Argentina has been in the international wine scene since the 1990s, when smaller batches of high-quality wine started being produced over larger batches of low-quality wine. Bonarda, Malbec, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are all produced in this dry-arid region. There are over 1,500 wineries and the list of wine is endless…
Photo credit. Mendoza’s wine regions.
Domiciano Vineyard in Maipú. We had two days in Maipú- unexpectedly- and two days of wine-tasting at Domiciano- also unexpectedly, which did happen to have amazing wine. We first did a DIY bike-tour through Maipú, which is not the beautiful, lush green, mountain vista vineyards that you would imagine yourself biking through when someone says “bike + wine + vineyard”. More like disheveled-stray-barking-dog type of thing, where you can’t actually FIND the vineyards. But alas, we decided for a second try and booked a 5-hour shuttle tour for the next day, going to two vineyards in Maipú- Domiciano again and a smaller winery- an olive oil factory and a chocolate factory.
Olive oil tasting at an olive production factory. The chocolate in Argentina? Not as impressive.
So why does Argentina have so much (amazing) steak? The Spanish + the geography + the invention of refrigerated trains in the 19th century. Once again, we found ourselves eating “the best steak we have ever had”.
A Closed Mountain Pass
Did someone say “Cancel class and close the pass”? A famous quote by Tim Loes. 9′ of snow on the Argentinian/Chilean border, Libertadores. We had planned to spend two nights in Mendoza and move on to Chile, however 9′ of snow on a pass in Chile doesn’t get plowed very fast. And did I mention Argentinian airline workers decided to strike on the very two days we were trying to leave? So two nights turned in to six nights in wine country…
Termas de Cacheuta. A day at the thermal bathes outside of Mendoza.
Cacti outside Termas de Cacheuta.
Happiness soaking in thermal hot waters.
One of the five main plazas in Mendoza: Plaza Independencia, Plaza España, Plaza Italia, Plaza Chile and Plaza San Martín.
The new city-center of Mendoza can be seen to the right- a main square (big green) with four squares surrounding, created after the 1861 earthquake, which killed 1/3 of the population at the time.
This guy is making us the “best steak of our lives”. Parrilla in Argentina.
Hangar 52 brewery. Amazing beer! Amazing atmosphere.
Time to get on a bus- anywhere between 18 and 30 hours “con suerte” (with luck)- our only option for getting into Chile to meet our schedule. We will travel way south in order to get north. South America. Next stop- Santiago!