Bikes and Wine
Mendoza Travel Blog› entry 20 of 33 › view all entries
December 6th, 2009 – by: lukeandsarah
Of course one of the main reasons for coming to Mendoza is to drink some good wine, so on Saturday we headed off on a bike tour of the Chacras region.
We had a real mix of wineries that we visited. First up was a small family run place specialising in organic wines that was new to the area, such that we were the very first group to be shown around. Although lacking a few aesthetic touches, the guy showing us around was very friendly and knew his stuff - looked at the concrete tanks for fermentation, the cellar, crushing machines and some random barrels of wine that were found at the site when they moved in (tasted ok surprisingly).
Number two was perhaps my favourite, although it is hard to pick. We managed to arrive early for our tour, with the 7 others nowhere to be seen, but this wasn't a problem.
Onwards we headed to a 'medium sized' vineyard for lunch of pizza and wine and then the tour. Probably our least favourite tour, as we were joined by a bus load of tourists and the tastings weren't great.
Fourth up was Alta Vista, owned by a rich Spanish family who also have vineyards in France and Hungary. Nice blend of old and new - concrete tanks for red wine, stainless steel for white. In fact everyone extolled the virtues of concrete over steel as temperature regulation is easier. Least fun job sounds like the cleaning of the tanks. At Alta Vista they told us they keep both tanks and oak barrels small to focus on quality over quantity... but they do produce 3 million bottles a year, compared to 80,000 at the smaller places. Very nice wine here, including a white wine that made Sarah's day.
Final stop, with tired legs from cycling on slightly dodgy bikes, was another small winery that was probably the prettiest we saw.
Great day all round, caught the local bus back to Mendoza and ended up going for dinner at half 10ish - more steak :o) Sunday = day to relax, wander some other parts of the city and lie in hammocks. Busyness of Santiago to come...
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