It is no secret that I love a good glass of vino.
Ever since I was little I have enjoyed wine. I remember being so excited as a kid whenever I would be allowed to have a small sip on special occasions.
As a result, I have sought out some wonderful wine tastings during my time, the most memorable being in the Barossa Valley which is conveniently located just a stones throw from my childhood home; and also in South Africa’s Cape Winelands.
So, when I starting planning a trip to Argentina, it went without saying that I would be paying a visit to Mendoza, a wine region famous for one wine – the malbec.
We had two full days to spend in this stunning wine region, and the success of each day was vastly different.
On our first day in Malbec, we thought that we could just wing it and walk to some wineries that were located right next to each other.
That plan didn’t exactly work out.
Our first problem was that the wineries were actually much more spread out than they appeared on the map, which wouldn’t have been such an issue, except that after walking a long, long way… almost all of them were freaking closed!
After hours of this I had pretty much lost hope that the day was even slightly salvageable, but luckily, one beautiful winery came through for us!
I can’t remember of this winery, or which region it was in, but the tasting was excellent, the location was stunning, and it was kind of exactly what I’d had in mind when I envisioned my time in Mendoza.
The afternoon may have turned out okay in the end, but I was in no mood to have another day of such ups and downs, so despite it being a bit of a blow to my budget, I decided to book a guided day trip to the Uco Valley region.
This ended up being an absolutely fantastic decision, and my father and I had an absolutely perfect day tasting and enjoying Argentinian wine.
Our first stop of the day was Pulenta Estate.
I was eager to get on with it and try some wine, but first, a short tour of the estate was in order.
Most of the winery was what you’d expect…
…but the luxury car engines were an unusual (and welcome) touch!
After a short tour of the winery, it was time for the main event – a tasting!
The only downside of a wine tasting is that it requires a little restraint. When I see wine, I just want to drink it! When doing a tasting you are encourage to take it slow and really savour everything, which is great and all, but I’ve never been great at practicing patience.
Once all the vino had been consumed, it was on to the next destination, Sophenia.
Most winery or cellar door tours are pretty much the same, but this particular tour showed us more of the post production processes, which were actually very interesting. I’d never seen wine being labelled before, and it required much more heavy duty machinery than I would’ve thought!
This tasting was quite similar, but unlike at Pulenta where the malbec had been the standout, at Sophenia I found myself quite partial to the cabernet franc.
Papa Burne is a wine lover also, and we had such an enjoyable day together. I always love spending time with my Dad, but adding wine to the mix just makes it the recipe for a perfect day.
After another few generous servings at Sophenia, it was time for us to find some food to fill our bellies, and luckily, such a place was only a little way away.
I can’t for the life of me remember the name of this vineyard – I am usually quite diligent about making notes too, but I was a few more than several glasses deep at this point, and this note-taking was quite quickly pushed to the wayside. Whoops!
At least I still had the capacity to take photos of our delicious meal. These pictures are hardly groundbreaking, but they are in focus, which honestly, is a miracle in and of itself!
After devouring every morsel and managing to sober up a little, I had time for one more stroll amongst the vines. I had been a little doubtful about going on this day tour (they are ridonkulously expensive) but honestly, the day had been perfect, the wine delicious and it required absolutely no effort to organise.
I have been travelling for a long time, and have done an unbelievable amount of my own planning, organising, navigating and problem solving over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I love all those parts of the travel life, but still, it is quite nice to be able to switch off from all that every once in a while.
In the end, going on this guided tour made my time in Mendoza what I’d hoped it would be, so for that, it was definitely worth the moolah.
Getting to Mendoza: Mendoza is well serviced by domestic flights and buses within Argentina, as well as international flights and buses from Chile
Day Trips to the Uco Valley: Day trips can be organised on arrival through Trout and Wine
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with the M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses
Remember: It’s easy to get caught up in always doing something the cheapest possible way – but sometimes splashing a little cash is just simply worth the easiness that it provides