Welcome to Mendoza… Vineyards and Olive Trees

This morning after another amazing lie in (these are turning into regular occurrences for Juliet and I) we went with our new English friends, two girls also on their GapYear, to the supermarket to get some lunch (or breakfast..) and food for a big joint meal that evening. After some delicious baguettes, made by us in the hustle kitchen, we were all picked up to go on our Vineyard and Olive Factory.
The first stop was a local vineyard, quite close to the hostel. After touring around and exploring the different machinery that they use to separate the grapes from their skins and how they flavour the grapes by letting them sit in oak wood barrels, we were the allowed to try the wine (hurray). We tried two different wines, a red and white and I actually was one of the only ones that liked the white more than the red (I guess I take after my mummy).
Our next stop on the tour was an Olive Oil Factory. When we arrived we didn’t know what to expect but we were immediately struck by the strong olivey smell, almost like freshly baked pizza with extra extra oil. We were first show the olive trees before going down into the factory to see how the olives are pressed. It actually looked quite gross as the brown mush was squeezed out onto round plates which were placed on top of each other then pressed down and the juice falls through a tube and along the floor, almost like a sewage system although it’s the sewage that they want… 20140602-225947.jpg
We then had the opportunity to try the different olive oils that the factory makes on different breads with tomato and olive paste (so yummy) then we tried the different soaps and lotions that the olive factory makes as they contain olive oil and they smelt amazing and made our skin SO smooth.
Our last port of call was the most beautiful vineyard and wine house, they really did save the best till last. We arrived and drove through a small but quaint vineyard buzzing with orange, yellow and reds, all vibrant leaves of the grape plants. 20140602-230705.jpg20140602-230725.jpg20140602-230658.jpg20140602-230716.jpg

After our photo shoot in the trees, we were then given a tour of their wine making facilities, including exploring the huge metal vats that they keep the wine in, so big that our friend fit inside.. We probably all could have – together if it didn’t look so claustrophobic inside!



Then after going to their wine cellar and awards room, and then trying one of their reserve reds and one of their young whites, it was time to head home after a long afternoon of Argentinian wine and olive oil tasting.

Tonight the four of us put our cooking skills to good use.. Or not so good use… As cooked sausage and mash with onion gravy. Unfortunately we didn’t have any flour to thicken the gravy, but after our wine filled day we substituted the flour for red wine. Very liquidy but very yummy. We’d bought the budget packet mash and that didn’t seem to want to thicken either and so even though on our plates our sausage and mash looked more like a stew, it tasted delicious and we were proud of ourselves! A good day overall I’d say.