Some combinations just make sense; peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, burgers and fries (thanks Mia). A popular activity in Mendoza is riding bikes from vineyard to vineyard for multiple wine tastings, which was a pairing that didn’t make much sense to me. I had visions of starting off fine (and by fine I mean sober) and then eventually getting too drunk to operate my bike. However, this combination could not be more perfect. Riding throughout the Maipu area of Mendoza was truly beautiful and so much fun. We got a later start than we had originally planned, but made it to Maipu after a thirty-minute bus ride. We stopped at Mr. Hugo to rent bicycles, which unfortunately did not have baskets since we arrived later in the afternoon (bummer), and then went on our way.
We decided that since we would be drinking, we should ride to the bodegas (vineyards) that were furthest away first and then make our way back to Mr. Hugo. Our first stop was the bodega Familia Di Tommaso. It was a much longer ride that we originally expected, but it was definitely worth it. Familia Di Tommaso is the oldest vineyard in the area, quaintly situated on a tree-lined street far away from the busyness surrounding Mr. Hugo. We went on a tour of the winery and then had a tasting.
Once finished, we made our way to our next stop which was another bodega called Mevi. The complete opposite of Familia Di Tommaso, Mevi is a newer, more modern vineyard with an outrageous view of the snow-capped Andes. We ate lunch and sampled one of Mevi’s more popular wines before hopping back on our bikes towards our next destination.
Since it was hot, we were craving something a little more refreshing than red wine, and opted to stop of the local beer garden. The beer garden was so cool, set far off the road in a small house with an outdoor patio. The bar was filled with random knick-knacks, and the patio had multi-colored chairs, big orange umbrellas, and tons of beautiful flowers. The beer was really good and just what we needed after drinking lots of red wine.
Our final stop was an olive oil factory. For twenty pesos we got a tour of the factory and got to taste-test all of the products that the factory produces, which included amazing olive oil, chocolates, flavored liquors, dulce de leche, jams, and olive spreads (my favorites being the coconut dulce de leche and whisky apple jam).
After a long day biking and drinking, we went back to the hostel and relaxed. We watched A Christmas Story with some of our new international friends, and realized how American the movie actually is. We were sad that our time in Mendoza was coming to a close, but also very excited for the next leg of our trip…