Returned yesterday from three days in Argentina’s wine country, the area around Mendoza, at the front range of the Andes. We were three: Holly and me, plus an old foreign service friend we first met years ago in South Africa. We stayed in a 2-BR cottage on the grounds of Casa Glebinias in the village (a little south of Mendoza) of Chacras de Coria, in the area of Lujan de Cuyo — heart of the wine country of Argentina. The front range of the Andes rises steeply as the backdrop (reminiscent of the Rockies behind Denver, but higher); everything else is vineyards (miles and miles of vineyards), the houses (and sometimes hovels) of vineyard workers, the upscale houses of people making a good living from wine, and the mansions of those who own large vineyards. Every narrow road is lined with tall, old poplars and sycamores. There is welcome and necessary shade everywhere there are not vines — it was well over 100 degrees F this past midsummer weekend, spiking up the sugar in all those grapes.
A few photos from where we spent the weekend. Click on any picture to enlarge to full size.
We visited three wineries, took one winery tour, ate two winery lavish lunches where each course is matched with the appropriate wine, and one of the wineries had such wonderful wines, and is so small that there is limited production and distribution, that we are having three cases shipped to us — scheduled to arrive tomorrow, so come on over.
Here are some winery and vineyard photos. Again, clicking one makes it bigger.
We bought three cases from the Bodega Clos de Chacras: one merlot, one medium Malbec and one (bust the budget) premium Malbec. This small, nearly tiny, vineyard was built by an Italian in the late 1800s; when Argentines were drinking mostly table wines and not premium wines, he abandoned the vineyard but kept ownership of the property. in the later 1980s, the granddaughter of the original owner brought it back to life and is running it as a family operation. Don’t miss this bodega if you are in the area.
The Bodega Belasco de Baquedano has one of the rare “aroma rooms,” where you can sample many of the different aromas that a wine might produce, from great to horrible. Bodegas commonly have a tasting room, but this is the first aroma room we have ever encountered. That alone (although the lunch tasting is fantastic) is worth the trip.
Back home now, and with this blog post done, I’m off to the café to see if I remember how a writer writes.
Categories: Places and Travel