Mendoza, Argentina is famous for one thing when it comes to tourism: wine. While Malbec is the region’s specialty, there are plenty of other grapes both red and white to try. This meant that choosing which wineries to visit during our two days in the area was a challenge involving an Excel spreadsheet and far too many tabs open in Chrome.
I’ll touch more on how I narrowed it down – nerdy Excel set-up aside – soon, but for now the important part is that we chose Vistalba as our first winery of the trip.
Obviously, a large part of why I like wine tasting is because I like…tasting…wine. That said, if the experience were only about the drinking, we could do it locked in a darkened room. And that sounds not so fun and frankly a little scary.
While I didn’t love the Vistalba wines that we tried, I definitely loved the setting. The grounds are beautiful, and on the day we visited, the clouds cooperated to add interest to an otherwise perfect blue sky.
The best part of Vistalba, however, is actually a darkened room. The tour ends in Club V, vineyard owner Carlos Pulenta’s semi-private underground clubhouse. Rather than being scary, it’s a beautifully decorated space that tempts you with bottles of Pulenta’s personal stash just out of reach behind locked doors.
Our tour guide suggested a basic tasting for the large group, and while I appreciate her not going for the hard sell, I think that my family might have preferred the wines offered in the upgraded tasting. What we had wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t something I’m going to rush out to buy.
That said, when you’re drinking next to a cross-section of the soil where the grapes are grown, complete with roots snaking down from some of the oldest vines, it’s hard to do anything but enjoy the moment.
Becauase really, if Vistalba only warrants a rating of “average” when compared with some of my other wine tasting experiences, I think it’s clear that I am completely spoiled. Lucky me.