We started our first of two days of wine touring around 9:45am, with Alejandro picking us up at our hotel, the Park Hyatt Mendoza. We were scheduled to have three days of touring, however as noted in the previous couple posts, we had major flight delays and arrived a day later so had to cancel the first day’s tour.
(Steve’s tip: In travel if there is anything you absolutely don’t want to miss, i.e. theater show, exclusive wine tour, private elephant conservation African tour etc, do not schedule this on the first day of your trip, as you may miss it if your flight is significantly delayed as was ours. All of the scenarios have happened to us or friends due to delayed flights, especially international ones.) We had a special and prepaid tour for Catena Zapata later the second day at US $100 a person, which we would have forfeited if we had scheduled that for the first day. Fortunately we made it on our second day, and that will appear in the next post.
Alejandro had picked us up at the airport yesterday in Mendoza, and would be our tour guide for the next couple days as we toured several of the wineries near Mendoza.
In Mendoza, we always use Vendimia Wine Tours, and the owner Leo has always provided us an outstanding custom tour, complete with wine-pairing lunch each day. We have used Leo on at least four trips to Mendoza, and he knows our preferences well and offers us suggestions each time, before confirming our custom itinerary. On this trip Leo was not available to tour with us due to a recent sports injury, but he still came out with his family to meet us on our second day prior to our food and wine lunch.
Our first stop of the morning, was at a boutique winery called Finca La Anita.
Here, as at each winery, is a local guide for their winery that tours and provides us tastings. At Finca La Anita, Luciano was the Hospitality Manager who showed us around the winery and grounds, as well as later hosted our private wine tasting.
Luciano actually said we looked familiar, and it turns how he had previously worked at DiamAndes where we had toured a year or two ago with Leo. I guess we must be memorable! LOL – small world!
Update: Back at home I went thru my thousands of photos, as yes we did meet Luciano in September 2017 at DiamAndes! Here is a photo from a couple years ago when he served us there.
Anyway, back to the present time, At Finca La Anita, Luciano first showed us the vineyards, which are some of the oldest in the Mendoza area. They use natural irrigation, and you could see a small stream of running water running adjacent to the vines.
Next, we toured the production facilities, Luciano had us taste a couple different Sauvignon Blanc’s from the stainless steel vats, each fermented with a different process. We also tried a Malbec as well, and with both wines we would later try the finished product at the tasting room.
After the tour, Steve (DOS) and I had a private tasting in a quaint and colorfully decorated room in the main building. The owners have collected, (or in some cases such as the blue cow statue shown below), acquired thru purchase from the previous owners, many interesting things and photos which are on display throughout.
We ended up purchasing several bottles of Varua, vintage 2013, of which there were only several bottles left of that wine. Luciano said that 2013 was a very good year for Mendoza area wines in general, as was 2015.
After touring we thanked Luciano, and headed out to our next stop, Catena Zapata, which will be featured in the next post.
Thanks Luciano! Until we see you next time!