Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
91Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Saturday was a day for vino and finding out more about the heart and soul of Argentina´s wine region - Mendoza. We decided to head to Maipu one of the main wine areas located about 12 km south of Mendoza. Our very helpful hostel owner organised a taxi to collect us at ten which drove us to the town where we got bikes - our mode of transport for the day. We also got a map and the two of us headed off on our wine tour.
First stop was La Rural, a nice museum. We spent the time wandering around the property on our own tour. The staff were either too busy getting ready for their end of harvest party or looking at photos of the Argentina Oscars equivalent. We got to take some great pics including the inside of an empty concrete Vat. As expected, there was alot of concrete! We helped ourselves to a bottle of wine and did our own tastings while the 5 ladies were busy checking out the frocks from awards night or what they could aspire to..if they sold more wine..
We departed and headed for the 2nd stop Historia Y Sabores. Chocolate, liquors and jams. Ailbhe was well impressed. We tasted hazelnut liquors with chocolate, stayed away from the Irish creams and tried a nice assortment of jams - some of them had a bit of a kick! By this stage i was ready for more wine history - Ailbhe wanted to stay longer, but it was time to hit the road..
We decided to not stick to the original map and plan that the bike company gives to all bike riders. We decided to head to Lopez Bodega. It is one of the biggest wine producers in the country. We arrived at the vineyard at 12:10 and were told we might be able to attend the tour at 12:30. Then we found out that it was in Spanish. After chatting to the friendly staff, Rodrigues said that if no more people turned up, he would give the tour in English. In the meantime, we tasted a Champagne then a lovely Malbec, then it was on with the tour. We were very impressed with the Lopez tour and enjoyed it loads. We gave Rodrigues a 5 peso tip for his time and valuable information. As we went back into the shop to buy our souvenirs we were surprised to receive a bottle of wine and 2 key rings each... We were shocked and very overwhelmed with our gifts. It was a nice surprise.
We hit the road again with our extra bottles in tow and went back in search of the original route
was back on the bikes to the next Bodega Vina El Cerno. It was only 200 metres up the road. We were told to wait for the tour. The tour began without us as we were told to wait for the bell to ring... (just like school), but the bell did not ring so we headed to the wine tasting. Ailbhe and I shared four different wines for 25 pesos. They were all nice and different. We then departed and got chatting to a French guy and Polish guy who were sitting outside on the grass, having their lunch. They had both been living in Dublin for a few years - in Cabra - and had all the Dublin quotes and one liners!
We then departed and headed to a family vineyard called Flia Di Tomasso. We just wanted to relax and sample a glass of the local product each..the staff was dismayed as everyone else had come for lunch. We weren't hungry. It was good option in the end as everyone else we spoke to were made to wait a while for their food.
Most people ended the day at that Bodega. We decided to keep going to one of the last stops called Bodega Carinae. It was a small lovely French owned and run vineyard. We had a lovely tour in English and were treated to some lovely wines. We met the owner, bought 2 bottles and then headed for the long road back. We made it back in no time at all.
Jumped on the bus and headed back to the hostel after a great day.