Perhaps one of the wineries in Mendoza that best encapsulates the gaucho image and lifestyle of Argentina is Hacienda del Plata. The winery actually grew out of the ranching lifestyle: its parent company a famous grain grower in Cordoba, Argentina. In 1999, the company started the winery, and all of its wines have names related to the ranching industry: Zagal (the name for a young man who works on a ranch), Arrieros (named after an older cattle driver), Mayoral (the boss of the ranch), and Cumbre (the summit, in this case the Andes). Their newest addition, a Sauvignon Blanc, is the Nevisca, named after the light snow that falls in the morning but has melted by the afternoon, a warning that the wine should be enjoyed quickly.
This boutique winery makes some affordable and enjoyable wines. I was pleased to find that the Zagal Malbec was my favorite of all of the wines we tasted, and was also one of the cheapest. Definitely a deal, this young wine had some great complex flavors including some nice oak.