My check. My check. One. Two Welcome back to Vagabrothers Right now we are in the foothills of the Andes in Mendoza, Argentina, the largest wine making region in Latin America made famous from Malbec wine. We’ve been invited down here by Alamos Wines to do some tastings at their vineyard, cook a classic Argentine Asado with some cowboys, and of course wash it all down with plenty of vino. Are you ready? Vamanos! Woo! Chin chin. Right. Well the first stop here in Mendoza is the Basilico de San Francisco. Basically, as you can see, there’s not too much left. That’s because this church was destroyed in an earthquake. Back it up a bit. The city was founded by the Spanish. They were taking gold from the Andes, and this was a way-point station: a place for them to rest for the winter on their way to Buenos Aires, and from the port back to Spain. Some of the original settlers were Jesuits; this was a Jesuit church, and the Jesuits brought with them….wine. And that’s how the story of Mendoza and wine begins. But one of the interesting things is that when they came here they found the system of canals called “asequias” It was created by the Huarpes which was the indigenous tribe that was here before the Spanish. The Spanish had similar irrigation systems throughout their empire, which they adopted from the Arabs. This is the only one in the entire Spanish Empire that existed before the Spanish arrived. Interesting. Speaking of water and wine…… I’m getting a little bit thirsty. I think it’s time for us to try our first sip of Mendoza wine. Let’s go! Well, we’ve just arrived at Bar Decimo, which is a really cool little wine bar on top of this building overlooking all of downtown Mendoza. And it’s pretty much sunset. Kind of have a little bit overcast weather today but still the perfect place for an evening glass of wine. So we’re going to indulge, imbibe in our first glass of local wine. It’s good. I’m digging it. But tomorrow we’re going to learn a lot more about this. We’re going to the source: the vineyards themselves. So cheers to that. Good morning, guys. The adventure continues. Right now we’re about an hour and a half outside the city of Mendoza in Los Alamos Vineyards. El Cepillo in La Valle de Uco La Valle de Uco or the Uco Valley is one of the best places to grow wine in all of Argentina, and that’s because it’s elevated to 1200 meters. The Andes are literally right outside the vineyard. We’re going to go meet up with some of the folks from Alamos who are going to teach us a bit more about what makes this such a great place to grow wine. Vamanos! Time to drink some wine. Chin chin What we are drinking right now is a Malbec grape, which is being grown behind us, as well. Can you tell us a little bit more about the grape? It’s a varietal that comes from France. It was imported in 1852 by a French botanist. And it seems that it has found its place in Mendoza. So the expression of Malbec in the Uco Valley is very, very concentrated. We’re going to find many aromas arranged from the very fruity, especially from this vineyard, you’re going to find some floral notes coming out. Lots of legs on this glass, too. It’s beautiful. Look how inky the color is. Yeah. This wine really embodies a lot of Argentina. It took some traditions from Europe, brought them and combined them with what was already here, and made them even better. I like it. One of the things that makes Malbec special is the color. What’s important is what’s in the skins. Very inky color. This is what makes Malbec interesting. So if you want, you can bite on one. Open it. Pretty thick skin, no? Super thick. It’s even crunchy. OK. So we are in a Malbec vineyard here in Mendoza. Check out my tongue. It’s not a Snapchat filter. That’s actually my tongue. Well the adventure has just become a real adventure. We are pretty much stuck! I don’t think we’re getting out of here. The plan is to go to a ranch called Rancho E Cuero, which is just up here. We are literally in the foothills of the Andes. The car is stuck. We’re in thick mud. There’s a little mist coming off the mountains, but we’re going to continue. And we’ll tell you why when we get there. You don’t need AAA. You don’t need AA. What you need is one A. Argentino! All this into there. And then onwards up there. Well that was a crazy 4×4 adventure. But we have arrived safe and sound in one piece to Rancho E Cuero. Argentinian ranching culture revolves around the life of the gauchos, Argentine cowboys who raise cattle to produce beef, which is Argentina’s other famous export, which goes perfectly with a cup of Malbec. So before we can be gauchos, we have to dress like them. Looking the part never felt so good. Listo? Vamanos! The whole point of the gaucho was to be herding the cattle around these large ranches. Argentina had a huge culture of ranches, which are called estancias. This is an estancia, and we’re going to go herd these cattle. And then later have some prime Argentine beef for an Argentinian BBQ known as an “asado.” ummmm Oh…….. yeah. We’ve herded the cattle. Now we’re back in the little cabin complex. How chill is this? Over here, Juan Ricardo is setting up a fire for the asado. Perfect. Here we have ribs, cow ribs. We have flank, and we have filet mignon, and we have pork sausage. One of the great things about Argentina beef is that the quality is so good that it doesn’t require any kind of special seasoning. We just put salt and straight to the parilla and we cook it. Come. Come. No esta mal, tio! That was a most excellent feast. I think we’ve seen so much here of Mendoza So big thanks to Alamos Wines for bringing us out here. and to the Palma family from Rancho E Cuero for being such great hosts. If you guys enjoyed that video, you know what to do: give it a thumbs-up, share it with your friends, and subscribe to Vagabrothers for new travel videos every Tuesday and Saturday. In the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road, more specifically Buenos Aires. Hasta luego, chicos. Ciao, guys.