My oh my did we enjoy our time here! We took a four day time out from Santiago and decided to visit wine country. The 5 hour bus ride is straight through the Andes mountains, over the border into Argentina and down into a valley. There was still snow on the mountains and the views for this ride were spectacular! Mendoza is only about 250,000 people but the city makes 80% of Argentine wine. Our hotel felt quite posh in terms of the standards we have been used too on this trip and immediately I felt like I was on some fancy vacation. I even got to watch both Sunday and Monday football. Woohoo – I do miss it!
We strolled around the Plaza and all the different cafe’s just inviting you for wine and plates of meat and cheese called Tablas. The temperature was in the low eighties and it felt like heaven. Most days we would walk around and find a place of interest that we could begin tasting flights of wine. It was a fantastic way to taste many of the wines from different wineries without going to each and every vineyard. Someone told me there were hundreds of vineyards….not sure if that is true but there were a handful of valleys and each valley had many, many vineyards. I liked the wines from the Uco Valley the best I think. Our favorite excursion was a tour that Keith set up for us. Below is an idea of what our wine tastings looked like – I felt pretty high class :). The picture to the right is a picture of the tablas.
For the tour, we were picked up at our hotel and our guide took us to four different wineries ending at Ruca Malen vineyard with a five course menu paired with wine! The other two couples on our tour were on their honeymoons (one from California and one from Canada). Never thought of this as a place to honeymoon but now I can see why. One of the wineries had an aroma room which helped me identify the different aromas of wine. It also gave you the aromas for defective wine and now I think I may even be able to better identify if a bottle is corked. Who says there is no learning when wine tasting!!! From 9 am to 6 pm we were wine tasting so after we were dropped off I took the nap of a lifetime. As you can see from the picture below we were all pretty happy at the end of our meal!
We were both sad to leave Mendoza as it gave us a GREAT introduction to Argentina. Keith and I have this game we play of whether or not we would return to the city we have just visited. This is only the second city I have said that about. I have really liked all my travels but you have to realize our love for travel is so great that to return somewhere we have already been is a big deal. So friends and/or family starting pinching your pennies because this is a grand trip for about 6-8 people :)! Fantastic!!
We have traveled throughout the Chilean lake district and are now on a side trip in Bariloche, Argentina. We have our very first flight of the trip in Mid November to meet our friends Joe and Sara in El Calafate, Argentina-the beginning of our Patagonia adventures. I am really stoked about this part of our trip. It’s always been a wish for me to see Patagonia and we will be there through the end of November. Please know that internet could be sparse and I may just detach from the blog awhile. No worry warts please and know that we are having a grand ol’ time seeing glaciers, penguins and hiking through some scenery that will definitely put anything I have ever done to shame. Until next blog……..