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Bodega Ruca Malen, a Winery in Argentina

Winemaker Pablo

Winemaker Pablo Cuneo of Bodega Ruca Malen

Bodega Ruca Malen is an Argentinian winery located in Mendoza. The winery was developed by two men from France – Jean Pierre Thibaud and Jacques Louis de Montalembert. Jean Pierre was a grand 75 years of age and retired from Chandon Winery Argentina when he was inspired to start a new winery in Argentina. Jacques Louis was involved in winemaking in Burgundy. They chose an Argentinian winemaker, Pablo Cuneo to craft their wines. Molinos Rio de la Plata purchased Bodega Ruca Malen in 2015.

Bodega Ruca Malen wines are available in several countries including: the United States, Canada, Peru, Mexico, Paraguay, France, Colombia, China, Australia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

We discovered the wines from Ruca Malen to be delicious with great color, intense fruity tastes and pairing well with food. The quality of the wines was even more impressive when checking out the price range. The Yauquen Malbec retails for $12.99. Ruca Malen Reserva Malbec and Reserva Petit Verdot were both under $20 at $18.99. The Kinien de Don Raul was on the high side at $70.

According to the brochure we received at the Ruca Malen wine tasting in Washington DC, the local language is Mapuche. The translation for Ruca Malen means the house of the young girl. There is a legend behind the name. A dramatic description of the legend is on the Bodega Ruca Malen website. “According to an ancient local legend, love between Gods and mortals was forbidden. Therefore, Mapuche women always walked looking down, fearing to meet the piercing gaze of a beautiful God. But one day, a Mapuche woman, the most daring of them all, raised her head, and when she met the eyes of the God she instantly fell in love. The God, touched by her love, offered her an elixir to join the eternal beings. In return she gave him a home, the young girl’s house, so that they could create together a new lineage of legendary Gods.”


Ruca Malen has 52 acres of grapevines located in Lujan de Cuyo. The soil is a combination of sandy loam, porous soil and rock. The elevation is 3,280 feet. In addition to their own acreage, the winery has long term contracts with other grape growers.

Wine and Food Pairings


Chef Lucas

Bodega Ruca Malen has its own onsite restaurant. It was interesting to learn that Pablo, the winemaker meets with the restaurant chef throughout the year to work on the proper foods that should be paired with these yummy Argentine wines. Pablo provides the wines for Chef Lucas, who prepares foods that will pair perfectly with the Ruca Malen wines. The brochure noted that “We test everything for creativity, seasonal expression, flavor intensity and above all food-and-wine pairing. If the dish tastes perfect but does not match with the wines, we start over.”

The menu for the Ruca Malen Washington DC event noted, “This menu is a tribute to the cooking techniques and products used by the native people who were guardians of the land at the foot of the Andes Mountains. This cultural wealth gives us a profound legacy of knowledge, utensils and cooking methods that allow us to reconnect with the land and our shared traditions.”

The restaurant menu is based on only using local food. In addition Chef Lucas has his own garden where he grows vegetables and herbs that he uses in the restaurant.


Travelers and wine enthusiasts are encouraged to visit Bodega Ruca Malen. Activities for visitors include enjoying tapas, lunch or a picnic in the garden. Visitors can also choose to enjoy simple tastings or vertical tastings.

Fortunately for many visitors, tour guides speak Portuguese, French and English. If you are planning to travel to Argentina, try to schedule a visit to Bodega Ruca Malen.


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