We arrived early Thursday morning fresh off yet another 15 hour bus and headed for our hostel, Lagares. This hostel is great, so when you are in Mendoza... stay here.
That afternoon we headed off on a half day wine tour where we visited 2 bodegas (vineyards) and an olive oil factory.
The vineyards were Vistandes and Don Arturo, and the olive oil factory was Pasrai.
At the first vineyard, Vistandes we got a tour of their modern factory, complete with huge stainless steel drums to hold the wine during the first and main stage of fermentation - or in other words until it gets to that sweet groggy spot. We also got 2 glasses of wine here, both of which were okay but not our favourite.. To be honest the girl giving the tour seemed more excited to tell us about the electronic music at the night club she worked at on the weekends than the wine, however we learnt all the tricks to looking professional when tasting wine.
LOOKING PRO, QUICK TIPS:
- Hold your wine glass by the stem with 3 fingers around, and 2 underneath the glass.
- Smell wine
- Swirl wine around in a circle (you can do this on the table if it's too hard to evenly swirl in your hand)
- Smell wine AGAIN
- Smell AGAIN
- Repeat with multiple products until satisfied/drunk
Our second stop was the olive oil factory, Pasrai. We learnt that it can take 6-8kg of olives to make just one litre of extra virgin olive oil - no wonder it's not cheap. They had some super tasty olive oils including a garlic one and a rosemary flavoured one. At this point we began to suspect that the hardest thing about Mendoza would be that we have really no space left in our bags to stock up on all the delicious goodies this area has to offer.
At the last stop and second vineyard, Don Arturo we got 4 glasses of wine and a tour of their traditional style wine production. We loved the wine here, and it was cool to see wine being made in the same way it has been for almost one hundred years.
The next post follows a full day biking around Maipu, a town full of many bodegas, distilleries, olive oil and liquor producers.