The greatest stories across cultures often told from behind the wheel on the road: from books like Jack Kerouac in On The Road, Che Guevara in his Motorcyle Diaries across South America to movies like Easy Rider and Y Tu Mama Tambien the power of friendship on the open road reigns supreme as our protagonists encounter new adventures. With the open road ahead and the possibilities endless, it is time for self- discovery, companionship and an interaction with the land that is transformative. The road is where a dynamic duo, driver and navigator, discover new experiences together.
As the vintage Corvettes, Porsches and Mercedes made their way through the lush vines and arrived at The Vines Resort & Spa, I hoped to find my dynamic duo, a team whose car was the perfect reflection of their journey and personality.
The 12th annual Rally del las Bodegas is one of the most important events for historic cars in Argentina where a passion for competitive racing and classic sport cars is complemented by a love for wine. In the three day event, drivers will compete timed races in five categories and travel over 700 km, stopping along the way to enjoy gourmet food, Polo exhibits and winery visits set against the backdrop of the Andes.
The lawn of The Vines Resort & Spa filled with the dynamic duos from nearly 50 racing teams from seven countries wandering through the resort on their final stop of the rally.
Francis Mallman’s Siete Fuegos at The Vines Resort & Spa hosted a lunch of empanadas, adaptations of the traditional choripan with sublime baquettes, grilled meat, vegetables cooked in ash and braised grapes with vanilla ice cream and overflowing glasses of strawberry lemonade with basil and the Vines’ signature wine: Recuerdo. We dined under sublime blue skies and epic views of the Andes.
While I struggled through Spanish and my knowledge of the vintage car market and indulged in incredible food and wine, I was able to connect with some of the teams. Over the course of the afternoon, I met the winner of the Mille Mille, another famous race in Argentina, who lives at a neighboring vineyard. I spoke to Solange and Roberto who owned the oldest car in the rally but whose partnership belied their age and felt like two teenagers in love. I met two friends from Bologna who an admittedly Italian turn of events had run of out gas in their car so they resolved to stick to what they knew best: food and wine. Then, I met my dynamic duo.
Daniel and Aldo: Like the car they arrived in, a 1960’s Red Fiat, only produced in Argentina, Daniel and Aldo seemed to emerge from a different era. Friends for over 30 years, Daniel (and Argentinian native, now living in Spain) and Aldo from Buenos Aires, donned matching red and white vintage jumpsuits and spend three days together on the open road. As we drank Recuerdo together, which means memory in Spanish, Daniel and Aldo recalled their memories of friendship and their annual reunion to celebrate a shared passion and shared journey on the open road. Like their friendship, their Fiat, had endured.
Daniel Claraut, organizer of the event, chooses the vineyards based on their diversity, but chose The Vines specifically because for him, it represents the future of the region.
I asked Aldo whether he and Daniel would be returning next year, he said, “We always do. We hope to return to this perfect place. …This is an amazing memory to share together.” Then they got on the open road and journeyed back to Mendoza and I thought, what an incredible thing to find your co-pilot and enjoy the endless possibilities of friendship, adventure and the open road.