Sat 25th Aug
After a bit of a shitty down day yesterday, I’m really looking forward to today and it starts well by finding out my hostel has a hair dryer but better than that – straighteners too!!! Woo hoo…go windmill…that’s a definite score of 10 on booking.com!
There are organised tours you can do to the various wineries in the area but the best way to do it is yourself on bicycle. Yoann and I leave around 10am and get a local bus to Maipu. It costs about 50p each way and takes about an hour. The drivers know where the travellers want to go and let you know when you arrive at Maipu Bikes to get off. The guys here are super helpful and give you all the info and prices on the wineries etc and help adjust the bikes. With a plan in tow of where we want to go, we set off down the cycle path in search of our first bodega.
We arrive at El Cerno and it’s oddly shut with a staff member outside. Apparently she has no keys to get in and says it could take up to an hour to get them. We take a stroll around the vineyard but as it’s winter, there isn’t a great deal to look at.
Just as we’re about to leave, someone comes with the keys and it’s a beautiful little farm house full of wines. We opt for a 3 glass taster for only £3 and have 1 glass of espumante and 2 malbec.
The bubbly is lovely and goes down a treat. Following the tips on the wall,
we start in the reds – the first being a young Wayna which neither of us were that keen on.
The second is a Viña el Cerno, a grand reserve (that I now know means has been in the barrel for up to 18 months, a reserve up to 12 and a young wine doesn’t). This is nicer with a better body colour and aroma (the person working there’s words not mine) but I still wasn’t too fussed.
Feeling a bit tipsy, it’s back in the bike to bodega number 2….Mevi. This is in a beautiful location with the Andes forming part of the backdrop.
This is more of a lunch stop but you still get to do some tastings. They have a terrace out the back that overlooks the vineyards and the mountains and it’s a beautiful sunny day so is just perfect.
We get given a place mat that lists all the wines.
We again opt for the 3 glass taster for a similar price and a plate of empanadas (which are definitely the best in Argentina). Put off by the malbec, I opt for a malbec rosé, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Torrontes which is a local white and I thoroughly enjoy them all.
Running a bit late to get to the tour of the next bodega, we’re back on the bikes and definitely a bit tiddly. I’m sure this wouldn’t be legal in the UK! It’s so nice cycling in the sun through the bodega lanes.
Only about 5-10 mins late, we arrive Trapiche – one of the most famous wineries in the region. We join the tour in the garden and walk through the grounds before going through the house and into where all the vats and barrels are.
Out on to a sunny terrace overlooking a beautiful olive garden it’s time to get testing. We have a lovely white and another malbec and a few of us help ourselves to a decent glass from the tester bottles!
After a stroll around the garden and seeing the animals, a pissed Yoann and I get back on the bikes for our last bodega of the day.
We arrive at Domiciano and into a coach load of people. We just have to sit and wait until the staff have dealt with these. 3 American girls from the previous vineyard are here too and join us. Finally the crowd departs and the lady working here treats us all to a free glass of red as way of an apology for having to wait. We choose our wines – another 3 glass tasting and a plate of meats and cheese….perfect! The wines here are really good as well but I’m that pissed I could drink anything now.
We’re a little late back to the bike shop but we still get our complimentary glass of wine (or 2) of these.
Peed as farts, the 5 of us cram in a taxi for a girly giggly taxi ride back to Mendoza – the poor driver! Wot a day though, one of my favourite so far and with great company. A must for anyone going to Mendoza.
Back at the hostel the party continues and it’s bbq night…£5 for food and free flowing wine. All the guests are there and we have a great laugh and all go to a bar for some dancing later in getting in at gone 4 but this part of the night is rather hazy. I feel like shit on Sunday so it must have been a good night!!!