Monday, September 6, 2010

Staying at Lovely Club Tapiz Resort, Argentina


(Sept. 1, 2010) Club Tapiz is both a winery and a resort which is set in the middle of vineyards with a stunning view of the snow-capped Andes. It is a charming adobe building with 7 rooms which open onto a central courtyard (see photo). Complete with gourmet restaurant, swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise room and a spa where they give great massages for $150 Argentina pesos (about $38 US); it was a wonderful place to stay for 3 nights. Luis helped us to our rooms, encouraged us to rest, and said he would see us at dinner that evening.

I quickly unpacked so that I could be ready for the car and driver that arrived 30 minutes later to transport me back to downtown Mendoza. We arrived at a hotel meeting room where I met Jimena who had organized all of my travel arrangements and was the event coordinator for the conference. She introduced me to the 15 people from Wines of Argentina who were present for the afternoon meeting. After a working lunch of sandwiches, I gave my presentation and we discussed wine export strategy.

I was transported back to Club Tapiz by the president of the winery, Patricia, who entertained me with tales of brand management. She described how she had created the very successful wine brand, Zolo, for the US market because she was so busy as a winery executive that she never saw her husband. The terms “Zolo” means both “solo and lonely,” and so the label shows a lonely man. Patricia says the man represents her husband, and now when she travels, she can take him with her as the wine bottle. The story is so unique that it has captivated distributors and retailers in the US who repeat it to their customers, and now the wine is a huge hit.

After a quick rest in my nice room at Club Tapiz, the 8 of us who had been asked to speak at the Forum were asked to a 5pm meeting to hear an overview presentation on the Argentinean wine industry and receive gifts. We were invited to relax in a living room with a blazing fire, have coffee or wine (I chose wine!) and listen to the presentation. A very gracious welcome.

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