Mascota Vineyards is a premium winery in the heart of Argentina. A winery that was awarded the International Wine and Spirits ‘Best Argentine Wine Producer of the Year’ in 2014, becoming the youngest winery ever awarded at this competition. Mascota roughly translated is an object or a mascot. By extension producing wines in this in this character, as Chief Winemaker Rodolfo Sadler. Rodolfo, or more affectionately known as ‘Opi’ has been crafting wines in this likeness for Mascota for the last 3 years. In his own words: “These wines reflect my memories. They summarize my story. They are the outcome of my dream. They have my personal imprint and are a testimony to my life story.”
Prior to his time at Mascota, he worked at Santa Ana, one of Argentina’s largest and most traditional wineries in the Cuyo region and before that, he worked harvests in California, Chile and France. He studied at the prestigious Don Bosco University in Mendoza and talks about his fond memories of making wine with his father and grandfather as a young boy. “When I was a very young, I remember my family kept our best wines in a large dark cellar with a small window. The entrance to the basement was narrow and as the smallest member of the family, I was in charge of going down. When I had to store or take away a bottle. a cloud of bats would fly above my head, disturbed by the commotion.”
It is no coincidence then that on the wine labels, there are symbols of bats representing this heritage, and depicted as an object or a mascot, synonymous with the Mascota brand and the ‘Big Bat’ wine that they make. Big Bat is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Uco Valley, and is aged in new French Oak barrels for 18 months. Opi tells me that this is his favourite wine that he makes and that the 2013 vintage is drinking beautifully. “This variety has always been my favourite, because Argentina’s climate conditions together with the properties of the soil result in outstanding Cabernet grapes that will undoubtedly yield the best Cabernet wines in the world.”
When asked about his nickname, Opi says that his sister gave it to him as a child and that his grandfather spoke German and was known as ‘Opa’. The story goes that when he was born he looked like a little grandfather, so everyone called him a ‘Opi’ – a little grandfather.
Our Winemaker RAW event featured the 4 following wines, as described by Opi:
His signature, OPI Chardonnay – is a concentrated, elegant wine, with a fruity twist. La Mascota is a Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend that ages in French and American oak barrels for 15 months. Gran Mascota is what he calls his ‘spoiled child’, it is a Malbec aged in French oak barrels for 15 months. Unanime is a pearl. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.
Thank you Opi for sharing your wines with iYellow.