We’ve arrived in Argentina, our fifth country on this tour of South America and the country we’ve been looking forward to the most. We took a seven hour bus ride from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina. Despite being set in the middle of a desert, Mendoza is serious wine country… and we are serious wine drinkers!
For the past 3 1/2 months as we travelled through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and even parts of Chile we had been dying for a really nice glass of wine. “Wait for Argentina!” had become our mantra! And now that we’re here, we’re taking full advantage of the beautiful red wines that are produced in this area.
The best way to tour around the wineries here is by bike. We took two different bike rides in two different wine regions with two different sets of friends during our time in Mendoza. We were doubly lucky in our wine-tasting-experience!
Our first time on the bikes was in the Chacras area of Mendoza with James and Briony. We grabbed our bikes and set off for Clos du Chacras. We did the tour of the winery and saw all their dusty old bottles aging in the cellar before tasty the yummy wines in their beautiful restaurant. They also supplied a plate of cheese and raisins, which was very welcome! When you’re biking and drinking all day a little bit of food is needed.
From there we tried a few more places before reaching Pulmary, an organic winery where we planned to have a quick lunch before setting off for more tasting. But once we settled into the gorgeous garden at Pulmary with a bottle of Cab Sav open in front of us and our steaks being grilled over a wood fire, we weren’t in any hurry to leave. We spent the rest of the afternoon sipping and chatting and eating. Best Thursday afternoon ever? Possibly!
Our second day of bike riding and wine tasting was with Ilona and Nils, and lovely Dutch couple that we met at our hostel in Mendoza. I was very worried about spending the day biking with Dutch people, as the Dutch are basically BORN riding bikes. However, Ilona and Nils were very kind and went at a pace that even I could keep up with!
This time we went to the Maipu area of Mendoza. It was a scorching hot day and we were sweaty and happy and a little sunburnt as we sampled locally made olive oils, artesanal beers and, of course, lovely wines! We were having an asado (Argentinian BBQ) back at our hostel that night, so Andy and I skipped lunch to save room for all that steak!
All of the wines that we’ve tasted in Mendoza have been fantastic, made even better by enjoying them in the company of some really lovely new friends. It was worth the wait to get to Argentina!