Making it to Mendoza

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End May 25, 2009

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Flag of Argentina  , Cuyo,
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mendoza is a small city, compared to Cordoba, and its much more my kind of place...   Theres supposed to be lots of stuff to do, but the main attraction of Mendoza is the countless vineyards... around 80% of Argentinas wine is produced here.  So Tom and I (once again) got some bikes and set off to do a day long tour of some of the wineries...  By the way, I cant take any photos at the moment... which is really annoying... but Tom has been letting me use his (inferior) camera every now and then, so Im just using his :) ;)

So we started off by going to a wine museum... but there were no tours in English at the time, so we just went straight to the tasting area and had a nice taster of wine... I should probably mention that almost all the wine in this area is red, so I was very pleased, and Tom was not so pleased...haha

That was a nice introduction to the day, bearing in mind it was about 11am... we carried on to the chocolate and liquor place marked on our maps... The lady there showed us a very large selection of liquors - cream liquors, chocolate liquors, fruit liquors, different whiskeys, port, etc, etc... - and then took us for a sit-down and tasting session... We were allowed one type of liquor each... Tom went for a caramel-y one, and I had chocolate and banana...  Then we tasted some preserves and shared a couple of baskets of chocolate with the two other girls on our leg of the tour...

And so it was, we hopped back on our bikes and headed to the first winery of the day, which was the only modern one on the list... There was no guide, only a lot of signs giving us information on the wine making process, and the ethics and morals of the family running that particular winery.  This particular family used a blend of French and American oak to get the right flavour for them, and select only the top 22% of the grapes that they grow for use in their wines.  When wed finished wandering around, we went to the balcony where we got three tasters... two of our own selection and the last one their premium-posh-Id-never-afford-a-bottle wine...  We also got instructions on how to "inspect" the wine... so we were swilling it round in the glasses and sniffing it and looking for the "tears" - when you swish the wine in the glass, the slower the tears falls down, the fuller bodied the wine...  All three were fantastic, but my old favourite was still my favourite, good old Cabinet Sauvignon!

I did take some notes at that winery, but then was animatedly telling a story and managed to waste some of my taster, straight all over my notepad... oops!!  Having polished off all the tasters, Tom and I, ever so slightly wobblier than before, hopped back on the bikes and headed towards a more traditional winery on the map.  This one just gave us our tasters for a small fee and sent us on our way, but the people running it were very nice and interested in chatting...  And Tom finally got himself a nice glass of white too!

We skipped the lunch because it was a bit too expensive... so were feeling much less than sober by the time we headed to the next place... wed also picked up a pretty big gang of people by then, with everyone swerving a fair bit as they cycled from one place to the next.

We visited three more wineries, each using different methods, some more traditional than others, and also an olive oil factory... by that time no-one was very interested in olives though, so we just popped in, ate the sun-dried tomato on bread at the door and popped off again...!

The cycle back to the bike place was the wobbliest of all, but we all made it in one piece... a little bit later than we were supposed to be, but in one piece nonetheless...

Im not sure what else were going to get up to in Mendoza, but since its Friday, we may well be off to check out the nightlife this evening... 

Our plans now are to get to Santiago in plenty of time for our flights on 27th July, and, money and snow-report permitting, to go snowboarding in Portillo...  Watch this space!
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Where I stayed
Life House Hostel


yourmother on

I'm home.... and you're just a wee bit tiddly!!
Hi Zoe

I got home last night after a really FULL-ON week! However it was worth every penny. The Totors were amazing and the people on the course really lovely and easy to get on with. They came from all walks of life with interesting stories to tell, so it's been motivating to say the least. Every day we had a workshop at 10am and every afternoon a tutorial with one or other of the tutors, alternating each day; then there was work to do up-dating poems that the tutors had edited (there was a lot of that going on!!!) but it was really fantastic and has helped me to find some direction and less confusion too!!
The down-side was the accommodation for me as my room was in a separate building and to get to it I had to climb a steep hill, which felt like a penance, then there were three fire doors to encounter, so that wasn't great and my food wasn't brilliant either, so once having accepted that this was going to be the case... I just made the best of it. A lesson in NOT doing things at the last minute!!! Still, I managed the week quite well I thought, even to the point of going for a rest one afternoon, sleeping through my alarm and firemen absailing up and down the building where I was sleeping!!! You think I'm joking... I thought they were joking when they told me, but, it's true!
So now it's back to the grind for a few days and then I'm well and truly on holiday. We have our picnic on Thursday and then the next event is our 60's workshop on August 2nd which I've had 20 external bookings for, so that's brilliant!!
So Zoe, hopefully you'll have recovered from the wine-tasting by now, it sounded really interesting though, and you've sampled the night life and planned the next leg of your journey. Hope Sue got the cards OK. I asked her to let me know, but she hasn't done!!
Sorry I missed you on messgr last night!!
I'll be ringing your Dad a bit later on it's only 9.30am and I'll drop you a short email later. I think he was in London all last week, so maybe he couldn't access his emails, not too sure!
So will be in touch soon. Glad to hear that you sound as if you're having a great time with no more hair raising moments..... til's soon then!
Take care and I love you lots and lots!! Mum xxxxx

kallendar on

Very interesting Zoe, sounds like a lovely time was had. You will have to teach me your new wine tasting skills on your return.


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