The first time I was invited to visit Argentina in 2010 was awesome, so much so that when I was invited back for a second time, with a party of 5 independent wine retailers form the UK I was a bit apprehensive. My first visit had had such a profound effect on me that I couldn’t see how it could ever be bettered, and secretly I didn’t think it would be anywhere near as good – but of course I shouldn’t have worried, as my second visit in March this year was 10 times better than my first!
The first time I visited was as part of my prize for winning Independent Wine Retailer of the Year in 2010. This time I was invited by Wines of Argentina, with 5 other independent wine retailers, and in the week that we were there we covered a lot of ground. My first trip had concentrated in and around Mendoza, but this time we also managed to head North, into some beautiful country to visit Salta and Cafayate.
Cafayate was a 4 hour drive from Mendoza and it was a truly spectacular journey. As we headed through the picturesque mountain valleys, the mountains shone bright pink in the sunlight. I sat on our minibus, listening to Argentinean music, looking out over the pink rocky mountains and felt like the luckiest person alive – mesmerising.
I must admit I could have done without the near plane crash at Mendoza airport as we came into land in a huge storm, and the floods in Mendoza city were pretty impressive as the storm water rampaged through the open irrigation channels that run along the city streets – but looked more like a white water rafting course.
Following this visit I am even more committed to Argentinean wine. We already have a further 10 Argentinean wines in store and we have plans for a further 20 – 30 bottles – and last week I was back at the Argentinean Embassy in London for yet another Argentinean wine tasting – so watch this space…..