By Bethany Guard
This was the sight that greeted me at 8am on Thursday on the short flight from Santiago de Chile to Mendoza. After a 15 hour delay to the journey, I was almost in Argentina and ready to start eating steak paired with wines from Viñalba, my hosts for the duration of the trip.
After a quick pitstop at the hotel, myself and 3 other Majestic managers were driven into the foothills of the Andes for an asado – the famous Argentinian barbecue. Hervé J. Fabre, the winemaker at Viñalba warned us the food would be basic, and the meat maybe tough. He needn’t have – I was blown away by round after round of delicious steak coming off ‘la parilla’. And surprised to find that over here they like their meat well done, but soon won over by the mouthwatering, almost crackling type outer layer, made by using plenty of salt to crisp up the fat in the meat. Can you tell I really love food yet?! Perfectly accompanied by Vinalba Malbec Reserva of course.
After we’d eaten, we were thrown on to horseback for a ride higher into the hills. The views were amazing, but you’ll have to take my word for it as there are no pictures – had I known how the Gauchos ride one handed I’d have asked our guide to use my camera!
Later, all walking like John Wayne, we met up with the other half our group for some dinner, then bed for some much needed sleep. The next two days promise vineyard visits, more steak, wine tastings, more steak, a harvest party, and more steak.
There’ll be two more diary installments on Grape to Glass – you can also see an album of my photos from the trip on Facebook.com/majesticwine, or follow @majesticwine. I’m using the hashtag #mendoza2012 and mainly talk about steak.