Bucket List Worthy: Fuegos de Apalta

In March 2017, Montes Winery opened a new restaurant, Fuegos de Apalta, situated behind the winery among the vineyards.  Argentine celebrity chef Francis Mallmann is at the helm, with a menu  that has a mix of beef and fish dishes cooked over an open fire.

Owner and restauranteur Francis Mallmann

Francis Mallmann specializes in Patagonian cuisine. His style of cooking with fire is obvious once you approach the restaurant, with an open pit fire that plays central stage in the dining area. He has been featured on numerous international television programs, as well as on the Netflix original series Chef’s Table.

Chef Francis Mallmann’s mussels were delicious and paired well with Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc

Fuegos de Apalta’s menu has a mix of fish and meat starters and entrees. Grilled meats from Fuegos de Apalta pair perfectly with Montes Cabernet Sauvignon.

…and with this beautiful meal, we drank some very special wines made by Montes—”Taita”

In 2007, Aurelio separately vinified Cabernet Sauvignon from 50 acres of Marchigüe estates’ stony, labyrinthine soils. The wine was unlike any other Cabernet that Montes produced, and notably structured, powerful and exuberant. Rather than using it for blending, they decided to make a new label, “Taita,” to represent a wine that surpassed everything that they had produced.

In Chilean Spanish, Taita is a term of endearment for a father, or wise elder. The name was chosen because it summed up and captured all of the years of experience and knowledge that led to the evolution of the wine…and Taita materialized into a sub-label appropriately titled, “Wisdom in Wine.” Only three vintages exist — ’07, ’09 and ’10.  All three vintages were absolutely gorgeous:

2007 | 2009 | 2010 Taita Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($249)

Opulent, luscious and harmonious; concentrated and complex with black, blue and red fruits finishing with beautiful truffle, mocha, and nutmeg notes; sweet spices and silky tannins.

Next time your’re near Región de Valparaíso, Chile, be certain to head to Fuegos de Apalta!

Address: Montes, O’Higgins Region, Sta Cruz, Viña del Mar, Región de Valparaíso, Chile
Phone: +56 72 260 5191


About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of Enobytes.com, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.

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