Ok, there are many more reasons to love Argentina, but that’s as far as I got. I started this entry with the intention of making a list of the reasons I am falling in love with Argentina, but then I realized that wine is at the center of all those reasons. Before you start thinking I’m becoming a wino, hear me out.
- Argentina’s vineyards are set in picturesque valleys with a backdrop of the Andes looming behind. The nearby mountains shelter the vineyards from heavy rains. The climate is consistently sunny, warm and dry. It’s as if the grapes, cradled in these sun-drenched valleys, absorb the beauty of their surroundings and all this good energy hangs in the berry clusters off woody vines, just waiting to be transformed into the nectar of the gods.
- Argentines are very proud of their wine (it is the national beverage!). And people who love wine also love food. We haven’t had consistently good food like this since Mexico. Though we do still miss the tacos of Mexico, we are addicted to Argentina’s empanadas and the beef here is incredible. You can’t go more than 5 miles on the road without passing a roadside parrilla, because you never know when you’ll need to pull over and grill up some STEAKS!
- People who enjoy wine tend to be relaxed. We often see people having a glass of wine with their lunch. You just can’t be bothered by much when you start drinking at noon. Even the dogs in Argentina are chill.
- So when you combine the beautiful countryside, delicious cuisine, and friendly people, Argentina is a really nice place to travel by bike. The fact we can enjoy a nice glass of wine at the end of the day makes it feel a bit like a vacation.
We took a day off in Cafayate. A small town with an abundance of vineyards, it is one of Argentina’s wine capitals, though it maintains a laid-back kind of ambiance typical of small desert towns. This region is know for the Torrontés white wine, though they also produce delicious Malbecs. We toured four wineries, three before 1pm. All that wine drinking was exhausting. I had to take a nap after the third tour and then rallied in the evening for one more.