Mendoza

#wine #wine #wine #wormwood

Mendoza city itself, built with large avenues and low, unexciting buildings due to earthquake anticipation after the one in 1985, has little beauty to stand up to Bariloche or BA. What instead makes this place so great is heading to the nearby Lujan and Maipu wine regions, jumping on bikes to career through rows of trees, in the scorching sunshine, from one winery to the next, sampling mostly Malbec and Cab Sav, with the occasional Merlot and Torrontes.

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This woman is my hero.

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Two days. Familia di Tomassa, Lagardes and Tempus Alba for in depth tours of the process of winemaking in the larger, more commercial wineries; and later to Carmello Patti, where Carmello is positioned in a front room-like set-up, so enthusiastic to teach us about his four varieties, eager to have us sample all of them.

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We cycled a lot.

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We tasted a lot of wine.

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To satisfy the inevitable munchies, La Antigua, an olive oilery, with a tasting banquet of dips…raspberries in olive oil, red pepper and olive spread, Roquefort and olive tapenade..and dulce de leche spreads of every type.

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To end, dulce de leche liqueurs of different varieties (hazelnut, chocolate etc.) and, if that weren’t enough gluttony and decadence for one day, the family’s homemade absinthe, of which they are allowed to produce 30 bottles monthly by law. After having tried the 75% alc. green, wormwood-fuelled cough syrup, I am unsurprised.

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They don’t make sugarcubes in Argentina, so it was loose sugar on a spoon in a flame. And it burned, a lot.

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Carmelo Patti’s collection.

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I went back a second time, to the wine festival – 4pounds for 4 glasses of gran reserva wine, from a selection of around 50 bodegas who come from the surrounding wineries to showcase their vino.

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