We got a bit of a late start today but then were very efficient with our various tasting rooms in San Rafael. We started at a little Bodega for lunch which had a pretty good price for the lunch paired with their wines. Unfortunately…as we kept tasting the wine, we couldn’t find anything we liked. The wine maker came into the room talking with another guest so we proceeded to ask if they had any wine aged in barrels…the answer was no. The food was pretty good though, we had a salad and then Giff ordered a steak (I am noticing a pattern here…does Giff know there is other food besides steak on the menus in Argentina?) and I ordered a creamy pasta. We had fun chatting with the other guests eating but opted not to purchase any of the wine…it was very simple…too simple.
After lunch, we stopped at a place called, Yancanelo which was an olive oil company. We walked in and saw a little museum with old machinery and information on how the freshly picked olives are turned into olive oil. We slowly walked around taking pictures and learning about the oil which we use in cooking everyday. Of course, we bought a couple of bottles of oil to take with us, yummy.
Right down the street from the olive oil place was a winery called, Suter. We walked in and saw the tasting room was in a kind of huge barn type place. We walked over to the person behind the counter and asked to taste their wine. They didn’t have so much open and we weren’t huge fans of what we were tasting, but then we saw a big rack full of wine at a pretty good price and was barrel aged. We bought a couple in hopes it would be a good find.
After Suter, we found another Bodega (Bodega is their term for wine shop/tasting) down the street, La Abeja. Again it had that old barn/farm sort of feel. In fact, it was the oldest winery in San Rafael…founded in 1883. They had old wine equipment outside, and inside the back of the old building was stacked with barrels of wine. A women went through their wines with us…talking about the differences in how they make it and of course pouring the simple whites first before getting to their bigger wines. We noticed how cheap the white wines were and bought a couple of bottles, one was a champagne and the other a white wine. Again, we didn’t love what we tasted but maybe one of the bottles we purchased with be a good find.
After that tasting, we made our way back to our B&B…cracked open a bottle of wine and enjoyed the sunset. It was a long day of hard work tasting our way through town but really…someone has to do it. So far, we haven’t really found San Rafael to have great wines…nothing close to the Mendoza area we were in a few days ago but we will keep searching!
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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