Posada Cavieres Wine Farm
Maipu, Mendoza, Argentina
5 nights paid cash (use Xoom to get the “blue market” rate 8.2 Argentine Pesos per 1 USD instead of official 5.2 Argentine Pesos per 1 USD rate).
The Mendoza region of Argentina is a wine-lover’s dream. The city itself is pretty pleasant for South American standards, and the dry, dusty, irrigated surrounding wine regions are pretty, interesting, and bursting at the seams with barely discovered delicious wine. We had a couple “mainstream” hotel options in this region, including the Park Hyatt Mendoza and the Sheraton Mendoza. However, for a bit of a different experience, we opted for the Posada Cavieres Wine Farm in Maipu, about 15 miles from downtown Mendoza. We felt like it would be idyllic and relaxing to stay on a living, breathing wine and olive oil farm. The reviews on TripAdvisor were excellent, and there was a great discount if Paid in USD cash. So Lady Tocqueville and I, and her parents went for it.
On the way from Mendoza Airport, we stopped in downtown Mendoza to pick-up cash at the Xoom money exchange service. The government officially sets the rate of Argentine Pesos (ARS) to USD at around 5.2ARS per USD. However, the real rate is closer to 8ARS per USD, and there is a blue market you can participate in to get ARS at a better value. We used Xoom and the money was ready for pick-up at a travel agent in Mendoza at a 8.15 rate.
It was about a 20-25 minute drive from Mendoza to the wine farm in Maipu. The farm is set about 1/2 mile down a dirt road from an intermediate road. When you pull in, you see the vineyards immediately. The proprietor, Hans, has his house on the left, and three guesthouses and a beautiful lawn are on the right. The massive sheepdog, Tommy, greats you right away.
Hans has just renovated the guesthouses, and they are extremely comfortable, especially for an agriturismo type experience. The walls are thick adobe, and drown out sound incredibly. The sheets, pillows, towels, etc. are new, clean, and comfortable.
We had Guestroom, or posada 1, and my in-laws posada 2. Each posada had its own en-suite bathroom. Each morning, Hans or his wife Alina would cook breakfast, including eggs, toasts, fresh jams, ham, cheese, coffee, tea, and cereal.
The night we arrived, Hans had prepared a typical Asado for us, or an awesome mixed grill-out of local fresh meats. The chorizo and multiple cuts of meat were delicious.
We spent 5 days touring the Mendoza region, from the desert, to the mountains, and many of the vineyards in-between. Two vineyards gave us the opportunity to have a behind-the-scenes tour, which will be covered on www.freeinfreedom.com in the near future. These were truly exceptional experiences, where we were even able to have an hour-long, personal wine tasting with the chief wine-maker of a large exporter of Argentine wines.
The wine – for sale inside the posada for ~$6-14 dollars a bottle!
Delicious meat going on the grill
Butternut squash also made a delicious appearance
I got so carried away taking photos of the Asado, I forgot to take pictures of our rooms. They were equipped with a water heater, newly installed hot-water heater for the bathroom, and beautiful tile, rustic wood, and a comfortable bed. We spent 5 very comfortable nights there.
The kitchen connected to the guesthouses shows you the rustic charm, yet solid comfort of the accommodations.
Hans took time to give us maps and directions to local restaurants, and scenic drives. We pushed our Chevrolet Classic through the paces, taking it on multiple beautiful mountain dirt roads. We did about 300 miles through the Mendoza region total.
After 5 spectacular days and nights of eating fine food, learning about fine wine, and spending time with family, we had to reluctantly say goodbye. Hans and his wife were great hosts, and our time in the Wine Country was excellent.
We brought the rental car back to Mendoza airport, and check-in for our next destination, the metropolis of Buenos Aires for a flight and 3 night stay.