(Part of a series of articles by Fi trawling the archives for photos taken on the tiny compact camera way back when).
Bicycle winery tour? What an excellent idea! This was my first time riding a bike with no brake leaver. The only way to stop was to back pedal and this concept didn’t prove to be instinctive but hey, riding a bike whilst tipsy is fun. It was a wonderfully crisp and bright day and a fantastic way to experience Mendoza – bezzing around country tracks between vineyards and olive groves stopping every now & then to sample the local produce, we could not have asked for a more chilled out day.
While I’m quite sure that we learnt so much that day, the knowledge seems to have disappeared into a wine haze. One gurn-inducing fact that I do remember is that the Giol winery used to add Bulls blood to their red wine, blurgh! Giol used to be the largest winery in the world and it’s not difficult to believe when you walk through the rows and rows of giant oak barrels. In the cooler underground cellar sit the ceramic vats for white wine. Our guide allowed us to crawl inside one – the tiny door opened out into a 250,000 litre vat. Imagine that much wine! It was pitch black in there, our only light source being the occasional flash from our camera. The acoustics were unbelievable and we spent a good few minutes jumping around and shrieking like children before it was time to crack on with the important stuff – tasting!
The Bodega Lopez winery was definitely my favourite of the day. Possibly because they included champagne. It was all yum! Brazilian Cachaca on the other hand is lethal but when offered it as a final tipple at the end of our day well, it would be rude to decline 🙂 Mendoza was a perfect introduction to Argentina and we were soon heading off on our way to Buenos Aires it what turned out to be an amazing overnight bus journey.