We mentioned the moon-lit scenery going over the Andes, but to do the trip during the day was breathtaking. The sky was bright and the Andes were red, very red, with cactus-studded rocks in Chile and whisps of green shrubbery on the Argentinian side. The colours were surreal and the 2-hour border stop was tolerable only because of the mountain pass we found ourselves in. Aconcagua was to our left and we got a great view of this beast - snow-capped and majestic.
Shortly after was the natural land-bridge of Puente del Inca and a long journey out of the hills and back into wine country. The landscape in Mendoza province is like the prairies - fairly flat and covered in agriculture. But here, instead of endless fields of wheat, there´s literally mile after mile of vineyards - it´s all you can see in every direction and surrounded by sandy desert! The very old and complex aquaduct system did wonders to make the area such a mecca for the grape.
We did the smart thing, and again rented bikes to check out three bodegas in Maipu - a short ride outside Mendoza. Bodega La Rural had an amazing wine museum showing some of the methods used 100 years ago like using animal skins for filters. Carminae was the furthest out and was a fairly new winery, but had the best Malbec we´ve tasted yet. Our backpack was getting heavier as the day went on! Lastly, we rode to La Familia de Tomasso - a great tour guide, a cuddly gatito and some delicious sherry to finish the day. Argentina has some great wine, that´s for sure. It´s a pity most of it never leaves the country, but we´ll certainly make use of our 4-bottle export limit when coming home.