Six Month Progress Report and What's Next
Wow. Six months on the road. While the days seem to fly by, our past lives as 9-5ers feels like a dream from long ago. Looking back on our journey from the freezing-cold New York winter, to the hot, humid summer of Buenos Aires and then up North again in time for a Mediterranean spring in the Cote d'Azur, we thought we'd share some highlights from this wild adventure and update you on our 'plans' for the next six months.
The First Half of 2011:
- The number one coolest thing we've done thus far is ACTUALLY DOING IT! We sold all of our stuff, packed our bags, left our 9-5's behind, and set off on a world-wide wine adventure.
- Tasted wines with Marcelo of the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, one of the most respected sommeliers in all of South America.
- Took the ferry to Uruguay and spent two days with friends in Montevideo drinking Tannat, eating Russian food, and exploring the city
- Signed up for Spanish classes in BA and became almost fluent!
- Hiked 5 hours to a mountain refuge in Bariloche
- Biked 18K through the mountains and lakes of Bariloche
- Learned how to prepare mate
- Joined a wine tasting group of ex-pats and Argentines in Mendoza
- Zip-lined upside down through the Andes
- Went white-water rafting
- Harvested grapes for Gauchezco Wines
- Ate at a gourmet gas station...petrol and duck confit with squash blossoms please!
- Learned how to prepare a proper Argentine asado
- Rented a car (life-threatening decision!) and tasted wine in Mendoza's three main wine regions: Valle de Uco, Lujan de Cuyo and Maipú. Catena Zapata, Viña Cobos, Gimenez Riili and Carmelo Patti are making incredible wines.
- Flew to Provence, France to work in a garden in exchange for room and board.
- Renovated and are currently living in a greenhouse
- Planted a vegetable garden
- Planted and learned to prune grapevines
- Road-tripped to Bordeaux for Jeff's 30th B-day: Chateau Parenchére, Chateau Guillaume Blanc and Domaine du Cantonnet were unforgettable.
- Drove through Saint Emillion and Pomerol, and stopped at Petrus, Cheval Blanc and Chateau Angélus. Wow.
- Drove stick-shift in France...damn roundabouts!
- Tasted wine out of 2000 year old Roman wine vats in the Rhone at Chateau Saint Cosme
- Sun-tanned topless
- Learned to make crepes
- Mingled with the rich and famous in Saint Tropez
- Explored the island of Porquerolles
- Went to the Cannes Film Festival
- Nous avons appris à parler du Français
- Explored the wineries of Provence...heeelllo Rose!
- Fell in love with the city of Nice! We went three times and adore the beaches, museums and Old Town
- We're the first people in Southern France to get an Ipad 2... we were first in line and after 14 hours of waiting, LOTS of coffee, and too much techie conversation we finally got them and were photographed like Wills and Kate.
- Learned to cook 5 Provenςal main dishes
- Taught English to a Chinese speaker
- Learned the basic rules of Rugby
- And of course, us two non-techies created this blog to document it all. For all the headaches, html gibberish, and formatting crises, it has been incredible to see it finally take shape and attract readers' attention!
- Early August: Paris! To meet fellow wine lovers and explore the city before we leave France.
- Mid-August-end of September: Spain! We're heading to the Penèdes and Barcelona to learn and blog about CAVA for a company called Wine Pleasures! Pinch me because I think I may be dreaming!
- October-December: Southern Italy! Time to get our hands dirty harvesting, crushing, and making some delicious Italian vino.
So folks, barring unforeseen disasters, it looks as though 2011 is pretty well planned out. 2012 is still up in the air at this point, but we have some amazing opportunities in the works for January and February that will hopefully pan out.
After reminiscing about the last six months, we couldn't be happier and more encouraged to keep going. Especially to all of you who have offered donations, advice, recommendations and friendship, we are eternally grateful and will do all we can to keep tasting, travelling and talking about wine as we experience it.
Here's to another six months and a lifetime of Vino Vagabonding!