Being invited to the Festival Nacional De La Vendimia 2013 – Argentina’s largest annual wine event in the city of Mendoza – I was literally over the moon with happiness when the final confirmation came in. Four days of wine tastings at top-notch bodegas, red carpet access to the parade of “Las Reinas” (Wine Queens) as well as an invitation to experience the final concert of the Mendoza wine harvest festival: Together with 60 TV journalists, international media representatives and bloggers from more than 10 countries in Latin America and Europe, me and my group of friends have literally been treated “a cuerpo de rey”, or bathed in warm-hearted, genuine Argentinian hospitality as they say. Wow!
Winesome Welcome: Bodegas Cheval Des Andes & Renacer
A sign with my name on it, a luxurious black limousine and my personal chauffeur welcoming me at Mendoza Airport: Normally travelling Argentina with my backpack, I could easily get used to more of this 😉 . At the very same day of arriving in Argentina’s wine capital city, Mendoza, we are taken to visit two exclusive wine estates at the foothills of the Cordillera de los Andes: Cheval Des Andes and Bodega Renacer.
Here, the respective owner together with their professional staff make sure we are totally engulfed in our experience of the splendour of Argentine wineries, complete with tapas, tastings & famous “asado” (BBQ). To me, it is all very much New World: Large gardens, never-ending rows of vineyards, huge reception halls and state-of-the-art technology. A wonderful and very interesting experience: As a wine traveller hailing from some of Austria’s top wine regions, it appears to me like a true heaven on earth!
Bodegas Atamisque, Trapiche & Las Marujitas: A Kingdom, A Story and A Dream
During the following three days, we are invited to visit three more excellent and outstanding wine estates in Mendoza province, including Tango shows, horseback riding & olive oil tasting. (Research) work & pleasure mix to the point where it all becomes one amazing experience: Everybody is enormously friendly and busy to ensure all questions get answered, our group of international bloggers & journalists is a wonderful backdrop for constant interaction and if that was not enough, Latin American mentality is there to spice it all up – just in case. Hours of delay and constant warm-hearted cheek-kissing with everyone: Welcome to “la pura vida” of South-American blog / press trips, I’d say. Great 😀
Beautiful too not having to organise it all myself, relax and lean back during these few days: very nice indeed.
At Atamisque Wine Estate, we enjoy a “cabalgata”, or horseback ride whose properties are owned by a Belgian family, turning 1.000 hectares into vineyards, fruit plantations and land used for activities such as kayaking, cycling, golfing or horseback riding. At the reception we are invited to, we can see the family loves to entertain – kingdom-style, clearly!
Furthermore, we visit Trapiche Wine Estate, an estate full of history dating back to the 1880s: The first of several train lines to Buenos Aires was built here and can still be seen walking around the winery. Viticulture runs along the lines of biodynamic growth as only one in four in the whole of Argentina, steeped in the philosophy of Austrian pioneer Rudolf Steiner. The size though is what makes a visit to this beautiful estate literally mind-blowing: Almost 1.000 hectares yield a total of 35 million litres of wine per year – dimensions incomparable to average-sized Austrian wine estates with a size of “just” 25 hectares …
Last but not least, we are being invited to spend half a day at “Las Marujitas“, a family wine estate combining olive trees, vineyards and boutique farm stays with a top-notch organic gourmet restaurant. The family house dates back to the arrival of some of the first settlers to Mendoza (1865) and has carefully been restored – stunning just to visit. Everything here is designed to relax and enjoy, each morning the owners meditate together with their employees – a very interesting concept!
All visitors arriving at “Las Marujitas” are invited to a delicious olive oil tasting learning about the virtues of extra virgin olive oil, including fresh products from the local, organic farm that are served to us in the restaurant.
At the end of our trip, I would like to seize the opportunity to introduce you to three amazing bloggers I got to know during this trip. Buenos Aires based Aldana & Dino literally make “Magia En El Camino” as they travel the world: As a professional magician, Dino entertains children and adults around the world with pure magic, his wife Aldana films, documents and writes: www.magiaenelcamino.com.ar. Lucina aka „Mochila Cult“ (Cult Backpack) was born to a family of Argentinian emigrants living in Brazil writing and editing her blog and travel videos in Portuguese. Check out both blogs and Mendoza wine estates: All are definitely worth the trip!
Disclaimer: I have been invited by the city of Mendoza tourism marketing on this trip to experience the national harvest festival as well as all the above-mentioned wine estates: Thank you so much everybody for your support! All opinions are my own.