I woke up Monday morning and took the same route to Hugo's rent-a-bike shop in Maipú. This morning I received a red bike and took it out for a test run. Except for the front wheel that was doing "eights" everything was ok and I continued on to Bodega Tempus Alba. I arrived at the winery at 11 o'clock in the morning and was told that they only open at 12. I rode to Vintandes again and found out that they don't carry out tours or tastings. I asked them why they have an opening schedule outside the gate if they don't accept tourists. By the other person's tone of voice I could tell that he didn't want to deal with me so he shot a couple of fast sentences in Spanish and hung up the intercom. Although it would be a long bike ride I decided to ride to Bodega Flichman.
After riding 15 km, I arrived at the guard house at about 12:05 PM. I asked the guard if they had tours at this time. He said that now is "siesta" and the next tour is at 13 o'clock. I tried to make him call somebody who speaks English so I could make my case much more convincing than in Spanish. The guard said no. I could tell that he was afraid to bother somebody during their siesta so he would not get fired. I tried to explain that I am only one person on a bike and not 50 people on a bus; but he wasn't convinced. I wasn't about to wait around for "siesta" to be over so I got on my bike and rode back to town.
From Carril Barrancas Road I took a left onto Franklin Villanueva Road and found Bodega Taupas and Bodega Filus. Both places don't except tourists because they only distribute wines. I made my way to Pedro Molina Road and stopped at Bodega Trivento which on my wine map indicates has tours and tastings. Again I arrived at a big electrical iron gate with a guard behind it. The response to my questions was that they also only distribute wine and that they don't have tours or tastings. I stopped over again in Bodega Antonio Nerviani but I guess they don't want my money because when I asked the person why he doesn't have time now, he smiled and gently closed the door with a wave. I gave up on this winery and told myself not to try again. I peddled into the center of Maipú to find Bodega Lopez but couldn't. I stopped and looked at the map again and decided to check out Bodega Baudron.
I arrived at Bodega Baudron at 15 o'clock. I walked around a bit to find somebody and finally was ushered into a cool sunbathed room. I felt it was my lucky day to at last drink some wine after 4 hours and over 40km of bike riding visiting 7 wineries without success. I conveyed my story to the girl in front of me. From the weird and shocked expressions that crossed her face I could tell that she understood me. Let's get to the point… tasting some wine. I was offered a young Chardonnay and Syrah. Even though the wines were not so good I was so thankful to drink some at last. It took me about 30 minutes to drain the glasses and relax a bit until I felt fit to continue my ride. I rode back to Tropero Sosa Road and turned right on Urquiza Blvd. When I came across Perito Moreno again I turned right and peddled for about 200 meters until I met the sign of my destination. In Bodega Baquero there was no one to be found. I started to ride back on Perito Moreno.
For the finale of my day I prayed that Bodega Tempus Alba would be open. It was. I entered the vast space where Bodega Tempus Alba was positioned, between loads olive trees and even more vineyards. I arrived here at 17 in the afternoon and knew that this would be my last winery today. I entered the big architectural building and was told to go upstairs for the tastings. I walked up a flight of stairs and was welcomed by a room and porch with comfortable looking white sofas. I took off my backpack and heard the air squeeze out the cushions as I positioned myself somewhat roughly on the sofa. A young waitress came by and explained the small menu. I was left alone for a few minutes to decide what 3 out of 6 wines I want to taste. For 15 pesos I ordered a Tempranillo, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I was glad to find out that for my pesos I received a really generous severing of wine, more than I expected. I had such a good time sitting on the sofa for at least an hour drinking my wines. Out of the 3 wines I enjoyed the Tempranillo the most. It had an almondy aroma with flavors of plum and wild berry with a smooth round finish. I had such a good time that I called the waitress over and told her to bring me the last 3 wines on the menu, a Merlot, Syrah and a blend (this time for 20 pesos because of the blend). Out of these 3 wines I enjoyed the "Tempus Pleno" 2004 the most, a blend of Cab, Malbec and Merlot. It had a port color to it with wonderful aromas of dark cherry and oak. With wonderful flavors of cherries and berries, the long oaky finish was right on the money. I was barely able to get up from the sofa in order to leave, but finally got my act together and went to pay at the register. Now that I had a few glasses of wine rolling in my veins I felt much much better.
I peddled back to Hugo's place and parked my bike with all the others. This time, while waiting for the bus, I voluntarily disclosed my exploits to Hugo, who was only too shocked to hear that his bicycle even made it to Bodega Flichman. The bus arrived and I returned to Mendoza truly satisfied.