Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mendoza...Land of Steak and Wine

If I haven't already said it enough, Zack and I had the most wonderful weekend in Mendoza, Argentina last weekend. It was very relaxing, and we loved everything about Argentina...the people, the scenery, the food...everything.

Sunday in Mendoza was a very relaxing day. We took a winery tour through a company called Trout and Wine. The tour was a lot of fun and offered a great way to see the wineries which make Mendoza so famous. We also got to try the two wines that Argentina is known for: Malbec (red) and Torrontes (white). If you ever have the opportunity to visit Mendoza, we definitely recommend taking a wine excursion. You will get to try great wine, fantastic food, and see beautiful places.

The weather on Sunday was really nice when we woke up, but while we were at the first winery the clouds and rain rolled in. Here is the view from our hotel room before it got cloudy (obviously we did not pay for an upgraded view...but we could see the pool):
Our first winery was Alta Vista, which is a really old and relatively large winery. The winery was originally owned by Spaniards but a French couple owns it now. The land was really beautiul, and we could see the Andes Mountains briefly before the heavy clouds came. Still beautiful though, despite the rain!

The barrels at Alta Vista are painted down the middle with red wine. This prevents stains from wine drops from showing. Alta Vista claims to be the first winery to come up with this idea.

Our next winery was Achaval Ferrer, which is a boutique winery that I think would have been gorgeous if the weather had been nicer. Even though the winery was really pretty and unique, I was not a huge fan of the wine.

Next was Club Tapiz. This was not only a vineyard but also an inn and a restaurant. Here we toured the winery, and also had an olive oil tasting. They made us take a sip of the olive oil first to get a taste of it, and then they passed the bread around. The restaurant at Club Tapiz was really nice, and our tour included lunch on the second floor of the restaurant. Again, I think there were probably some really nice views of the Andes Mountains, but the clouds were pretty heavy. The 4-course lunch was amazing and included the famous Argentinean steak. I hope I didn’t offend the locals by asking to have my steak cooked well-done!

You can get married here...everything was really beautiful

Zack with his glass of olive oil to taste

The view from the restaurant at Club Tapiz where we had lunch

Our last stop of the day was at CarinaE, which was the smallest but most unique of all the wineries. A French couple owns the winery, and when they bought it in the 1990’s they basically had to rebuild the entire place. The owner gave us the tour and explained that he and his wife love stargazing, and the name CarinaE comes from their favorite constellation Carina. There was stained glass in one of the buildings that they designed, and these little touches are found on the labels of their wine. Everything was so unique and personalized! Us with the owner, Philippe

This was a photo that they had which shows how beautiful the mountains are when it's not cloudy

This one won't make Clemson World, but I thought it was good enough for the blog

When we got back to our hotel after the tour the sun decided to come out. We took the opportunity to check out the pool at the hotel and enjoyed some time reading in the warm sun. It’s not too often that you can go to the pool in late November, so that was really nice.

We ended our Sunday in Argentina with a fancy dinner at Francis Mallman’s famous restaurant called 1884. The restaurant is an Argentinean steakhouse that many, many people recommended to us. Our reservations were at 8:30 PM, and we were the first ones in the restaurant. Argentineans eat even later than Chileans, apparently. By the time we left around 10:30, the restaurant was finally full. It was vacation though, so it didn’t really matter that we were eating so late.

The food at 1884 was another one of the best meals we have ever had. I had my fill of steak for the day at Club Tapiz for lunch, but Zack could not pass up the opportunity to have another Argentinean steak (and I stole a few bites). The restaurant was so beautiful and everything was just so nice.

On Monday, sadly we had to return to Santiago. Check back soon for our pictures and stories from the epic journey going back to Chile through the Andes Mountains.

I apologize that I am a few days behind on blogging. I've got lots of pictures to post this week though, including the ones from our trip to the coast and from my company Christmas party.


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