|Wayne & Pat River Rafting|
the Mendoza River - Argentina
|Lazin' on the Mendoza River|
in the Andes Mountains - Argentina
|Beautiful Tree Lined Streets|
- Mendoza, Argentina
|Zuccard Bodega (Winery) - Mendoza, Argentina|
|Wayne After Drinking Illegal Absenta|
at Club del Oliva - Mendoza, Argentina
|Hamburger from Argentina|
- Andes Mountains
|Anna Bistro - Mendoza, Argentina|
|Andes Mountains - Argentina|
Mendoza, the capital of Argentina's premier wine region, makes for a unique travel experience.
Near the Andes Mountains with over 1,000 wineries, the Mendoza region produces 70% of Argentina’s wine and is centered around the university city of Mendoza with a population of about a million.
Unique to the city of Mendoza are the centuries old aceguias (exposed stone ditches used as irrigation canals) which run alongside many of the wide avenues supplying water to the thousands of trees that provide welcome shade from temperatures reaching 100F+ degrees during the summer (January in the southern hemisphere).
Founded in 1561, Mendoza is built around the central main square Plaza Independencia. The plaza boasts some nice buildings, restaurants, and even some street shows. Wide sidewalks, tree-lined streets, fountain-filled plazas give Mendoza a pleasant atmosphere.
We went on a wine tasting tour visiting three of the nearly 1,000 bodegas (wineries) in this area - San Huberto, Cecchin, and Zuccardi (see photos) in the two best wine regions: Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu. Malbec is the wine varietal Mendoza is known for.
We met a group of buyers from Bevmo (the large American beverage retailer) who were here checking out the Malbec. Look for it in the future at Bevmo - the wines here are very affordable ($3-7US down here).
Wine tasting tips... A good time to visit Mendoza is during March and April during harvest. Visiting the wineries often requires reservations and many are closed during weekends. Some major wineries (i.e. Norton, Rutini) have regular walk in tours.
We also visited Club del Oliva that makes premium olive oil and liquors including one illegal to import into the U.S. - Absenta, that has another name… Russian Death!
Absenta supposedly has inspired many artists and writers such as Wilde, Van Gogh, Manet, Picasso, Diego, and Hemingway. They say you see fairies if you drink enough Absenta. Of course, Wayne had to try it (see photo). It’s hard to tell with Wayne if it’s fairies he is seeing.
There was a heat wave when we arrived with temperatures of 102F. So, of course, there is only one thing to do… go river rafting! on the Mendoza River (see photos – with water covering them, can you locate Wayne & Pat?). To get to Mendoza from Chile, we took the 7-hour bus ride through the Andes Mountains and flew back over the Andes (see photo).
Please also see our other 4 posts on Argentina:
Buenos Aires, Argentina (Palermo & Recoleta Area)
Buenos Aires, Argentina (San Telmo & La Boca Area)
Iguazu Falls, Argentina
Ushuaia, Strait of Magellan, & Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
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