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Mendoza Wine Country ~ Travel Photography from Argentina

If you’re a wine lover you know that Argentina has emerged onto the global market as the top producer of Award Winning Malbecs and that the picturesque wine region growing these bold and fruity grapes is Mendoza. I recently spent five nights this past February in the friendly and park-filled city of the same name with a friend who came to join me on my last two weeks of my six week trip to South America. I had trekked Patagonia for weeks and was looking forward to indulging in some of my other passions: food and wine. Mendoza did not disappoint. We spent one day biking the Maipu region and others eating and drinking our way across the city but by far the best day we had was our tour with Mendoza Wine Camp. We were fortunate to have owner and sommelier, Myfanwy Turner, to be our guide for the day as we drove throughout the Lujàn De Cuyo region in a private car. With the Andes Mountains as the majestic backdrop, we visited four wineries (Familia Cassone, Dante Robino and Casarena) and our five course, wine-paired lunch at Ruca Malen prepared by Chef Lucas Bustos and Winemaker Pablo Cúneo was a decadent delight. Here’s some photographs of that spectacular day. Salud!

“I like on the table,
when we’re speaking,
the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine.” 
~ Pablo Neruda

Grapes ripening on Familia Cassone’s vines

Bottling at Familia Cassone

Familia Cassone’s Elegant Tasting Room

Obra Prima ~ “Obra” means Masterpiece

View of the Andes from Familia Cassone

Setting of our first tasting at Familia Cassone

The bubbles of Bodega Dante Robino

More bubbles = Heaven

Dante Robino’s Tasting Room where we blended our own wines. The winner? The Larouge Reserva (50% Malbec • 40% Cabernet Sauvignon • 10% Bonarda)

Grapes and Vines of Ruca Malen

Grapes being “Flood Irrigated” at Ruca Malen

Vineyard Dog at Ruca Malen

Protected Vines of Casarena

Beautiful Casarena which means “House of Sand”

Vats of Vino at Casarena

Where the Casarena Winemaker was working on new blends

In the Wine Room at Casarena

Aroma Tasting Contest at Casarena

“Either give me more wine or leave me alone.” ~ Rumi

©Kerry Hook of Kiki Larouge Photography. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

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For those foodies out there interested, here’s the menu from our lunch at Ruca Malen:

First Course: A Quinoa Salad , Green Olives and Chardonnay leaves with Fresh Herb Salad and Granny Smith Apples

Paired with Yauquén Chardonnay 2012

Second Course: Cured Tupungato Trout with a Sun Dried Tomato Paste, Potatoes and Crunchy Sweet Potatoes

Paired with Yauquén Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Third Course: Wheat Porridge and Pine Mushroom Truffles with Roasted Beetroot Cream and Grilled Vegetable Rogel with Local Goat Cheese

Paired with Ruca Malen Merlot 2011

Fourth Course: Grilled tenderloin steak served with potatoes sautéed in Walnut Butter, Rosemary, Pumpkin Cream and Spiced Eggplant

Paired with Ruca Malen Reserva de Bodega 2011

Fifth Course: Selections of typical local desserts: Rice Pudding, Quince Preserve, Squash Preserve with Walnuts and Kumquats in Syrup

Paired with Espressos

If you go to Mendoza be sure to contact Mendoza Wine Camp about their Wine Exchange!

Timeline 3/16/14

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