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Trip report: Our trip to two vineyards in Maipu

Montreal, QC
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617 posts
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Trip report: Our trip to two vineyards in Maipu

After arriving at the bus station we lined up with all the other travellers for a taxi. The ride into town is short and under 6 pesos.

We were staying at the Hyatt and early check-in was no problem at all. Once we showered we were ready to enjoy our first day in Mendoza. After walking around town a bit we stopped in one of several tourism offices around town and asked about going to some vineyards. We had spent several weeks last August touring Napa, Sonoma and beyond so feeling a little overdosed on vineyards had not made any reservations. They were very helpful (in Spanish, I didn't bother to speak English)and explained that I could easily visit Bodega La Rural (Rutini) by hopping on a city bus two blocks away. Armed with their map of Maipu we set off. The bus ride was pleasant (2.60 return) and the driver told me when to get off (I asked him in Spanish if he could). The vineyard was a short walk down the street and offered tours in Spanish with an English translation. We enjoyed the tour and found some differences with our California tours. Having enjoyed the tour we decided to see one more while in the area. Once back on the main street where the bus had let us off we stopped into the tourism kiosk on that corner and enquired. Once again the friendly staff told us to cross the street and hop on a different bus and for 1 peso we could ride to the Bodega Lopez and once finished he told me which bus to take back to Mendoza and where to catch it. The Bodega Lopez is right next to the bus stop and we even arrived there at the same time as some men for the US that we met at La Rural who had hired a driver for the day. At Bodega Lopez they only do an English tour if the group is at least seven people, luckily there were now seven and we got Maggi as our guide. She was great and with a terrific sense of humor and a good grasp of English...if any of you go, ask for her. This tour was different from the last and I recommend doing both. By the time we were done it was too late to see their champagne division nearby so we took the city bus back to Mendoza.

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Branford...
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1. Re: Trip report: Our trip to two vineyards in Maipu

Thanks for the report. Do they charge for the tours? Did you buy any of the wine? Is it available only in Argentina or exported to the USA? Presumably cabs are available if you don't want to do the bus? Do you think two are enough to see and representative of the Mendoza wine area? Especially if you are not a wine nut? I would like to tour the Quilmes brewery however.

Montreal, QC
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2. Re: Trip report: Our trip to two vineyards in Maipu

Veritas01, both the tours that we took were free, friendly and informative. The one at La Rural (they export 35% of their wines)also has a large wine museum housing many old wine making instruments. At the end of the Rural tour we were each given a small glass of red and white wine that is only sold at the winery (low end). There was no pressure to buy. At the Bodega Lopez (where only 10% of the wine is exported) after the tour we were taken to a really nice tasting room in the cellar and offered 2 reds and 2 whites (both of them higher end and available in wine shops) and also given a lesson on tasting. Again no pressure to buy, but here we did and found that it was cheaper then in the wine shops of BsAs. If you are not hugely into wine I would say that these two are enough since after a while they become repetative. They are also a good choice since they are quite close to town, maybe a 45 minute bus ride. I'm sure a taxi would be available from Mendoza but I'm not sure about once you let him go if you can get another to the second vineyard and then a third to take you back to the city. The city bus was quite empty with plenty of seats and very easy to use and they came about every 5 minutes.

Montreal, QC
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3. Re: Trip report: Our trip to two vineyards in Maipu

Veritas01, I just noticed in another post that you mention having only basic Spanish, don't worry. Everything I booked and planned in Spanish was with my basic Spanish skills and it all worked out just fine. I can read Spanish but when people here talk a fast Castellano they can quickly lose me, but when they know that you are foreign and speak slowly it is much easier.

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Trip report: Our trip to two vineyards in Maipu

Veritas & Moon--I'm staying a couple days at a bodega very near La Rural. The owners estimate the taxi fare from downtown Mendoza to Maipu at about $7 USD (one way). Don't know about availability of cabs going other direction, but I'm sure the winery could call one for you.

Branford...
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5. Re: Trip report: Our trip to two vineyards in Maipu

DT...refresh my memory. Is this your first trip to Argentina or have you been there before? I know you have been asking questions for some time. I am curious. If it is your first trip what prompted your decision to visit Argentina? Are you traveling alone? What kind of dog are you holding? How about a new pic? Only kidding.

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Trip report: Our trip to two vineyards in Maipu

Veritas, this will be the first of what I hope are many trips to Argentina & Chile. What 'prompted' me was a combination of things. When I lived in Spain 20+ years ago one of my adult students was from Argentina. I thought she had the most exotic Spanish accent I had ever heard, and she spoke so lovingly of her country that I put it on the 'to do' list. Other things 'intervened' (mortgage, job w/ health insurance, etc.) that put extensive travel on the back burner Then last year about this time I finally had enough air miles for a free ticket, and I saw the movie "The Motorcyle Diaries" and thought, ok I'm going come h*ll or high water. Some friends & family members were mildly interested in going w/me, but none of them would commit. Since I'm pretty independent anyway, I decided to strike out on my own & have basically made my own 'tour circuit'--BA-Villa Angostura-San Martin de los Andes--Pucon--Talca--Santiago--Mendoza--Iguazu & then back to BA the last week. Along the way I hope to meet the many wonderful locals who have provided such expert information and maybe even buy them lunch in appreciation for their 'sevices'! And last but not least, the dog Nutsy is a mutt-part beagle, part chihuahua. New TA photo coming, as I have to practice using my new digital camera before my trip! End of novel----