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Happy Birthday, Neena

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Winding River

In wine country – A fine Torrontes – Overlooking the vineyards – Great stories

While we were living in San Francisco we usually went to the wine country to celebrate birthdays, so how lucky to find ourselves in the Cafayate wine country during Neena’s birthday! A birthday calls for celebration and how better to celebrate than with fine wine and food, so I arranged for a private lunch for two at the San Pedro de Yacochuya winery.

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A day on the farm

SP Yacochuya was located in the hills of Cafayate and had stunning views over the countryside, a panorama of green and blue. We were greeted by the owner’s wife and we sat in their veranda discussing wine and their family history while enjoying antipasti. “wine is life, wine is celebration”, she opined, as we swirled glasses of their excellent Torrontes, a varietal particular to Salta. Theirs was uncharacteristic of the varietal, more like a Sauternes in the glass but completely dry with a long finish in the mouth.

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Tasting wine

Our garrulous host led us to our table overlooking the vineyard and the kitchen brought out the main course of cabrito. The fare was rustic but the wines and hospitality were top notch. Looking over the vineyards made us miss San Francisco even more as it took us back to all the good times in the wine country. But in another sense it felt like home and for the first time Neena said that she could live in another country besides the United States.

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In the Garganta del Diablo

Neena’s last birthday came near the beginning of the trip, this one comes closer to the end. The last was fraught with frustration as we ran from restaurant to restaurant to find corkage, while this was a quiet genteel experience where everything was perfect. But beautiful perfect meals don’t make for great stories like decanting an old L’Angelus into a Nalgene bottle. Happy birthday Neena, may we have both types of birthdays in our future!

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Red Rocks

Pretty Canyon

New additions to the website:
Best pictures from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

15 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Neena”

  1. Katherine says:

    Happy Birthday Neena! Best wishes for a year full of more amazing adventures!

  2. Aniruddh says:

    Hey Neena mami…. Wish u a very Happy Birthday….

  3. Jan Bottorff says:

    Happy Birthday Neena!

    Wishing you many more years of adventure, love, and good health…


  4. Suhasini Taskar says:

    Happy to learn that you were able to celebrate your birthday at a wonderful place like the vineyard. The pictures of the red rocks are stunning. It reminds me of Canyon de Chile in the US.
    When are you scheduled to reach the Iguazu falls?

  5. abeline says:

    Dear Neena, happy birthday. May all your dreams come true!
    I am thrilled to see you have arrived in Argentina and are now visiting the area around Salta. Such familiar scenery! I have fond memories of the beautiful 7 coloured rocks, the spectacular canyons and the lovely wineries. Don’t forget to eat lama.. Enjoy and please post more pictures!

  6. Steve says:

    Happy Birthday Neena! The gang at Oracle wish you the best.

  7. Jerzy says:

    Happy birthday, Neena!
    I can see the trail of your future celebrations winding through lovely terroirs of Medoc, Barolo and Rhineland. There is so much in life to enjoy! And you are showing us all how to do it.

  8. Tom says:

    Very Happy Birthday Neena
    So happy that you did not have to decant in a Nalgene bottle this year.

  9. Trainer Bob says:

    Buon Compleanno Neena,

    Trick or Treat. Enjoy your day. Wow, a year already. It’s a rainy day in the Bay Area. Cheers

  10. Hey Neena,
    Sounds Like a wonderful pace to spend your birthday. Herzlichen glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!!!!!!!!!!

  11. fred says:

    Happy Birthday!

  12. Pramod taskar says:

    Life is full of questions. (We try to find answers).
    Daddy (Pramod Taskar)

  13. Neena says:

    Thanks everybody!
    It is a rainy night in the Iguazu Falls. The day was amazing, look for the Iguazu video in the next post. Its is so nice to hear from everyone, Shreesh is stupefied that the post got so many comments!
    Hope the economy isn’t getting everyone down, we are very excited to follow the US elections live on TV and Internet. Hurray for technology!!!
    San Pedro de Yacochuya from Salta, Argentina is a great winemaker. They have an importer in New York. Tonight we are having their second label red (with pizza), which is 12 pesos (about 4USD) and quite good for the money. Their first label wines, specially the Torrontes, are excellent.
    Take care and a belated Happy Halloween!

  14. Roberto says:

    Hi Neena,
    Happy Birthday and hope you are enjoying Argentina. I was right about Salta’s wines, right ?. I miss those days when I drank a great and cheap wine :).
    Enjoy Iguazu Falls and have a wonderful trip across my country.

  15. Suhasini Taskar says:

    Eagerly awaiting for the video of the Iguazu falls. Winning of Obama in the election has created a great deal of excitement here and all over the world. We were awake until the final results were declared. His acceptance speech was excellent. How he would turn around the serious problems facing the country remains to be seen.

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