Frozen Grapes

Trip Start Apr 12, 2012
Trip End Jun 09, 2012

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Where I stayed
Algodon Wine Estates

Flag of Argentina  , Mendoza,
Thursday, April 26, 2012

    The first leg of our bus tour was a success. A few days ago we went to the main
bus terminal in BA and bought 4 tickets. We did our research before going so
we knew what bus companies go to each of our destinations. Otherwise, we would have
been overwhelmed by the 40+ companies to choose from. This first trip to wine
country was a 12 hour overnight bus ride. We arrived at the San Rafael bus station
at 8:30am, walked to the center of town and grabbed coffee and breakfast.  It's
a 20 minute city bus ride to the wine estates. The leaves are changing and it is
unseasonably cold.  We were looking forward to taking one of the golf carts out for a
joy ride.
    The over cast skies and freezing temperature kept us close to the fire for our
2 days at Algodon (cotton in Spanish). The 5 star accommodations helped. After
checking in, we bundled up and cruised the property in a golf chart.  Algodon is a 9 hole
golf and tennis club with plans to add an additional 9 holes and spa. The
developers have mapped out 100 lots for sale, either on the course or in the
vineyard. At this point, only a few houses have gone up. Other than dinner,
everything was included. In the ProShop, we grabbed a set of clubs and had some
fun at the driving range. Sheila was a natural, and I was a more than rusty.
After replacing all the divots, we drove the course which wraps around the
vineyard. At hole #7, the cart died and we had to walk back to the lodge. Minus
the cold, it felt great to get fresh air, exercise and watch the wild dogs run
    Dinner at Algodon was phenomenal. Once seated in the small lodge, a bowl of
soup was served with a wine pairing. The large stone fire place warmed the room
and the staff was more than friendly. The small gourmet menu included rabbit
stuffed ravioli and spinach cannolis smothered in a seafood cream sauce. The
next night, we had filet and pork with housemade bbq sauce. The wine continued
to the flow and we found room for dessert. Dinner each night was the highlight
of our stay.
    Julieta took us for the wine tour. The vineyard has lots of history, grape vines
dating back to 1945. Currently, the winery only produces 20% of their grapes
and sells the rest because of limited fermentation tanks. They use their barrels
3 times and then use them for decoration in the restaurant and lodge. They also
use the left over stems, skin and seeds as fertilizer. The labels are placed on
each bottle by hand. They also make their own olive oil, which is delicious.
First time I've seen olive trees:) It rained a bit so we couldn't play tennis.
They have 7 clay courts and one other grass. For a nice surprise, we hung out with
a mama and her 6 cute, closed-eye puppies. The mom was spoiled by all the
guests, eating bacon and filet!  Sometimes the mom would roll on one of the pups
and we would have to pull it out from under her.

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