Casa Tapaus | Source of Treasures
Founded in 2017 by the Millán family, Casa Tapaus is located in the area of Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. It is the first distillery in Mendoza to open its doors to visitors, to delight them with its exquisite spirits and high-end liqueurs, all made with natural products, with wine as a source of inspiration and raw material.
Tapaus is a word of Huarpe origin that means “hidden treasure”. As its name suggests, Casa Tapaus gives us the opportunity to find the hidden spirit in wine.
José Millán saw a gap in Argentina’s spirit market: most of the spirits in the country were imported. He saw this as an opportunity to make his own, and Casa Tapaus’ first spirit ever made was a London Dry Gin with some botanicals from Argentina. Now they have six different gins, grappa, brandy, liquors and soon, whisky.
Mariana De la Cruz is the Master Distiller at Casa Tapaus. The distillery is a separate business from the other Millán family wineries: (Argentinian regulations dictate that they should be completely separate). The only real link is orujo (pomace), must and wine that are delivered from the wineries to the distillery in order to make some of Casa Tapaus’ spirits.
Casa Tapaus produces a line of Terrier gins (London Dry, Citric, Spicy, Wild, and Pink) inspired by a breed of English dogs. According to Casa Tapaus, “The Terrier breed, like our gins, has a determined, energetic and restless character. Qualities that represent the spirit of our house and work team”.
The botanicals used in the range of gins are from Argentina, although the juniper berries are imported from Europe. The intention is to create great spirits with Argentinian flavours. For instance, in the Tapaus Terrier Gin Pink Special Edition, Malbec must is used to add sweetness to the gin. They also use peppers, lemon peel, orange peel and grapefruit peel among other aromatics, which makes a real difference in terms of intensity and aromas.
For Opimians who wish to visit the Millán family distillery and wineries, they can’t miss the Abrasado Restaurant in Mendoza, which has a great bar. It even won the 2022 Great Wine Capital’s People Choice Award for Best Wine Tourism Restaurant.
Some things just happen by accident, and Clever Hazelnut Cream Liqueur was a great experiment! Three years ago the team decided to make some hazelnut liquor and to have some bottles only for special occasions and celebrations. José Millán tasted it and loved it! He took a few bottles for himself, and two months later Casa Tapaus was making 10,000 litres for their partners in Argentina.
How to enjoy Clever Hazelnut Cream Liqueur
In a wine glass, pour two scoops of ice cream (sweet cream flavour), 60 ml (2 oz) of Clever Hazelnut Cream Liqueur. Add two chocolate chip cookies, then drizzle some caramel cream over the glass. Yum!