I have been back home for a few days now, and am just about caught up with old e-mails and phone calls, not to mention the 4 hour time change. In my last post, I mentioned flying over the Andes from Santiago Chile to visit Mendoza. Only a short flight of 30 minutes or so, and before I knew it I was meeting Filippo from Avalon in the airport.
I know this might seem a bit confusing, but Avalon, the company which owns most of the fishing destinations in Cuba, whose ownership is Italian, has its offices in Mendoza Argentina! What's up with that? Filippo explained that about 10 years or so ago, he was looking for a home office that would make sense for them. He got a call out of the blue from an old friend who said "hey, I just bought you a vineyard in Mendoza!" And his response was "where the hell is Mendoza?" To make a long story short, he made a visit to this burgeoning wine country, and fell in love with it.
After a short stay in town, Filippo and I drove to the wine country, where he has a beautiful development called La Dolce Vita. He bought this parcel of land, did lots of work to make it usable, planted grape vines, at the same time partitioning home sites in the vineyard. Owners then can make their own wines, and have their own label if they want. It was really beautiful. If you have the chance, visit Mendoza.