Mendoza, the wine capital of South America and producer of some of the best wines in the world. We spent two days in the Hostel Independencia and enjoyed lots of steak and wine (in my case, beer mostly). I have never been a wine drinker as it takes me back to the “poor” student days of cheap wine and bad hangovers but I decided that since we are in world famous wine county, it would be wrong to skip out on a winery tour and wine tasting excursion. More on that soon. There are tonnes of other possible excursions here (more than we have had available in other places) but we only had two days here which I feel was half of what we should have had. Rock climbing, hiking, sky diving,vineyards and a multitude of museums make Mendoza a very tourist friendly spot.
Most of us signed up for a vineyard tour that required cycling for 12 km between vineyard for wine tasting. What we didn’t know was that the receptionist at the hostel misunderstood the request and booked us the “recommended” vineyard tour (which coincidentally cost the same at 100 Argentinian pesos). This turned out to be good thing as a massive night of partying with return times around 5am left many feeling rather tender (since I was basically the only one NOT on wine, I was fine :-P ) and a 12km bike ride would have been torture for them.
I have visited vineyards before and had a tour of the processes involved in making wine so that was familiar. It was the typical walk fom the grape squashing section to fermentation tanks and finally storage in the cellar. What I have not had before was someone explain exactly how to analyse a glass of wine to determine if it is good or not. The colors, the smells, the tears and the taste. I may still not enjoy wine (well, white wine is better) but at least I know how to identify a good wine from a bad one :-P
As said before, wish we had more time here. When I do make my way back to South America I will ensure to take a weekend out and head to Mendoza. Really want to do the rock climbing as the rock is called Gigantes del Diablo (how awesomely intimidating is that?!). The time we did have here was spent more socially. Met a bunch of very cool and interesting people that I would like to see again. This was also the first time we could get to know the new arrivals on our tour as all people really do on the truck during drive days is sleep.