Lucas Bustos: An interpreter of wine & terroir

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Lucas Bustos: An interpreter of wine & terroir

 Just turned 40, Lucas Bustos ( was born and bred in Mendoza. Although his training spanned to the US and Chile, it is in the mountains of Mendoza where the spirit of his cuisine lies. “Cocina Cordillerana” (cuisine from the Andes mountains) is how he defines his style, and the rest is down to the individual winery and terroir.


Where Bustos really made his name is in Ruca Malen ( winery. As of 2004, Ruca Malen was one of the first wineries to have a wine-paired tasting menu. The emphasis on the menu was always on local products, a sensitive pairing with Ruca Malen’s wines and telling the story of winemaking and the region through the six-course menu. Open every day for lunch, it quickly became the hottest ticket in town and was the global winner of the Great Wine Capitals awards in 2013.


Casarena ( is the second winery to come into Bustos’ fold. Also in Lujan de Cuyo, the glass encased restaurant sits amongst the vineyards and aside the century-old winery. Here a six-course menu awaits with imaginative recreations of local dishes. Everything is homemade, and often picked from the garden, and delicious dishes like osso buco croquettes or the house pastrami and pickles are paired with Casarena’s wines from different terroirs in Lujan de Cuyo.

The third feather to Bustos’ bow is a new restaurant that has stormed onto the scene in Maipu - Espacio Trapiche ( With a KM 0 concept, the cuisine focus on local, mountain food and dishes are artfully decorated with flowers and herbs picked from their organic garden just outside the winery. The winery kitchen also has a small farm of animals and homemade cheese, charcuterie and honey often feature on the seasonal menu. One of the top choices of restaurant to visit in Maipu, Espacio Trapiche won the Great Wine Capitals award last year.

Bringing wine and food together in dining experiences isn’t just limited to lunch at the wineries though. Bustos is also one of the top chefs for wine events in the city and vineyards, and you’ll often find him stoking the fire while roasting an entire goat or cow! Always with an element of the spectacular, dining and delighting in the cuisine of Lucas Bustos is a ‘must’ for Mendoza.


By Amanda Barnes


Twitter: @amanda_tweeter