The next night was cold and wet, so we decided that a few nights out of the roof tent were in order and headed for Antigua Residence in Mendoza (a Hostel highly recommended on IOverlander). It was a long day driving and we arrived in the dark (probably the third time we have driven in the dark in 3 years) and we were more than relieved to find that they had room for us.
This place is just amazing. Owned by an Italian family that bought this former champagne producing vineyard 7 years ago in an extremely dilapidated state and have converted it into an amazing hostel. they have even converted the ' tanks' that were used to make champagne have been converted into bedrooms. So, after 49 nights in the roof tent and 2,500 miles in the last 17 days and we decided we would stay here for a few days.
First we visited a place that makes Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, then a place the produces lots of different spirits and liquors and then yesterday we visited a winery and decided we would stay for lunch, a beautiful setting and when we asked for the menu the chef came out and explained each of the courses in great detail. There was a choice of 3 or 5 course set menu and the chef offered to give us a taster of the first 3 courses of the 5 course meal as our first course, amazing and accompanied by 3 different wines.
This was followed by the tour, followed by wine tasting and when we had finished our guide put the cork in the last bottle and gave it to us to take home - all in all an excellent day.
We have had a lazy day today in preparation for getting back on the road tomorrow and received an email from the Swiss couple we met at Pisco Elqui saying that they are currently stranded in Chile waiting for flood water to subside, where as here it has been gorgeous whether since we arrived in Mendoza.
|We head for the hills|
|and over the pass|
|We visit this 106 year old olive farm, with the original olive press still in position|
|and see the olive trees, also 106 ears old, but these are very young as they will keep baring fruit for 2,000 years.|
|After the press the pulp was put between these mesh plates and squashed and unlike the press, which was replaced many years ago, these will still in operation into the late 1990's.|
|all now replaced by this! Which could be anything.|
|then the olive oil is collected in these large tanks|
|like wine the balsamic vinegar is aged in oak barrels|
|Hostel Antigua, converted from a derelict champagne winery|
|The old champagne tanks have all been converted into rooms. The owner of the property and master mind of the conversion stands in the distance. The Hostel is run by his two daughters, one of which is standing next to Chris giving us the guided tour|
|The Cellar used for meetings|
|and this used to be a large underground champagne tank|
|the original safe, inside which they found many plans and details of the original business.|
|Finca Agostino, we are given a welcome glass of champagne on the roof terrace while we wait for the next tour|
|then we wander over to the restaurant and decide to have lunch first|
|and main course|
|accompanied by lots of wine|
|and a picture with the chef (but I really should have taken my napkin off!!!|
|and then dessert|
|followed by the wine tour, this vineyard is only 12 years old so all very modern|