A Journal, with Pictures

South America 2016 — first stop Mendoza, Argentina

by on Feb.10, 2016, under Happenings

This is a buck­et list trip that Joyce and I have been think­ing about for sev­er­al years. Its been 35 years since I have been to Argenti­na and Brazil. Joyce as not been to two of my favorite coun­tries in Latin Amer­i­ca so this is it. Tony Huff­man our friend orga­nizes a incred­i­ble trip for us, we don’t have to lift a fin­ger, just a glass, a fork, a cam­era and a pen to write the check. We leave Thurs­day Jan­u­ary 21 from Savan­nah through Atlanta to San­ti­a­go, Chile then on to Men­doza, Argenti­na. Our first stop is the Cavas Wine Lodge, a vine­yard and first class hotel. We are met by our host/guide Agosti­na Aste­giano and our dri­ver for the one hour dri­ve to our lodge. Then we are checked in to our Casita which is in the Vine­yard itself. We have lunch and then relax before the cook­ing class that we have signed up for. Leo the resort chef turns out to be delight­ful and we have great fun cook­ing empanadas  and a Argen­tine vegetable/chicken dish over an open fire. Its fun and of course we taste wine then enjoy our din­ner, before crash­ing. Our casita is great, the view of the Andes is stun­ning and we get a full nights sleep.

Time for the cook­ing class, we are tired but its so much fun we for­get about it and it means an ear­ly by Argen­tine stan­dards dinner.

The next day after break­fast its off to do some wine tour­ing. Our objec­tive is to learn about Argen­tine wines par­tic­u­lar­ly their vari­etal Mal­bec. We are in the Lujan de Cuyo Val­ley region and start by vis­it­ing a win­ery (Bode­ga) start­ed by an Amer­i­can with an Argen­tine part­ner, the Paul Hobbs win­ery. We then vis­it  and do tast­ing at the Bode­ga Casarena.

After the win­ery vis­its we fin­ish the tast­ing with lunch at Osa­dia de Crear at the the Dominio Del Pla­ta Win­ery. The wines are impres­sive and the lunch is over the top both in terms of the qual­i­ty of the wine and food.

We have din­ner at the lodge, which is of course is very good, with Chef Leo prepar­ing some­thing spe­cial for us.

Sat­ur­day after break­fast we are out again to explore the Men­doza wine coun­try. We start with, what turns out to be our favorite win­ery Bode­ga Bene­gas, which is owned by one of Argenti­na’s old­est wine fam­i­lies. In fact we like one of their wines so well we arrange to have a case shipped to the US. These bot­tles will not be cheap, so only our best friends will ever get a wiff of this ambrosia. The win­ery itself is inter­est­ing in that the found­ing father kept old wine mak­ing tools as well as a col­lec­tion of Gou­cho pon­chos and dec­o­rat­ed the win­ery with his col­lec­tion. The wine was superb par­tic­u­lar­ly their FBL 2010 Blend.

We vis­it Bode­ga Mali­pal and fin­ish with anoth­er great lunch at Vistal­bas. Mali­pal is a mod­ern win­ery and if closed your eyes you would be in Napa Val­ley. It turns out that Agosti­na our guide is not only a won­der­ful per­son she is a wine mak­er her­self as is her hus­band to be. She is a delight to be with and a foun­tain of knowl­edge about Argen­tine wines. We then have a tast­ing lunch Bode­ga Vistalba.

Its time to relax and enjoy Cavas Wine Lodge, who’s own­er is an artist so its not a sur­prise to find a very arty cow in the vine­yard. The grapes are get­ting ripe and we can image that being their dur­ing the crush would be incred­i­ble. We enjoy one last great meal at the Lodge and then in the morn­ing we are off to Bariloche.

No comments for this entry yet...

Comments are closed.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...