Wine, Wine & More Wine!

Carmello Patti
The Winemaking Legend of Mendoza
We just got back from a 5 day trip to Mendoza Argentina.  It was exceptional.  We've done a number of trips to Napa and Sonoma over the years.  We usually found ourselves 'slightly' overindulging on the wine tastings and ordering cases of wine that started 'showing up' at our house a week later.  We also had some friends literally falling off the wine bus after a long day visiting wineries, only to fall asleep at dinner that night (you know who you are).  Fortunately we were a little more measured in Mendoza.

Mendoza is the capital of the Menodza province in Argentina.   It was formally established as Mendoza in the early 1500s.  Today Mendoza is known for it's wine.  Specifically the Malbec varietal grape that grows very well in this region.  The vineyards are some of the highest in the world, ranging from 2,600 - 3,600 ft in elevation.  This special semi-arid climate, with temperatures swinging 30 degrees in a day (similar to Denver, CO) produces some excellent grapes.  The second largest winery in the world is located in the Maipu region of Mendoza.

We spent three days visiting wineries, one day going to Chile, and another day exploring Mendoza.  We were fortunate to have my mom in town to be part of the rotation for visiting wineries.  All three of us were able to spent two full days doing wine, and one day each with kiddos.  Overall it worked great.

The Bodegas we visited were:

Day 1 - Lujan de Cuyo Region


Excellent wines, leader in quality Malbec

Only aroma room in Mendoza, OK wines

Good wines, excellent 5 course gourmet lunch

Excellent boutique winery, great wines

Day 2 - Maipu Region


Excellent wines, great museum

Over 100 years old, OK wines

Great boutique vineyard with nice wine bar

Good chardonnay, rustic style bodega 

Day 3 - Uco Valley Region


Great wine cellar with symmetrical circle

Best wines we tasted, great winemaker tour

100% organic wines

The lunch at Ruca Malen was a great memory.  The food was excellent - some of the best we've had in Argentina.  Each course was paired with wine.  We also met a nice couple from Ohio and had fun talking about our respective Argentine trips.

The trip to Chile was a beautiful drive through the Andes.  The scenery reminded us of the western slope of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  It was nice, but frankly not as pretty in our opinion as the Rockies.  There are certainly some very high and jagged peaks.  The average height of the peaks are 13,000 ft, with the highest being 22,615 ft.

We have two videos of our trip.  The first video is about our wine tours, the second our trip to Chile.  We'll be posting the Chile video stay tuned!


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