One of the great parts of the Vines of Mendoza Private Vineyards business is getting out on the property to see where vines will be growing in just a few short months. Usually these trips are centered around getting a new owner of a private vineyard acquainted with their new piece of property and it is always a good excuse to Asado (like you need an excuse in Mendoza to Asado) and drink fine Argentine wine.
In a number of instances when we have been on the property we have rented horses and toured the property on horseback. Though I am not much of horse person (the gauchos were laughing so hard at my riding that I was worried for their safety) the chance to ride in the shadows of the Andes across pristine ground that will soon be covered with Malbec (as well as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and other varietals) is just too much to pass up. And, the event consistently lives up to its billing.
And, to top it all off we spend a good afternoon sitting in the sun cooking fine Argentine beef (and pork, and chicken, and chorizo....) over wood coals. Between the riding and the eating the day is among the best on record. And, so a number of staff spent yesterday eating beef and drinking Gimenez Riili Torrontes and Malbec.
But, back to the topic at hand - gauchos are not tall. The reason I mention this is that many of the Vines staff are tall (in a relative sense - we don't have any NBA players on the staff). David, one of the founders, is one of the taller staff members. The gauchos who own the horses average about 5 feet 7 inches - David is probably closer to 6 feet 4 inches. So, when David gets on a horse that has been bred to fit gauchos you get a pretty funny picture. Not the kind of funny picture that Andre the Giant would be riding one of these horses, but pretty funny anyway.
Our only hope is that David doesn't catch his feet between the legs of the horse - think of the pain that would cause the horse!