Here is a link to my film: http://vimeo.com/82793373
And so it began, Argentina’s world famous steaks and stunning Malbecs were to be consumed by us for the next month pretty much on a daily basis.
The Asados (traditional BBQ) are delicious, Bife De Chorizo and Bife de Lomo are our favourites, fillets and rumps.
Over 3 days cycling we visited 10 bodegas (wineries) tasting Malbecs galore, Cabernet Sauvignons and Syrahs.
Hannah fell in love with Argentina’s only home grown white wine; Torrentes. Known as the ‘liar’, this wine smells sweet but is actually a dry wine to taste. Delicious. When the red wine tasting all got a bit much in the 35 degree heat, this white wine was a welcome refresher as were the Roses and the Sauvignon Blancs…phew!
The tasting process...
Then there are the different barrels, usually 30% French oak and 70% American, which is more cost efficient. Although for the reversa wines, the percentages of the barrel can be 100% French which is considered the most desirable. It is here where the aroma of the wine develops.
We learnt about the length of time that different wines are aged; usually between 6 and 18 months as well as 1st time use of the barrels for the top dollar reserva’s, 2nd for premium so on and so on. Barrels are usually re-used about 5 times before being sold onto cheaper wineries or for furniture!
As well as where and how the grapes are grown. Malbec is Argentina's only true grape variety (the rest are imports from France and Italy etc) and thrives on the Andean mountains' high altitude and sunny climate, producing thicker skins and larger grapes.
In restaurants we witnessed a very foreign custom that we gave into in the end which was putting ice cubes into your red wine! It was just so warm!!
One day we took a trip out of town to Potierillos where they is a big resovoir 12km by 3km wide. We enjoyed a boozey picnic by the lake, admiring the stunning mountains surrounding us.
After a spot of swimming, the sun disappeared and the dark clouds rolled in accompanied by the sound of thunder and a light show! Massive forks of lightening were hitting the mountains surrounding us as well as in the middle of the reservoir. For a while we sat on the rocks just watching and listening, thinking how vulnerable we were as there were no trees around, just water, rocks and us – perfect conductors! The cracks were the loudest we had ever heard and right over our heads.
Exhilarating is an understatement, we were in hysterics! We could see and hear hail drawing closer and continued to film the show until it was overhead and we experienced a deluge of water. We found ourselves running for cover wherever ‘cover’ was! The rain was so powerful it hurt. After about 10 minutes the clouds cleared and we were back to normal with blue skys and hot sun!
We did enjoy a lot of these though... Empanadas (basically the Argentine version of a Cornish Pasty)!
By making my super cool dams I forced the water to create a jet stream chair, complete with beer holder.
It was a good day, apart from the burnt bum and lower back from 5hrs of being bent over. Ouch.