When I was planning my trip, calculating where I wanted to go and how long to spend there, I was generally looking at maps in the World Atlas of Wine, and plotting a course. The dates I put into my itinerary would often have little relevance, apart from being in regions during the week (to try to meet with winemakers/owners), and weekends in cities. This meant I wasn’t taking into account any public holidays in each individual country, and have come up against some complications. There is a national holiday that is celebrated in many South American countries on the 8th of December, to commemorate the Virgin Mary. As it fell on a Thursday this year many people didn’t work on the Friday and took a four-day weekend. So partly for this reason, I had no appointments for four days. This put a bit of a crimp on my travels, so all I could really do was drive through the regions.