Bodega SuperUco: The Award-winning Gem of Los Chacayes Mendoza
A drone shot of SuperUco with its octagonal bodega and restaurant surrounded by its vineyards. (Photo: Courtesy of SuperUco)

Since its official designation as a wine producing GI (geographic indication) in 2017, Los Chacayes, located in the Tunayan regions of the Uco Valley, is steadily becoming one of Argentina's most promising wine regions. A GI is the name that distinguishes a product originating from a region, geographical area or locality of production delimited from the national territory. The GI designation is significant as it forms part of the legislation, which came into force in 1999, that governs winemaking in the country. In contrast with the normally flat terrain of Mendoza, many of the vineyards located in Los Chacayes have slopes and inclines which, in addition to being 1,400 metres above sea level, help to produce healthy grapes with thicker skins and wines with robust personalities and flavours.

With a total surface area of 102,500 hectares tucked into the foothills of the Cordillera Frontal of the Andes Mountains, Los Chacayes is home to some of Mendoza's exciting new white varietals, particularly its Sauvignon Blanc and white Rhone blends. The region also stands out for its reds, which include Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and features some unusual Mediterranean varieties such as Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. It is here in this vast expanse of fertile lands, stretching all the way across the international borders of Chile, that we come across the Michelini family's labour of love: Bodega SuperUco.

The Michelini brothers, Gerardo, Matías, Gabriel and Juan, along with friend Daniel Sammartino, founded SuperUco in 2011 and spent the next several years steadily transforming it into the award-winning winery and restaurant that it is today. Their bodega is focused on producing the finest terroir-centred wines. Terroir is a French word which refers to the combination of factors that give wine their distinctive character, eg soil, climate, sunlight, etc. Bodega SuperUco, in addition to being a producer of internationally acclaimed wines, also manages a sustainable project that combines enotourism (wine tourism) and seasonal dining using produce from their own organic vegetable garden. With a commitment to preserving the environment and the pure quality of their terroir, they employ organic, biodynamic and ecological practices that in 2021 won an International Gold in Sustainable Practices at the 'Best of Wine Tourism' awards presented by the global network, Great Wine Capitals.

SuperUco winery is one of the more unusual in Mendoza featuring an octagonal construction in the middle of a circular vineyard where the rows are planted concentrically. The vines come from three micro-terroirs of the Uco Valley: Gualtallary in Tupungato; Los Chacayes in Tunuyán; and Altamira in San Carlos all ranging between 1,100 and 1,400mts height above sea level, and set in the wild, arid landscape of the Andean foothills. Obtained using biodynamic practices that employ no pesticides or chemical products and fermented with native yeast from the vineyards, the fruit harvested is an expression of the terroirs from which it came, bearing the signature personality and texture that SuperUco has come to be known for.

The bodega produces three separate lines of wine: Calcareo, which features three Malbecs plus a Cabernet Franc; SuperUco, a collection of seven wines, mostly blends of Malbec and Cabernet Franc, as well as a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling along with a Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon; and Genitori, which comprises a Malbec and Cabernet Franc blend. All of which are aged to perfection for 20 months in new Taransaud T5 barrels.

The SuperUco Restaurant welcomes upwards of 30 patrons who savour gastronomic delights from a specially curated five-course menu while enjoying a variety of paired wines found in all three categories, all while overlooking the winery's two-hectare estate. Guests also have the opportunity to experience special-edition wines produced by Juan Pablo Michelini under the Alter Uco label as well as the limited-edition Montesco Silvestre wines by Mathias Michelini.

With organic and biodynamic certified vineyards, found in the perfect circle formed by vineyards, an orchard and a corral that surrounds its octagonal winery, SuperUco seeks to make, with ever greater precision, wines that continue to express its terroir and the diversity of Los Chacayes as the emerging wine region of the world.

SuperUco Bodega Restaurant (Photo: Courtesy of SuperUco)
SuperUco Gualta Malbec Cabernet Franc (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)
André Reid and his wife Betzabeth take a selfie against the breathtaking backdrop of the SuperUco Estate. (Photo: André Reid)
Altar Uco Edad Moderna Blanco (white blend) by Juan Pablo Michelini (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)
Duo of empanada mendocina and marinated entrana (beef) with bake polenta and a creole salsa. (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)
Montesco Silvestre Sauvignon Blanc by Matias Michelini (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)
Homemade sweets of the Uco Valley served with a refreshing herbal ginger tea. (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)
Mixed green salad with strawberries topped with a cheese bruscheta (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)
Mushroom tartar with organic veggies served with a fried quail egg, cherry tomatoes atop a homemade flatbread. (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)
SuperUco Calcáreo Rio de Los Chacayes Malbec, 2015 (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)
Lamb pork flavoured with aromatic herbs, apple chutney, purple onion, mud oven veggies with a Malbec reduction (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)
Montesco Silvestre Sauvignon Blanc by Matias Michelini is poured with dessert. (Photo: Betzabeth Reid)

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