Argentina Part 9
Thursday was to be all about touring the wineries. We had hired a driver to take as around to a few. Kevin had a contact who had recommended the drivers, they had some places they were going to take us. We ended up making it to 3 different ones that day. The first 2 were larger and a bit more commercial. The first one wasn't so memorable to me, but the second we spent more time in.
It was called Belasco De Baquedano. It was in many ways an extension of a Spanish winery into Argentina. They had I think 3 spots in Spain and had added this location in the past 10 years. The tour was ok, ended a bit abruptly and started late. But it had an interesting "smelling room". The perimeter of the room had probably 30-40 smelling stations of different kind of scents to help describe smells from your palette. It was pretty unique I thought, the closest thing I'd experienced to it was going into yankee candle store in the mall and smelling different kinds of candles until I get queazy. This started to happen here as well, but I knew I'd feel better once I got something to eat.
The driver said they had a good lunch here and we were ready for it. It took some time waiting but we finally got to go up. It turned out to be something like a 5 course meal with full wine pairings. The meal took more time and money than we had anticipated, but in hindsight I think it was fully worth it.
Here is a look at the menu of pairings. Click on it for a closer look.
Everyone in our group's favorite stop of the day, however, was the last one. We went to visit a small winemaker called Carmelo Patti. I believe they said he had come to Argentina from Italy as a baby at 1 year old. He had been a successful winemaker at some other companies but was now on his own for awhile. The driver kept saying how he was somewhat of a celebrity. Carmelo seemed to very much enjoy the spotlight. He kept showing newspaper clippings or reviews from wine spectator how he got many wines in the upper 90's. It was interesting that he didn't grow his grapes at all, he bought them from the same place every time and would often go and check on them but just purchased them and had them delivered to his small winery.
The wine he let us taste was quite good, however, a bit to heavy for my tastes at the time. It reminded me of the wine I'd had at the end of the lunch that day that went with the steak. It was complex and mature, with a lot going on. Just not one I'd choose to drink on its own.
Here are a few images of the inside of his winery.