"I have no competition, never interested me. I look at what I do, the rest do what they want. The success is continuity. "
The clock almost 11 in the morning, we are in Mendoza route, seeking a winemaker home, which as we told, personally attends shows and tells all about their wines. Despite the cold, the sun accompanied us working within the natural stove rental car, this wonderful travel companion.
The only data we have so far are the address, San Martín 2614, Mayor Drummond, Lujan de Cuyo, and the front of his house has no sign, but must be well tuned, because when we see a house painted sky with halved, which function as pots barrels, we should stop there, because that's the home of Carmelo Patti.
Somehow we recognized this famous house. At first we thought it was not there, but very timidly we approached and asked what is almost a no-brainer - Hi, this is the home of Carmelo? -. And with a big smile, a man with gray hair of experience replied "Yes guys, come in".
Thus began this talk of almost half an hour with one of the most interesting people, but simple I met in my life. Full of anecdotes, continued to tell us, always focusing on the main character, through whom we were all there, and people who continue to come to his home during these hours, he came.
"I get people from all over the world here since 2003, I know a little bit of English, but the wine has only one language."
Carmelo Patti is a winemaker, worked many years for major wineries, until one day in 1989 decided to drop everything to take his dream of making his own wine. He sold his car and was fortunate that many trusted him, giving him the support he needed to start the project that is a success today. "I started with 7000 bottles with much effort. I've been fortunate that when one focuses somewhat judiciously, things go; credit card has to be me, that people trusted. And luckily many people helped me and trusted me. "
Behind the house is a huge warehouse, we got there as there is production. In this very cold, ideal for wine storage temperature, and boxes filled with bottles parked waiting to be optimal to sell. It is a landscape of stacked boxes, each with a date, accompanied by a fairly strong wine scent, very characteristic of the wineries.
We were told that everyone wants, and if you are in Mendoza, you must go to meet Carmelo as it is a completely different to visiting stunning wineries experience, he has, with much love making, transmitting values to make and drinking good wine, which was not there you would not believe. His house, his barn, can’t be compared to the ostentatious industrial warehouses, but his wisdom and passion for what he does is enough. As he would say "go here to see a different style to all the wineries." Only ten minutes of talking his cell phone starts ringing. He apologizes and attends. A few minutes continues with his anecdotes.
"I'm not saying try my cabernet, it’s the best, I say try it and then we'll talk. I made a party has done other people, my company and it works. I have wines of 2005, I have a few left. Of course if I want to do it bigger, more commercial, won’t be good, because it has a high cost. "
Patti is personally responsible for following the evolution in terms of its wines, never packed after two winters, and who have the pleasure to try some of his creations, will be able to see the color of them are transformed to a more "tiles" by the passage of time. Inside the bottle, once packaged, leaves four years to Blend Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2 years to Malbec, this way is a sleeker, smoother wine.
Almost ten minutes of talking and again his phone rings. After a while he returned to apologize and said "today they left me alone." I would like to clarify that only has one employee in charge.
"The fact of having no cartel, is because every time I returned from talks, I realize that people do not have culture of saving, but parked likes wine, so I better not come nobody until no go making chain. And yet going to see the amount of people coming. "
And he was right, despite not having sign with the name of his winery, new visitors arrive banishing the honor of being the only ones in the morning. This time there were five Brazilians then joined 7 santafecinos, and 5 more people. Anyway, like a birthday, all around Carmelo, smiling and asking all about his wines.
Among many people, someone asks about competition - "Carmelo, what do you think of the competition?" - And with great wisdom says, "I have no competition, never interested me. I look at what I do, the rest do what they want. Success is continuity. "
Regarding brands and prestige that comes to assert a bottle so expensive responds "I do not argue over other brands but sometimes I hear journalists say if it don't worth 500 pesos I won't buy it, but please is not so! For me there is no mark, there is what I like. "
The grape selection is carried out on the farm. Currently have 5 planted varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and a few with doing the Blend. The farm is a friend of Patti with 12 hectares, of which half past seven are Carmelo and the rest working for other people.
75 percent of its production is for the domestic market and the remaining 25 exports it. He arrived in countries like China, France, USA, Brazil, Australia by word of mouth from people, "I will never sell wine, is word of mouth, passed me without knowing the U.S. importer I work with some made in my tasting Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Parker has put 94 points. That has meant that I would sell 800 boxes. I do not care scores, I'm interested in what this here this well done, the rest comes alone. "
Each of the bottles label personally, one by one, starting in this limited the amount of bottles that were packaged, the harvest day and the day gets rinsed bottle. "That's not going to see on any wine in the world. We can see a label with bottle number, I do not know if that's right or wrong, but I've seen many cases where the bottles are never ending. This comes a point where it ends. Is known to be limited. "
With diplomas hanging on the wall, (diploma 1994 gold medal in wine competition), we get at home, where we had to do the tasting. There we flooded super funny anecdotes, always having as protagonists the soft Malbec or Cabernet stunning. We filled interesting to share information such as how to store wine, "the important thing is to look at the cork" say Carmel.
When we buy a wine to keep, what we should do is to ask who we sell whether it is a wine for aging, because not all are. We withdraw the "capsule" (plastic wrapping cork), and set ourselves the same is not stained, if this is so, it means you are well covered and not run the risk of ingress of oxygen. This is the way we defend ourselves as consumers, not good if we change it, we paid for it. Is checked once per year, if we can keep holding perfect. Now when the cork is all stained, or have vertical lines, we can not keep more. "Many say, turn the bottle, but that twist or turn, if the most important thing is to twist the cork the bottle."
Fans club included, shows us a shirt they did with his face, you can see that is a very dear man. Happy to have the house full of people, feel the joy in the air for all to have been in this wonderful home winery. As a last tip tells us that if we want to keep a good wine must look for a good dark place, leave a little tilted the bottle and control, as he already showed us the cork.
With wise words people start to withdraw, all with bottle in hand for our families know the famous Carmelo Patti Cabernet Sauvignon, waving his hand with a big smile and bouncing us like a family, we are shouting soon. And leaving floating in the air one of his many phrases that give life to our national drink:
"Wine is alive, and if we do not care, dies." Carmelo Patti.
traslation: Belén Zapata