A Weekend in the Wineries | Mendoza

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Arriving in Mendoza, all I knew about the town at the foothills of the Andes was that it made good wine. Spending my first day exploring said wineries or bodegas, as they are known here by bicycle, I may still have a way to go with my wine knowledge and tasting skills but I can vouch for the fact they certainly do know their wine! To visit the wineries you catch a bus or taxi out of town and then hire a bike from one of the many rental places in the area. I had been recommended the famed Mr Hugo's bike rental shop and had an inkling I was onto something good when all I had to say to the bus driver was 'Mr Hugo' for him to understand exactly where I was headed. With it being a Saturday, and most of the wineries closed the next day I set off to explore fresh from my night bus from Bariloche hoping, that either en route or once I'd picked up a bike I'd meet some fellow wine 'connoisseurs' to spend the day with.

My concerns about pedalling around wine tastings alone were gone the second I arrived to Mr Hugo's place and was automatically placed with a group of English speakers for an explanation of recommended wineries. Luckily my new friends were more than happy for me to join them for the day and we had a fantastic time pedalling through the vineyards of Mendoza. Our first stop was Carinae, a winery run by two french expats, and perhaps the wine I liked the most, although this could also be due to it being the first stop... From Carinae we went to another winery of a similar size, this one unlike the last was organic. This meant their wine making process was quite different and required much more attention. They also had a story behind each of the wines which was a nice touch and also related to the taste / occasion. Pedalling the short distance across the road we arrived to Tempus Alba, a much bigger and more modern seeming brewery. Here the deal was a little different and we were able to take a self guided tour before stopping on their very nice terrace for some empanadas and of course more wine.

From here our next stop was Trapiche, the largest winery in the area, unfortunately we arrived too late and it was already closed. Our next and final planned stop from Trapiche had been a Beer Garden rather than a winery so we resolved to head in that direction before returning our bikes to Mr Hugo. Taking a left from Trapiche we pedalled in search of the local cerveceria. We got about 10minutes along the road before a police truck pulled up beside us. Unsure what the problem may be we pulled over imagining then worst although unsure what it might be. Their first question, was to ask where we were going, answering the beer garden, they then informed us we were going the wrong way and that they would escort us to our destination! My first police escort and I suspect the last time they will offer directions to a drinking establishment rather than away from one. Ordering ice cold beers on arrival it was nice to kick back and taste something other than wine!

Heading back to town after returning our bikes we planned to meet later for dinner and of course, more wine. Being one of my last nights in Argentina I opted for a steak supper and as has been the precedence with this trip, it was delicious. After a day of wine I decided the following day would be less alcoholic and spent my Sunday exploring a sleepy Mendoza as most things close on a Sunday, reopening around 6pm for dinner services. With this in mind I headed for Mendozas Parque General San Martin which is huge. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Andes the park has loads on offer, from swimming to hiking Cerro de La Gloria, or simply strolls through its many tree lined avenues stopping at the varying food stands when one takes your fancy. I opted for the latter and took a route around the lake below a great way to spend my last day in Argentina.


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