with notes of blackcurrant and plum, ending with hints of vanilla and chocolate. It is a full bodied wine that is elegant and rich, An affordable high quality Cabernet Sauvignon for every occasion.
Black Tears Malbec is from the single estate of San Pablo vineyard, the highest vineyard in Mendoza at 1,350 meters above sea level. The wine represents the best of Uco Valley, a region of Mendoza renowned for producing some of Argentina’s best wines.
With Black Tears, Berrouet’s right bank expertise shines through, yielding a wine that shows terroir and purity of fruit in a region that is traditionally known for over-oaked and overripe wines. This wine is a balance of Old and New World styles and is a concentrated and complex Malbec that features the intense flavors and aromas of vine-ripened dark fruits, while maintaining a bright and linear palate.
I encourage you try the wines of Bodega Tapiz and also visit their property Club Tapiz in Mendoza. I had the opportunity to stay at Club Tapiz a few years and was so impressed. Club Tapiz is located in a historic residence that was built in 1890. The property is surrounded by 14 hectares of vineyards and olive trees. The location provides easy access to visit wineries in the Mendoza region. A delectable restaurant is on site, which also offers cooking classes with local organically sourced products. There are regular wine tastings held at Club Tapiz.
*** Pictures Courtesy Bodega Tapiz