Biking the Wineries
Coquimbito Travel Blog› entry 79 of 177 › view all entries
Well, a very active day for us today! For two people who have become relativly unfit, we are very proud to say we cycled about 25 kms today, fortified along the way by wine, bread, cheese and olive oil!! We caught the local bus to the town of Coquimbito where we were accosted by a couple of touts from a bicycle company. As they were half the price of what we thought we were going to pay, and their bikes looked pretty good, we went with them. So, 30 pesos later, off we went on our bikes, being laughed at by all the locals as we were wearing helmets (not common here, but when you see the South American style of driving, we wouldn´t go near a bike without at least that little bit of extra protection!).
Back onto the bikes for another couple of kilometres ride around to Tempus Alba, which appeared to be quite a new vineyard, but as we couldn´t find anyone there, we left! There was a self-guided tour on a piece of A4 paper, and a wine bar upstairs where we assume tastings could be had, but no sign of people. Went across the road to Viña el Cerno, for a most enjoyable tasting where we met another couple of Aussies, and had a good chat to them while testing 5 of the winery´s offerings.
Next ride was quite long, and our legs were starting to feel it a bit. Stopped at Bodega Flia di Tommaso, one of the few family owned wineries still around. The tour here was very brief, just past the old brick vats (which are now used for bottle storage as there is no fermentation done on site anymore), down through an old vat into the cellars and up back into the tasting area. Tasting and tour cost 5 pesos, and we got to try 4 varieties, including a dessert wine. Meals were available, but were a bit pricey (although sounded very nice) and also a bit too much food for when cycling, so we carried on to our last one, Boutique Winery Carinae.
We then walked the bikes across the road to the Olivicola Laur for a tour of the olive oil factory. We saw some 100 year old trees in the grove, and then had a look at some of the old pressing machinery before seeing the modern equipmet. At the end, we were given a large plate of bread, sundried tomatoes and olive oil to try - delicious, and just what we needed before cycling back to Coquimbito.
Only thing remaining was the cycle back to the township, which actually wasn´t too bad as there was a very slight downhill slope so could coast a bit. Got the bus back to Mendoza, and had a dinner of wine, olives, cheese, salami and sundried tomatoes, all bought during the day - perfect!
A WORD OF ADVICE: small change is almost impossible to find in Argentina, like Bolivia. The buses only take exact money of abour 1,10 pesos, but to actually get the coins is a task in itself. No-one ever has them, so save your coins carefully!