Trout & Wine Wine Tour
03.04.2010 - 03.04.2010 21 °C
I´m so happy to finally be able to begin with a positive statement. It was wonderful! I highly recommend this kind of tour if you have no time for nonsense, non-English speaking tours with 30 people. This is THE way to go. I had such a great time. Michelle the tour guide from Trout & Wine was lovely and knowledgeable and yes, an English speaker.
We visited some excellent wineries today, starting with a French family-owned 85 year old winery called Carinae, named after one of the constellations in the sky. The wines were excellent and I was seeing stars at 10AM. I loved the Octan´s wine, which is the couple´s baby wine, perfect with meats. There were some nice Malbecs, Syrahs, Cabarnets and one stunning Torrentes, which I love and I dont generally like white wines. It was a great experience and definitely opened my appetite for more. All around the winery was a lovely vineyard and an original home which is now the tasting room, with a kitchen right out of the 40´s or 50´s. Beautiful.
Later we visited Bodega Terrazas de los Andres, which is really a gorgeous complex I wish I could call home. We had an amazing wine tasting on a long Tuscan-style wooden table, thick in density and long enough to seat 16 people. It was wonderful so see all the wine glasses presented so beautifully and the elements of vanilla, spice, dulce de leche and cinammon laid out before us. The tastings were wonderful and it was so much fun to sit there and flirt with all these wine varieties, trying to find which one appeals the most. The entire experience was so awesome, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.
After 9 glasses of wine at this point, it was time for lunch at Ruca Malen, a beautiful vineyard and winery close to the Chilean border. Myself, along with a few other travelers, sneaked a little tasting off the vine to indulge in 100% malbec...wonderful! The dinner can not be concluded with any other word apart from regal[i].
We had 7 different types of wine including my new passion, Torrentes which comes from Cafayate...not to be missed! The food was delicious, the views were breath taking and the company around me was lovely. This was exactly what I needed and I finally found it, if only for a short while. I dont remember the last time I had such an indulgence-oriented meal.
Finally, our last stop was at Bodega Altavista, originally Spanish but bought by a French family linked to the ever famous Chandon. Little guinea pigs played in the grass across the estate and the birds were singing and the wind was whistling and some of the grapes were already harvested. We visited the winery after yet another 5 tastings and toured the place with a glass of champagna. At this point, anything they would tell me I would believe without question. I was so drunk but very content. On the drive back, the conclusion of the day was that this tour was worth every penny. Seeing all the effort that goes into the bottle of vino is fascinating, its a science to the last sip. I loved it.
When I got back to the hotel, which by the way is also a BIG NO NO (Hotel Carollo), I was supposed to have enjoyed a transfer back to the airport but instead had to lose my mood and awaken the temper when I encountered poor, poor service at this place. There are so many options and its so much better to go for a hostel (Monkey or Lao, personally) and its a big lesson when coming to a place like Mendoza. I was really fed up with the whole atmosphere of this city and lack of personable service and caring I hopped into a taxi two hours before my flight and hung out at the airport, where the sales lady at the gift shop was so nice she practically redeemed the entire city of Mendoza with her kindness.
I was very happy to finally be going back to Buenos Aires.