After our small breakfast at the hostel, Tim's prophecy came true that this morning he would have a flat tire. We started heading towards the bike shop but then I remembered that Guillermo gave me a small air pump. In the middle of things I called the winery and told them that we would be a half hour late.
We arrived at Andeluna Cellars at 10:30 in the morning. The tour had just started and Tim joined them. I decided to wait this one out and rest on their amazingly comfortable sofas. The winery had a nice wide spaced room with a wood designed bar, wine accessory shelves, a big kitchen and dining room, and the few sofas that I was sitting on. It also had a nice big porch with comfortable white sofas that had a fine view right into the vineyards about 10 meters away. As I rested I started to talk to a tour guide who brought her group to the winery. After the tour, we all sat down at the pre-arranged bar and were given wine menus. Tim and I decided to share the tastings of 4 wines. Except for the Merlot 2004, the other three wines were extremely good. Even though the Chardonnay 2005 had some tuna aromas (with olives and lemons as well), its peach and pineapple flavors were sharp and tasty. The Malbec 2006 had berry and vanilla aromas, while flavors exhibited plum, oak, and spices. The Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 had great Cab aromas of oak, leather, plum and cherry.
The wine showed flavors of dark plum, oak, and some hard green herbs together with a full body and smooth finish. Tim and I both agreed that this last wine was the best we have tasted. We sat around for about an hour just drinking and talking to the people in the tour group. Together we paid 30 pesos for the tastings. We said thank you to everybody and walked out. We pumped some air into Tim's tires and started riding towards Tupungato.
On the way back we decided to try Bodega Altus which was 2 km away from the roundabout right outside the town. We rode over and discovered that we needed reservations. After resting a bit in the shade we peddled back into town and decided to eat lunch. A restaurant called MacManus was open during siesta so we walked in and sat down. We shared a big cold beer as well as a beef stew in onion gravy, and an order of french fries. We talked a lot with the waiter who also seemed to be the owner's son. It looked like they don't get many tourists here, so he wanted to know everything about us and what we were doing in Mendoza. When he noticed that we finished the beer he came over with a couple glasses of their local wine. A real dry wine but it tasted even better because of the circumstances. At the end of our meal he came over again and this time gave us a wine bottle as a present. We tried not to look shocked but I don't think it worked. The owner's son said that he is happy that we are traveling through his country and town and especially because we came into his family's restaurant. We didn't know how to thank him so I ordered an espresso while Tim took a nap on the big bench. After Tim's 15 minute nap we ordered the bill and paid, leaving a huge tip of course. We rode over to Guillermo's house and left the bikes not forgetting to take my license. We walked over to a lucotorio and I was able to schedule 4 reservations for tomorrow for the San Carlos/La Consulta area (the southernmost part of the Uco Valley). Tim and I caught a bus to San Carlos and found a place to stay for the night.
Our evening adventures included bargaining for a cheaper room rate, meeting a New York cabbie, not finding a restaurant to eat, asking permission from the ice cream parlor to use their tables, enjoying the kids running around and playing after midnight; and of course drinking our wine, which because of the circumstances of its reception was probably one of our (or my) greatest wines in Mendoza.