Mendoza, Argentina is wine country. The sunny weather is predictable and a plentiful supply of water comes trickling down from the back side of the Andes. Obviously, the thing to do while you’re in Mendoza is to visit the vineyards. The touristy thing to do is much the same, just on a bicycle.
Five of us set off one morning with a plan to try the touristy thing. We rented bikes from Mr. Hugo and started pedaling our way to the first of 10-or-so wineries, olive farms, and chocolatiers. What could have been a dangerous ride back was actually rather sober, as many of the vineyards were closed that day and, what’s more, we couldn’t justify 15-peso samples at every bodega we visited.
I’m not sure the bike ride thing worked for me. The first time Oksana and I were in Mendoza, we simply found a bodega we liked (Tempus Alba) and spent a long, quiet afternoon on their veranda sampling all seven of their wines. The travel time involved with the bikes, pedaling in the sun from vineyard to vineyard, made the whole day seem rushed. That’s not to say we didn’t have a good time, however.
At Vistandes, we paid for a combination tour and tasting. Our English-speaking tour guide generously moved us past the large steel fermenting vats and dark cellars full of oaken casks rather quickly so that we could spend more time sampling their wines.
While speeding along one plain hallway, we passed a low wall of wine bottles. I didn’t hear what our guide said about it – no doubt something about the stack being another step in the aging process – because she didn’t even slow down as she passed it by. I stopped long enough to frame two shots with Oksana’s point-and-shoot before I had to catch up with the group. Both turned out well, but I like this one better because of the way the bottles go to the end of the frame, the curvature of the wide-angle lens bows them out a little, and, well, just the way that tilt of the photo makes the whole thing a bit more abstract.
Date: 3:03pm, 7 March 2011
Focal Length: 5mm (30mm equivalent)
Shutter: 1/30 sec