Mendoza is right in the middle of the red wine region in Argentina. The region is famous for its Malbec. Malbec is a heavy red wine and combines well with the typical Argentine meat dishes.
There were a couple of options for the wine tour:
- One winery in particular and spend your day there, learning and tasting.
- Bus tour and see multiple wineries, the tour operator decides on the time spent everywhere
- Bike tour and do everything on your own pace
I decided to go on a bike tour because it’s cheaper, more fun and you can do it at your own pace. It might sound a bit dangerous, cycling through the farmlands in Argentina. But I think they are used to drunk tourists cycling there, since this bike wine tour is a common activity. In addition, I didn’t do it alone, I had three guys that I met in the hostel with me.
The bike rental provided a bike, helmet and map with the winery route. So after we got comfortable with our bikes we went to the first one, where we started with a tasting of Malbec wines. It was a quick visit, but we were able to ask all our questions and he was able to answer them.
On the way to the next winery we passed a place for some food, which is essential when day drinking. So we had delicious bread with meat. That gave us enough strength to continue.
The winery we arrived at was like heaven with a beautiful garden with a view on the vineyard and Andes. The tour wasn’t about to start anytime soon, so we started with a nice glass of wine outside in the sun.
This winery gave us a tour through the vineyard and winery. So we learned what makes a good Malbec wine and they told us about all the other wines that they make. Malbec is made from only malbec grapes. The grape is originally from France, there the malbec grapes are mixed with other grapes to make for example Bordeaux.
The wine process as mentioned above is of course immensely simplified. A ton of things have an impact on the flavor of the final end product. I’ll make a separate blog post on that.
For now, the most important steps are the growing of the grapes and then the fermentation. After the fermentation the wine has to age. I didn’t have a nice icon for this, so it’s not in the picture. However, the aging is crucial for the flavor. This is the moment the acids go down and the wine becomes softer.
Then we continued with another tasting. The amount of wine we got during this tasting really got us feeling tipsy. So we skipped the other wineries.
If you want to learn more about Malbec or wine in general I really recommend going to Mendoza. We rented our bikes here http://baccusbiking.com/ and my experience there was great! For more wine tours you can also check my post on the Cyprus winery.