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When the travel gods give you bad weather- keep calm and…drink wine! Currently in Argentina there are several severe wind storms, mainly within the province of Buenos Aires, passing through the country. This has resulted in much pandemonium around flight delays and cancellations including two of our own traveler’s flights from Mendoza to Buenos Aires. I checked in with these guests this morning to let them know that we were adjusting their itinerary so as not to miss important excursions in their next destination and that we had alerted the next hotel they would be arriving later than expected. They told me that they were having a ball and taking advantage of the extra time to do some additional wine tasting in Mendoza. I loved this attitude and think that it perfectly embodies the go-with-the-flow nature we all must strive for while traveling when circumstances out of our control arise. Why not make something great of it? This underlies howwe, the Wildland Team,...

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On this day we head off to Clos de Los Siete, a collaboration of seven bodegas initiated in the early 2000's by Michel Rolland. The bodegas here are architecturally stunning, each designed in a way that reflects the individual winemakers, just like the designer wines made here. We first visited the wine making facilities of  Cuvelier Los Andes where we learned just how specific and sophisticated the art of wine making can be. The winemaker at Cuvelier Los Andes shares his craft with our  Argentina  wine tour group. He described how they take grapes from specific areas of their vineyards, combine various varietals mainly Malbec, but also from their own plantations of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot, blending each according to the winemaker's specifications. Then he showed us and explained the amazing technology behind it with automatic control systems in fermentation tanks capable of fermenting each parcel of vineyard...
Anybody who signs up for wines and adventures in Argentina has got to be fun traveler...and did we have fun traveling together! Following are pics of our group, guides and a few friends we encountered along the way... Our beloved grandam of the group, Rosemarie celebrated her birthday our last night together and received a handmade traveler's greeting card from all her fans. Cindy, who traveled with us in Peru five years ago, models a beautiful poncho from Salta at our stop on the Road of the Artisans.  Richard traveled throughout Patagonia for over a month doing a lot of fishing and exploring around before he concluded his South American adventure by joining our wine and gastronomy tour at the start of the trip in Mendoza.  Our lead guide in Salta, Alejandro (right), skilled driver Sebastian (center) and assistant guide (left). Colleen shares her knowledge with the rest of the group and...

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Kurt Kutay praises Pablo (left) and Izekiel the winemaker (center) for the full terroir of La Azul wine paired with joyful hospitality and exquisite cuisine. At bodega La Azul  it occurred to me how much more there is to the full terroir of any wine.  Most bodegas offer tastings along with discussions about the specific characteristics of their wine. But the joy we experienced as I described previously on that night at bodega La Azul was a big part of the full terroir of their wine beyond the physical and practical considerations of cultivar type, soil, climate, vineyard location, planting, trellis system, pruning techniques. If terroir is considered to be the full ecology of a wine, then other key factors are the cultural and social milieu wherein the whole enterprise of production and consumption takes place. Ezequiel Fadel, Chef Jaime, Pablo and all our friends at La Azul rounded out the full body of the evening...

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According to Ruth and David, our insider wine experts and co-owners of Arista Wine Cellars in Edmonds, WA, wine retailers “Buy on bread and sell on cheese.” That’s because bread and crackers cleanse the palate best for tasting, but when it comes to serving and selling wine give ‘em cheese because the proteins in the dairy smooth out the flavors in wine and often make it more desirable. Our Wildland Adventures Argentina tour group in the cavernous cellars of Salentine. On this day we ate lots of bread and cheese and had the opportunity to contrast select wines in the Uco Valley from among the biggest producers in the region to one of the smallest. We start out at Salentine vineyards, at over 1 million bottles a year it is among the biggest producers. Then we compared their massive high tech tanks and expansive cask cellars  with the tiny garage...
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