Interview with Susan Foster, Away by TTI Travel Advisor
Away: What was the occasion of your trip?
Susan Foster: Away by TTI Travel was chosen to participate in the first annual ‘Buy Argentina’ Conference, a major new event that invites tourism experts from around the world to meet each other and experience Argentina. I represented the company.
As a side-trip, I opted to bask in the beautiful and romantic setting of Mendoza. The region’s low-lying plains sit at the foot of the vast Andes mountain range.
A: What did you discover?
SF: Two of my favourite things can be found in Mendoza: the Andes and wine!
Mendoza is the perfect environment for producing two thirds of Argentina’s wine, which turned out to be a big theme of the trip. We sampled many varieties, but I particularly enjoyed the Malbec and Merlot.
There are many ways to visit the vineyards and taste the food and wine. You can stay at some of the local wine-themed hotels and drive or bike through the area.
I highly recommend taking a private or small group tour while in the area, and travelling with a driver. You learn so much more about the destination, and it makes for a more comfortable trip. It made a big difference for my group during our three days of touring.
We visited five wineries or bodegas (as they’re called in Argentina), learned how to make olive oil, and took a cooking class.
For the more adventuresome, there are also numerous mountain activities to take advantage of in the area. Ski at Las Lenas Resort or hike to the summit of Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas.
A: Best place to stay?
SF: In terms of the accommodation, I had the chance visit to the newly opened Vines Resort and Spa. The Vines is a sophisticated and luxurious boutique hotel that opened in January 2014. It’s already on Conde Nast’s Hot List of the world’s top hotels. Located in the heart of wine country, it’s a perfect base for those wishing to discover the region.
A: Can you tell us about a memorable moment?
SF: We enjoyed a lunch at the hotel’s spectacular Siete Fuegos restaurant. They serve locally sourced and all-natural food, much of it cooked over open fires—the traditional Argentinean barbecue method.
To accompany our meal, we tasted wines produced by the hotel from grapes grown on their 1,500 acre vineyard.
I loved everything about Mendoza and can’t wait to go back soon. I will definitely return to The Vines.
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