We have crossed back into Argentina to meet with friends Phil and Angie whom we had previously spent some time with last year sampling beer, so this time we decided to sample WINE at some Mendoza wineries. We arranged to meet whilst they were still in Peru and we were in Southern Chile, so it’s a bit like somebody in Scandinavia arranging to meet somebody in Greece for a drink , but never the less we managed it , still doing everything we both wanted to en route. What a fantastic week we had together.
We spent the first couple of nights in a small little village called Potrerillos, about 60 kms from Mendoza , both trucks camped up by a man-made lake which had flooded some time ago, hence there were loads of dead trees in it, which were very magical in the morning and evening sun, a very quiet spot with just the four of us catching up on each others adventures over the past few months , a lot of talking indeed over the camp-fire in the evening.
Mendoza Region is the heart of Argentina’s wine industry and is situated at the foot of the Andes. It is noted for a landscape dominated by plains covered with acres of lush vineyards. This area alone contributes to 70 per cent of Argentina’s wine production and the world-class Malbec is the region’s speciality, and we can vouch for that. Another signature wine is the dry white Torrontes, a dry and fruity wine, which is a cross between American and eastern Mediterranean grape, alongside others such as Syrah, Merlot and Chardonnay. The production of the wine is aided by the area’s altitude and climate, which is temperate and semi-arid offering plenty of sunlight and little rainfall .
So the fun began! We decided to do a tour just outside the city in Maipu , (as here the Malbec grapes are in abundance , bluish-black in colour and are very thin-skinned) and on bikes, or should I say, 2 bikes and one tandem ! YES, a TANDEM. We used Orange Bike , (www.orangebikes.com.ar )and we were met in the morning by the owners , both ever so jolly , given our bikes, no training course or helmets necessary and off we went on our merry way. Never having been on a tandem before , Merv and I decided we would be the guinea pigs and go first ,but over the course of the day we all swapped around. Mind you as the day continued it got easier , its amazing how good wine can have that effect , our only complaint was that the day wasn’t long enough as we didn’t get to do them all, so we went another day on a walking tour. A superb time was had by all of us, it really is a fun day out , or in our case , a fun 2 days sampling wine !
Have a look at the video to see how we enjoyed the day !