Friday, January 6th
Today we visited wine country. Our first stop was to Trapiche winery. We got a tour of the vineyards which was really neat because I know nothing about wine. They have about 320 days of sunlight and 9 days of rain per year. The intense heat helps produce the higher alcohol content. Good wine depends on 2 things—good weather and good soil. They water the vines for 24 hours and then let it rest for 7 days. Trapiche focuses on the health of the plant to ensure a premium wine.
We got a tour of the old machinery used during the wine making process and then it was finally ready for the wine tasting. We learned to swirl around the wine to open it up to oxygen for a more pleasurable experience.
The first wine was a 2010 Sanv Blanc Vintage. It was clear and you could tell it was really fruity. We then tried the 2006 Medalla, which had a peppery, spicy kick. It was my favorite. It is a 90% Cabernet, 7% Malbec, and 3% Merlot mix. I got a bottle of that later on. Our final wine was the 2007 Merlot-Malbec. It is a 50/50 mix and you could tell that they let it age in an oak barrel. It was called “Iscay” which means two. It was very delicious as well.
After our group checked out the giftshop and such, the Regional manager come out to speak to us. He is in charge of the Europe branch. He told us that they’ve seen an increase in the number of Scandanavian people purchasing wine and many times there are monopolies in those areas.
As for marketing purposes, labels can make a huge difference on sales. Some store owners choose their wines off of the label alone. As a manager, he has started to see other markets open up to wine. China is in high demand and they are willing to pay more to get it. Trapiche’s strategies now are to increase the mid-price wines but only those that are of high quality. Trapiche is in over 85 countries and is definitely looking at the strategies of the Old World wine countries.
Our group then went to lunch at Familia Zuccardi. The meal was excellent and we had about 10 courses. We got to try the Santa Julia-Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Julia-Malbec, and Santa Julia-Tardio with our meal. I have to say I really enjoyed the Malbec over the white wines. We got a quick tour of the winery after lunch and tried a Torrontes, which was a white wine. We then tried the Bonarda, which was a red wine. It was then time to travel to our third winery for the day.
The third winery was Carinae and it is a small family run winery in Mendoza. The owner gave us a tour of the winery and showed us all of the changes that have been made over the years. He even named one of the wines after his wife. We then got down to business—wine tasting. We then tried all different kinds of Malbecs which were delicious. My favorite was the Malbec Gan Reserva 2008. I got a bottle for my parents.
I learned a lot from the wineries. I didn’t ever know how intense the process was. It was really neat to learn the history and to see that a lot of the wineries were family owned and oriented. I also thought it was neat to learn that they typically only use the oak barrels 3-4 times and then they sell them as furniture or to other vendors.
A small group of us got back, took a nap, got dinner, and then listened to the K-State game on the radio. We stood up until about 2 am listening to it. I’m sad we lost the Cotton Bowl but it was fun hanging out in the lobby with everyone listening to it.