Wine & Horseback

Mendoza is popular for its vineyards and its fine wine.

The vineyards

I rent a bike from a shop nearby the bus stop and pedal to see the vineyards. My plan is to see maybe two or three different wineries and bike around to shoot some landscape photos.

I start at Bodega la Rural. It's one of the area's largest wineries. Not surprisingly, the tour involves a wine tasting of some sort. Since I'm already here, I might as well participate.

The guide uncorks bottles of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon and begins pouring. The many adjectives used to describe the taste and texture are lost on me and my unrefined understanding of anything alcoholic.

"Why, yes... yes, this is certainly wine. A wine made out of grapes."

Somewhat tipsy, somewhat cold, and really hungry (natural side effects of alcohol for me) I step back out into the vineyard. I give my friends a heads up that I'm going for a little stroll. Really, I'm getting a bite to eat under the sun.

I eat a lot of grapes.

Still not quite ripe but delicious nonetheless.

In my current state, I can't pedal. I scuttle my plans of seeing other wineries and wait to sober up before my horseback riding excursion.

Horseback riding

My horse's name is Indio. Contrary to what I was hoping for, there is no galloping full speed over the plains. This is more of a brisk stroll up and down a big hill.

We stop at a cabin with large glass windows. The horseback riding portion of this excursion ends here. Our tour company unloads several coolers filled with meat off the van for tonight's asado, a kind of barbecue.

When we're done eating we gather around a fire pit. One of our guides takes out a guitar and we have music to accompany our conversations under the stars.

Mendoza's lights from the van ride back.