We decided to go to Mendoza because it is the best known wine region in Argentina. On our way to begin our day that we expected to full of wine we drove past the snow capped Andes. None of us expected to see such a beautiful site so casually. Especially seeing that Courts and I haven’t seen much snow in our lives. The trip from Mendoza to Maipu (the region with all the wine farms) was ment to take us 40 minutes, but after catching a bus that broke down then being put on a different bus only to realize it wasn’t the right bus then walking to find the right bus, we finally arrived 3 hours later.
We rented bikes from Maipu Bikes. This company was great, for R85 (USD 6.50) we got the bike for the day and we were able to have all you could drink wine at the end of our day. The company also gave us a great map with all the different wine farms and the cost for the wine tastings.
Our first stop of the day was Tempus Alba, which was a 4 km ride from the bike shop. The farm had a beautiful vineyard and an abundance of olive trees. This wine farm is a micro brewery, and had a self guided tour in which you could learn about the history of the farm and how the wine was made. We did a tasting here for R55 (USD 4) and got to try three different wines. I tried their Merlot, Tempranillo and of course- their Malbec. All of the wines were delicious, and the setting was breathe taking as we could still see the snow capped mountains.
Our second and final wine farm was Trapiche. We cycle 2 km from the first farm to get to this farm. Trapiche was established in 1833, and is the largest producer of wine in Argentina. Their wines can be found in over 80 countries. It can be found in Woolworths in a South Africa, how exciting! We were given a really informative tour around the farm followed by a great tasting. The guy giving us the tasting was great! We were only meant to taste three wines, but he gave us four and to end the tasting he gave us a palate cleanser which happened to be their sparkling wine. The wines we tasted included their Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Savioung and their Allegro. We loved all their wines and again, the setting was just beautiful.
We ended our bike tour by going for lunch. We ate at Antigua Residencia. Jess and I finally got out cheese board which we had been searching for all day. It was paired with a Malbec from a wine farm called El Plata. This was really relaxing and the food was delicious.
To end our day we returned our bikes to the shop and headed over to their microbrewery for their bottomless Malbec. The wine was great and we were taking advantage. Possibly not our brightest idea seeing as we had to catch an 8 hour bus to Chile later that night.
We had a lovely day cycling between the olive trees, vineyards and looking at the beautiful scenery.