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Mendoza, Argentina. 3rd June.

June 4, 2014

Mendoza lives and breathes wine. The city is surrounded by vineyards from which comes 70% of Argentinian wine. The better restaurants have their own somelliers, tours of the vineyards is the major tourist attraction of the area. Some of the wineries have been in the same family for over 120 years.  Malbec is the predominant grape grown but the locals are becoming uneasy that that variety may be starting to go out of favour, different varieties are being tried hoping to come upon the next big thing. The land here is poor but the rivers running off the eastern face of the Andes bring with them the nutrients and minerals that give the unique taste associated with the wines of this area. We have found the ones tasted to be much smoother than the often tannin-rich ones we are used to.

We celebrated my 70th birthday with a meal at the Azafan restaurant, acknowledged to be one of the best in town. Once orders had been taken, Fernando, the sommelier, invited us into his tasting room where hundreds of bottles covered the shelves. He picked a petit verdot to accompanyy our pork and fish selections. There were few whites on the shelves which was interesting. The restaurant shouted us a glass of champagne each and the meal was finished off with a dessert, which, out of mine sprouted fireworks. It was an unforgettable way to spend my big occasion.

Mariano, the guide on our winery tour, was very knowledgable on his subject. We were the only English speakers of the nine on the tour although three of the others could speak English very well. It was a good group; one young couple, a family group of three women and Michael from Panama with Piatrice his partner. Molly the 89 year old matriach in the family group was amazing. She spoke English very welll but we had trouble understanding until she told us she was Irish-Argentinian, we then realized it was the strong  Irish accent that was giving us difficulty.

Just harking back when we were leaving Santiago to fly to Mendoza: we were in the long queue edging our way to the security gate when I noticed a woman ahead of me smiling at us.. I said to Joan that looks like someone I knew back home. By the next tiime we passed in the zigzag both of us realized we weren’t dreaming, it was Robyn who used to work in Paul Tipper’s office. It was nice to have a coffee with her once we had passed through and to hear her plans. Amazing who you meet overseas.

  1. John Slater permalink

    Great to here you had a wonderful 70th birthday Garry. Hope the rest of the trip goes Ok. All the best, will keep in touch. Love John & Angela

    • Hi there, had a great time, slept in, nice walk in park with lunch overloooking a lake and memorable meal in the evening.

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