If you asked me to travel over 15 hours by plane, 7 hours by car (3 and 1/2 of which are on a dirt road) cross a river on horseback, just to see a vineyard at an altitude over 2500 meters (7500 feet) above sea level, I might begin to feign injury. I have seen more than a few in my day. I may not see another as amazing, but if asked, I would only inquire: “when do we start?”.
After we arrived, I wanted to stretch my legs so I walked into the vineyard on a cool summer morning. I stepped under the canopy to taste Torrontes from bunches that hung overhead from the arbor trellis.
Nearly ripe with citrus, melon and white pepper flavors and an aroma of white flowers entered my nose. A French winemaker said when looking over a vineyard in California: “Even a Donkey can make great wine out of these grapes.” As long as I don’t get in the way of this vineyard making a remarkable wine, I say, let me be that donkey. After I emerged from under the arbor trellis, I was surrounded by lush green vines, tall grass between rows and trees.
At the vineyards edge, a stream cut through the canyon with rust colored boulders similar to an Arizona landscape. In the distance, the Andes pushed their snow caps into the sky.
At this moment, I needed to remember only one thing: to breathe. I reluctantly took a gentle breath, trying not to disturb the sound of the breeze in the trees, and the stream running below. Now, when I taste the Torrontes, I savor it and reminisce about the land from which it came. Sipping wine is one of life’s brief pleasures, not too dissimilar to stopping and smelling roses.
It was all worth the trip.