Welcome back to our Chile and Argentina adventures! (If you missed part one, you can check it out here.) After departing Matetic Winery in Chile at 5:30am, Paul and I hopped on a quick plan ride over to Mendoza, Argentina with a full of day exploring ahead of us.
We wasted no time and immediately headed out on a self-guided walking tour of the city before sitting down for a lovely outdoor lunch of local Argentine food and refreshing summertime wine. We were even serenaded by a local busker who really had his classic rock songs down.
The city was vibrant and filled with luscious trees and greenery, street art, parks, and historical sites including multiple plazas - Plaza Independencia, Plaza San Martin, Plaza Chile - and theaters like Independence Theater. The city is extremely walkable and we had to stop for a few selfies along the way! :)
Something unique to Mendoza are these stone ditches or small canals that run alongside the roads and supply water to thousands of trees. We quickly learned you have to be careful on a night out or one misstep and you'll be nursing a twisted ankle.
Of course, we had to check out local wine shops and came to discover that Argentina is very strict on their importation of wine. If you are to find any non-domestic bottles at an Argentinian shop it’s most likely from their neighbors in Chile. When sitting down for dinner with representatives from Pascual Toso, they told us travel and large wine events like Prowien are their only opportunities to taste wines from other countries. A foreign concept to us as in the states, we can find bottles from some of the smallest and niche wine growing regions of the world.
After a long day in the hot sun (100 degrees in Mendoza is no joke), we checked into our hotel, freshened up, and headed out to dinner at a nearby restaurant hosted by Pascual Toso’s export manager, Rodolfo Juarez, and Bianchi’s International Marketing Manager, Rocío Compoy Morist. The city really comes alive at night! We were happy we squeezed in an afternoon siesta because the average time for dinner here isn’t until 9:30pm with most restaurants not even opening for dinner service until 8pm.
The next day, we boarded the bus for an hour ride to Pascual Toso!
One of the oldest wineries in Argentina, Pascual Toso was founded in 1890 by Piedmontese immigrants who saw the potential Mendoza had to become a world class wine region. Known for producing terroir-driven wines full of character, energy, and complexity, Toso's famous Las Barrancas vineyard is located in Maipú. The 1000+ acre estate benefits from dry hot days, fresh nights, and its proximity to the Andres mountains. In fact, water for irrigation comes from the runoff snow of the Andes down through the Mendoza River.
In 2001, world renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs came on as a consultant to help grow the winery and produce more premium level wines without compromising Toso's core beliefs: tradition, authenticity, and innovation. His experience and wisdom has helped bring more personality and distinction to their higher end offerings. With a focus on character, energy, flavor, and finesse, Toso strives to distinguish themselves as one of the best in the region.
During our visit we toured the vineyard, cellar, and barrel room and sampled nearly 20 wines with chief winemaker Rodrigo Romero including whites, rosés, sparkling, and reds. We had the chance to enjoy them even further during a multi-course lunch at the winery which included a salad course, beef course, goat course, and a divine dessert that blew us away. The food looked and tasted so good that we completely forgot to document it. You'll just have to take our word for it. It was probably one of the best meals we had the entire trip!
Our favorite wines of the bunch were the trio of Cabernet Sauvignons from Toso's entry-level line, Reserva line, and premium Alta line. All awarded 92 points or higher by James Suckling, these wines offer exceptional complexity and sophistication at three different price points. From their entry-level pop and pour Cabernet to their 22 month aged premium Alta Cabernet, there's a wealth of wine to be enjoyed here from Pascual Toso! We hope you love them as much as we do.