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Have you really visited Mendoza if you didn´t make it to Casa Vigil? Mendoza has extraordinary gastronomic proposals, but this is something else, different. It is not just to get an awesome and well-paired meal, with some of the best rated Argentine wines. It is about a holistic place that has been building its own ‘aura’ since they opened doors in 2015.
Alejandro Vigil, renowned Argentine winemaker and responsible for the wines of Catena Zapata and his own winery, Aleanna. María Sance, Alejandro’s wife, graduate in Bromatology and PhD in biology, general director of Casa Vigil and other gastronomic projects of the family. The two of them and the desire of having a place to receive people and make them feel a distinct experience were (and still are) the foundation of the project, which grows, is awarded, and evolves but does not negotiate its roots: to be a HOME (or ‘CASA’ in Spanish).
“Our focus is on the connection with the place, with our home that is Mendoza. We base on local cuisine, with abundant portions, which is enhanced with the wines that Alejandro produces and that are so recognized around the world”, says Santiago Maestre, chef of the place.
Located in Maipú, Mendoza, Casa Vigil has been included on the prestigious Michelin Voyage guide as one of the most recommended gastronomic and touristic places to visit out of France. Last year they were awarded GOLD of Art and Culture at the “Global Best of Wine Tourism“ by Great Wine Capitals. Overall, they value the quality and uniqueness, its personality, spirit, warmth and homemade style.
This is a winery that offers its visitors a different outing in which wine and literature are combined to give way to a unique wine tourism experience. Alejandro Vigil takes you to the magic world of Dante’s Divine Comedy in his Casa Vigil. (Red Wine Capitals)
Originally, Alejandro was in charge of the “asado” (Argentinean style barbecue), Maria was responsible for the salads, and both of them enjoyed being hosts of a very limited audience. The evolution of the place made them delegate those tasks, but they never gave up on being the “homeowners”.
“It is very likely that if you seat down to eat at Casa Vigil, Alejandro or Maria will come by and say hello and have a few words with you. They are walking around permanently, making sure everyone is comfortable and having a good time”, says Santiago.
“My grandmother was my teacher, of whom I learned the essence, the bases and the passion”, says who was dedicated almost full time to teach cooking classes before working at Casa Vigil. “I just came for some pastries for one day four years ago and I stayed”, explains with a smile about the fortuitous but organic way of his arrival. “The good thing is that they let you be yourself, in fact, it is almost a requirement. The everydayness is fluid, natural. The constant search is to offer an experience based on the attention, the focus on details, the culture, the flavors, and of course, the wines”.
One of the many hallmarks that the place has is that it works only with seasonal and autochthonous products. “What the province gives us, what we can get from our surroundings, local producers and our own garden in a sustainable way is what we use”.
“We have a lot of tourists from Brazil, from Peru, from all Latin America. Also naturally from the USA and Europe. We seek to understand how their cuisine and their culture are, to try to adapt some details and so that they can feel at home”, he explains.
“Culture is everywhere in the winery“ can be read on an article from Great Wine Capitals. And indeed it is. From the very beginning of the project, Casa Vigil offers temporary exhibitions of art which usually present four annual renovations, one per each of the four seasons. It especially promotes local artists. And in total connection with their philosophy, they have their own provided energy since last March, which they produce with solar panels.
Back to the gastronomic project, Santiago explains that they offer a multi-course menu, always with options for each step, and the pairing is usually assisted but one is at their own free will. They already have their own production of cheeses and they are approaching the world of cold cuts.
Pablo is a marketing professional with 10 years of experience in digital advertisement and 5 years specifically in the world of wine. He was recently Marketing Director at Achaval-Ferrer, and today he runs La Veramente, his own marketing agency focused on wine. He has been running the VinoApp project from 2016.