What we’ll do for wine

There is a hazard to becoming comfortable with the Internet as a research tool. Yesterday provided more than a few reminders.

I’m something of a railroad fan, preferring riding the rails to most other forms of transportation. I’ll take subways, streetcars, fast trains, slow trains, funiculars or roller coasters. Finding out that taking the light rail to Maipu for our bicycling wine tour is not recommended by the internet experts was disappointing. The light rail station, it seems, is too far away from the wineries and bicycle rentals to make a good day of it.

Longish story made somewhat shorter: After an bus ride that took over an hour to go fifteen kilometers we were dropped off in the middle of Maipu, about a block from a winery about twelve thirty. We didn’t visit that winery since we were heading for a bicycle rental that we were confident was at the city center. Getting conflicting information from many sources we wandered a bit, finally finding someone at a bus stop who knew where we’d find a visitor information center. Along the way we happened upon an open cafe and had lunch. By this time it was close to 2PM and our hotel all carb breakfast had worn off by then.

At the visitors center we were told that the bicycle rental was at across the street from the train station. We were then provided the wrong bus numbers and bus stop location for the train station. We got to the train station about 330 and decided we should just go back to Mendoza and try again in the morning.

The air conditioned train took us to a few blocks from our hotel in about 20 minutes. We got home early enough to watch the sunset behind the Andes from a rooftop bar at a nearby hotel. It was a nice sunset, and difficult to photograph with a phone camera. Here is the best shot I could muster.

This morning we took the light rail to Maipu again, arriving about 10 AM, rented our bikes, bought tickets to a couple wineries and pedaled about 8 kilometers on a slight uphill grade to our first stop. It was not a winery, but an olive oil factory that provide very detailed tours and information on olive oil. We actually learned a lot we didn’t know about olive oil. The oil tasting was well done and we could not pass up purchasing a couple bottles at a very good price.

The olive oil fit easily into my back pack and we continued our uphill ride for another two kilometers to the a family run winery that produces an amazing amount of wine that is certified organic. The last 500 meters was on a gravel road through the vineyards and olive groves to a small winery.

The tour was conducted by a young woman who recently relocated to Mendoza from Bordeaux where she had worked in the wine industry. She gave an excellent tour and an informative tasting. The wines had flavors I had never experienced and I was compelled to buy a bottle and add it to my backpack.

Traveling downhill two kilometers to the next winery was fairly easy. This one was more highly mechanized and industrial and was not open for tours until later in the afternoon. We had a tasting that was unusual in my experience. A young woman had us sit on a leather sofa where she poured three generous samples, described the wines, then left us alone with the samples and left the bottles with us.

They were good wines, but we were somewhat distracted when we were joined by a young Austrian man and had an interesting conversation about travel, history and politics. He is a student of language and consequently has a deep knowledge of history, geography and culture.

We could not find the restaurant that had been recommended, and decided we’d had enough fun for one day and came back to our hotel.

We leave in the morning for Santiago, Chile.We will start our day at a rooftop restaurant for a morning view of the Andes and then walk to the bus station for a six hour ride through the Andes. I’m looking forward to that.

We’ll be in touch.

One thought on “What we’ll do for wine

  1. Elizabeth (Liz) Amezquita Arnold February 8, 2019 / 9:13 am

    Wow, it’s a great escape for me sit for a few minutes to read your blog and get lost in your journey! Paula, you look great….as always! Salud!!


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