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By Amanda Barnes
There’s no doubting the wine credentials of Bodega Casa Vigil. Owned by one of Argentina’s most prized winemakers, Alejandro Vigil, this is a wine production of top draw. However Bodega Casa Vigil is about more than just making fantastic wines from local grapes. It is also about respecting the environment those grapes come from. The green credentials and community focus of this family winery and restaurant is what deservedly led to a Great Wine Capitals Award for Best Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices in 2018.
Strengthening the community of Chachingo
Chachingo is a small agricultural area off the main tourist beat, about 25 minutes from Mendoza city. The wines of Bodega Casa Vigil (best known for the El Enemigo brand) have, however, attracted quite a significant influx of tourists to Chachingo who come to visit the winery (open daily) and its restaurant (Mon-Sat). Giving back to the rural community is one of the key pillars of Bodega Casa Vigil’s sustainability plan and throughout the year they engage in several cultural actions.
Bodega Casa Vigil has been working with the local school in Chachingo providing school building repair works to make it a safe and comfortable learning environment. Part of the reparation has also been painting the walls, but in this case Casa Vigil invited renowned artists to paint the walls with colourful drawings and designs to engage the children with their own local environment. Healthy snack and meals are also on the menu, provided by Casa Vigil’s team of chefs every day in order to give the local school children a hearty meal to continue to grow and learn. Frequent fundraising events also help to further their support work at the local school and in the community.
Respecting the environment of Chachingo
Another key pillar in the winery’s sustainability work has been focusing on environmentally friendly site management. Recycling is a priority and the winery and restaurant always separates their waste in order to recycle what is possible and deliver it to recycling plants. You’ll also see lots of recycled materials around the winery and restaurant, which adds a touch of sustainable chic.
Part of minimising their footprint on the environment is through cultivating an organic garden and promoting biodiversity within its vineyard and garden. Many of the ingredients grown in the garden are used in the restaurant and it follows a principal of ‘eco-cuisine’: using local products where possible in an almost raw state, with minimal manipulation in the kitchen.
This type of sustainability actually translates into something very delicious… such as their homegrown tomato salad served with a glass of bright and complex Chardonnay. Who said sustainability can’t be delicious at the same time?