MENDOZA`S FREE MAGAZINE
Nº36 FEB / MAR 2009
Mendoza’s Wine Harvest Festival The Complete Vendimia Listings Salentein Winery
editorial Rituales Argentinos
Rites of Passage
Los extranjeros que viven en Argentina experimentan diversos rituales de la cultura local. Uno de ellos es su primer asado, una maratón de carne que se precipita en cada boca y hace de la Argentina el sueño de los carnívoros. Otro es el primer fernet, una bebida Italiana a base de hierbas, que se disfruta con grandes cantidades de Coca Cola e induce a enérgicas conversaciones, baile y milagrosamente, ninguna resaca. Cuando te encuentras tocando la guitarra en el aire por un rock nacional, es cuando te das cuenta que estás en la mitad de una total inmersión y cuando esos primeros pares de alpargatas de yute que compraste se mojan y se doblan como una banana, bueno ya eres prácticamente un Argentino honorario. En Mendoza un ritual obligatorio es experimentar Vendimia. Nadie puede decir que realmente conoce Mendoza sin apreciar la agonía y el éxtasis del festival anual de la cosecha de la uva. Esto exige estirar nuestro cuello en la muchedumbre emocionada para ver los desfiles, mientras esquivamos los melones y tetrapaks que vuelan por el aire arrojados por las reinas, con mejores tiros que algunos jugadores del rugby de los Pumas. O quedar con el trasero entumecido luego de pasar cinco horas sentados en el anfiteatro mirando el desfile de bellezas, antes de ser sorprendido por un cielo de fuegos artificiales asombrosos. Nuestra primera edición fue para la Vendimia de 2003. Nuestras fotos de la tapa celebran seis años de cosechas extraordinarias. Puede haber muchas más.
Foreigners living in Argentina experience several rites of passage regarding local culture. One is their first asado – the mouth watering meat marathon that makes Argentina a carnivore’s dream. Another is the first fernet – the Italian herbal drink that is enjoyed with copious amounts of Coca Cola and induces energetic conversation, dancing and, miraculously, no hangover. It is when you find yourself playing air guitar to Rock Nacional that you realise you are halfway to total submersion and when those first pair of alpargatas (a type of plimsoll shoe) get wet in the rain and bend like bananas, well you are practically an honorary Argentine. In Mendoza a compulsory rite of passage is to experience Vendimia. Nobody can say they really know Mendoza without seeing firsthand the agony and the ecstasy of the annual wine harvest festival. This entails stretching your neck in the excited crowd to see the parades whilst avoiding those flying melons and tetrapaks flung by queens with better throws than some Puma rugby players. Or gaining a numb backside whilst seated in the amphitheatre for five hours watching the beauty pageant before being showered in amazing fireworks. Our first publication was for Vendimia 2003. Our cover photos celebrate six years of bumper harvests. May there be many more.
CREDITS February-March 2009 / 10,000 Copies / Published by Seven Colors S.A. / San Lorenzo 170 / Mendoza City / Tel (0261) 425 5613 / Cel. 155 413 892 / firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Charlie O’Malley Assistant Editor: Lucy Holdsworth. Publicidad: Gabriel DellInnocenti, Carolina DellInnocenti, Ana Laura Aguilera (155 01 88 74) email@example.com Publishing Assistant: Muriel Altamirano P.R.: Judith Clinton Design: Beattub www.beattub.com.ar Printer: Artes Gráficas UNION Contributors: Luke McMahon, Charlie O`Malley, Lucy Holdsworth, Martin Mariangeli, Fernando Mateo, Ricardo Accurso. Distributors: Emanuel Lucero (Mendoza City), José Luis Cano (Greater Mendoza), Julie Monteith (Bariloche), Emiliano Guevara (Buenos Aires), Sergio Lucca, Rosa María Aguilera (Cordoba). Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the editorial opinions of Wine Republic.
Contents News Republic ................................................................................. 6 Wish List Recommended wines ........................................................ 8 Operation Salentein Undercover in Valle de Uco ............................... 10 On a Roll Classic Argentine cuisine ................................................... 12 Chile Front Taking the bus to Santiago ........................................... 14 Vendimia 2009 The low down on the Wine Harvest Festival ............. 18 Gay Vendimia A colorful alternative to the main event .................. 19 One-legged Bird Wildlife in Mendoza ........................................... 22 The Top 20 Wineries The best to visit .............................................. 24 Dining Out Where to eat in Mendoza ............................................... 26 Bars Where to drink in Mendoza ...................................................... 31 Useful Information ....................................................................... 32 Maps ............................................................................................. 34
Photo courtesy of Ruca Malen
news republic The Grape Escape
Despite Mendoza’s increasing wine fame, land here remains cheap. An acre of prime vineland costs up to $40,000 US whereas in Napa or Europe it can cost four times this number meaning that dream of making your own wine is somewhat more realistic south of the Equator. Of course buying a vineyard is the only the beginning of it. Then you must cultivate, harvest and make the wine. This is where a private vineyard management company comes in so handy. They take care of the niggly bits (like planting, reaping and crushing) whilst you sit back and do the most important (drink it). The oldest such company is Santa Maria de los Andes who operate a 820-hectare site in the Malbec hot zone of Agrelo. The famed Tuscan winemaker Alberto Antonini is overseeing a prestigious operation that could be called a personalised wine resort – enjoying your own wine on your own balcony with your own view of the mountains. www.santamariadelosandes.com
big wines, big lunches
Fancy some fine wines and incredible food in a beautiful winery? There are more and more options in Mendoza but one of the most accessible, delightful and satisfying is Clos de Chacras winery, located in the upscale, leafy satellite town of Chacras de Coria. Jump on a bus (number 15 or 16 from 25 de Mayo and Rivadavia) or take a 15-minute taxi ride from the city center to this gorgeous, old world winery surrounded by vineyards in one of Mendoza’s most fashionable residential zones, yet only 2 blocks from the town plaza. The winery offers rich, concentrated blends such as the Gran Estirpe, deemed worthy of 91 points by Robert Parker. The 100-year old building is owned by the Gargantini family, one of Mendoza`s most famous wine dynasties and former doyens of what was the biggest winery in the world, the Maipu-based Giol. The restaurant in Clos de Chacras is open for lunches and specializes in Italian cuisine. Clos de Chacras, Monte Libano s/n, Tel. 496-1285/155-792-706; ww.closdechacras.com.ar
A Spanish Tale
Have a story to tell? Do you think you could tell it in Spanish without causing too much pain? Language school Instituto Intercultural have organised a short story competition called El Otro. It is open to nonnative Spanish speakers living in Mendoza or just passing through. You can enter into two categories – basico or avanzado. The closing date is July 31st 2009. Contact Intercultural for more information. Instituto Intercultural, Republica de Siria 241; Tel. 429 0269; ww.intercultural.com.ar Santa María de los Andes
In our previous edition we covered the very successful Dakar rally through Argentina, joking that we hoped the race was not held up by any of Argentina’s ubiquitous road protests. Sure enough on the Route 9 in Santa Fe a “corte” held up several support vehicles that resorted to an impromptu off-road cross country scramble to avoid the delay. Here in Mendoza the lovely Maipu lodge Posada Cavieres ended up hosting a Belgian-Dutch team that had to drop out because of mechanical failure. The lodge owner Hans Devloo ended up storing the racing car in his barn and then towing it the whole way to La Cumbre in Cordoba. Now that’s what I call service. Posada Cavieres charge $180 AR for a double room, making it one of the best value country lodges in Mendoza. www.caviereswines.com
THE Wish List Some wines to try while in Mendoza
Bressia 2004 Profundo
Urban Uco Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Prodigo Malbec Reserva 2004
Tapiz Sauvignon Blanc
Altos Los Hormigas Bonarda Colonia Los Liebres
Zuccardi Textura Ancelloto
Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. A dark ruby with sweet notes of chocolate, strawberry and stewed cherries, nice oak notes but not over powering and stuffy. Price $ 150 ARG.
Italian winemaker Alessandro Speri is producing a delicious malbec with an intense floral nose and hints of chocolate and vanilla. Price $ 65 ARG.
This usually sturdy grape gets the soft, fruity treatment from one of Argentinaâ€™s most respected wineries. Ripe and dense it has surprisingly warm tannins. Price $ 30 ARG.
Finca La Celia 2004 Cabernet Franc
Very dark with violet hue, concentrated black fruit, blackberries, blueberrys, a bit of currant and spice, mint and a touch on alcohol on the nose. A velvety texture with light tannins. Price $ 40 ARG.
Domaine St. Diego 2006 Paradigma
60% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Bright red color, loaded with earthy notes and smoke, soft red fruits of white cherry, cranberry and plum. Price $ 35 ARG.
Tempus Alba 2005 Tempranillo
Light ruby in color, long soft cherry aromas with gentle and silky entrance, great balance and structure. Excellent value. Price $ 48 ARG.
Yellow hues, very grassy and floral, acidic, with citric notes and sweet apricot, good full mouth feel, buttery and oaky notes on finish and a lasting grassy taste but with good minerality. Price $ 20 ARG.
Despite Mendozaâ€™s constant sunshine, the area is producing some excellent acidic whites and Tapiz Sauvignon Blanc is one of the best. Strong hints of gooseberry and guavo. Price $ 35 ARG.
Only available in the winery, this wine is rich and intense, full bodied and highly concentrated. It has gamey aromas backed up with dark cherry. Price $ 40 ARG.
salentein One of Mendoza’s most spectacular wineries gets an anonymous visitor.
You work for the French Secret Service. You’ve been sent on an urgent mission to discover the high tech, underground lair of a company intent on world wine domination. Intelligence and satellite images have located the winery in Valle de Uco, 90 minutes south of Mendoza city. This is not surprising. The valley is fast becoming the heartland of prestigious Argentine wines. Mineral-rich water from the mountains and a perfect altitude and soil are creating an army of grapes that threaten the Old World order. Further Investigations and discreet inquiries in the tourist kiosk on Ave. San Martin reveal Salentein is the name of your quarry. You are intrigued. Next, how to penetrate vineyard security and find out just what it is that’s making your chiefs back in Paris so nervous?
“The winery is operated by an invincible energy source: gravity” You go disguised as a tourist, armed with a high tech digital camera and factor 30 sun screen. The Bodega is a stark, modernist bunker of glass and concrete set in thousands of hectares of vines with a spectacular backdrop of snow capped Andean peaks. But wait, this is not the winery but a purpose built visitor’s center with slick restaurant and art gallery known as Killka. The winery itself is located 100 meters behind. Note the latest drip irrigation system—water piped directly to every individual plant. These people are serious. Keep calm. You use your suave French charm and a friendly, company guide to get past reception. Security personnel patrol the area on motorbikes and a fleet of golf carts usher people beneath both buildings. You slip into a plush cinema salon where a large group is watching a presentation video. You join the group unnoticed and leave the visitor’s center and walk across towards the winery with a guide. The tinted windows and minimalist steel and brick design is imposing. 10
Suddenly you are in the heart of the winery. It is huge, spacious and well-designed. The network of pipes that feed the stainless steel vats is operated by an invincible energy source: gravity. Much of the building is underground and can be viewed from a circular gallery above. Mounted oak barrels fan out from a central circular court with a pillared atrium that soars towards the roof. The impression is startling. It looks like the showroom for a secret weapon. “Dangerous thoughts of defecting enter your head” You go below, skilfully dodging a busy platoon of men on forklifts. It is cool and dark, so dark you must take off your secret service shades. Against the walls are neat steel racks holding bottles of maturing wine. The guide reveals that Salentein is actually Dutch owned and has big investments in wine, fruit and tourism all around the world. Together with sister wineries El Portillo next door and Callia in San Juan, the company is exporting millions of bottles. You follow the tour group and successfully infiltrate the wine tasting rooms. The lady pours you a Salentein Chardonnay. It is golden and fragrant. You are speechless. Dangerous thoughts of defecting enter your head. You could hide out in five-star luxury at the nearby Posada Salentein – an upscale inn with incredible views. You calm down and take a sip of the Primus Pinot Noir. You panic. You see the future and it says Salentein. The French are doomed. You see huge European wine lakes. Unwanted Beaujolais poured down drains. You must go and report to HQ as soon as possible, but wait! First lets try that nice bottle of Tempranillo...
on a roll Martin Mariangeli and Fernando Mateo discuss one of Argentinaâ€™s greatest delicacies
Lucy Holdsworth takes the bus to Chile
Whoever once said it is better to travel than to arrive was always a little mad in my opinion. However, when you realize just how big Argentina is, a mere eight-hour bus journey from Mendoza to Santiago de Chile is a walk in the park. I´m actually a big fan of bus travel in Argentina as the combination of reclining beds, little bottles of wine and playing bingo normally makes me a happy camper. Once you successfully avoid being pick-pocketed at the terminal, you´re good to go. Escaping theft by not standing out and looking like a vulnerable tourist is tricky when you´re a 5¨8 blond with a loose grasp of Spanish. Strap a backpack onto your front as well as back and it´s trickier still. I resemble a mule or a billboard advertising personal belongings of some expense. “There is nothing to distract from the rather grim food except of course for the scenery.” Much to my disappointment, the Mendoza Santiago trip is minus both bingo and wine. There is nothing to distract from the rather grim food and endless stream of Jean Claude Van Damme movies. Except of course for the scenery. Leaving the freeways behind and aiming for the awesome mountains, it´s difficult not to feel excited. Potrerillos dam is the first milestone and the last glimpse of blue water as the brown sediment of Rio Mendoza leads you further up the mountain, churning rafters along the way. The Trans-Andean railway line runs parallel, originally connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires. The train track needs a lot of work before its supposed reopening in 2010 (an event looking increasingly unlikely because of the global credit crunch). As you travel through the mountain pass, try spotting rocks which locals believe bare a striking resemblance to a tiger, turtle, Egyptian mummy and gorilla. After an hour, the vast brown valley opens up to the small green oasis of Uspallata – backdrop to the Brad Pitt movie ´Seven Years in Tibet´. Then you pass through Penitentes, the largest of the ski resorts within a couple of hours drive from Mendoza. Blink and you´ll miss Puente del
Inca, with coaches both marking the spot and blocking the view unfortunately. If you are due to return to Mendoza, try to take a tour to this naturally formed bridge over a ravine and explore nearby Aconcagua National Park. “I swiped my neighbours’ head-seat covers and made them into socks.” With only half an hour to go before reaching the border I had planned on a quick power nap, but I was starting to feel rather uncomfortable. The air conditioning was so extreme that when I was sure my neighbouring passengers had dozed off, I swiped their head-seat covers and made them into socks. Buoyed by my ingenuity I then set about trying to turn the curtains into leg warmers. Several seconds later I gave up. It´s luck of the draw how long you´ll be held at customs and immigration but if you´re traveling in the middle of the day, anything up to a three-hour delay is possible. Transporting food produce between Chile and Argentina is strictly prohibited. I advise as much against fruit smuggling as I would for drugs. The only thing that made the drawn out checking process bearable was our clandestine fruit joke banter along the way. There was a particularly hairy moment with a very bereft banana smuggler but, situation stable, we re-boarded the bus for the Chilean descent. A switch back road provides some of the most stunning views of the Andes. The landscape suddenly becomes incredibly lush with Chile receiving the rain that the Mendoza desert lacks. As we travel through the city suburbs approaching the centre, I realize that the combination of scenery and people watching are better than any possible in-flight entertainment and that the journey has been really memorable. Perhaps whoever it was, was not so mad after all.
VENDIMIA It’s party time in Mendoza, but what’s all the fuss about really? Luke McMahon finds out.
Harvest time has always been a time for celebration. In ancient times people held their breath and began counting the bushels – would it be a year of feast or famine? Would the larders be full enough to get them through winter with full bellies and light hearts? And in years of plenty, when the gods of fertility smiled, the people rejoiced by eating, drinking, and dancing themselves into a state it took all winter to recover from. Mendoza’s no different. While there’s still some suspense about devastating late-summer hailstorms wiping out the grapes, the Mendoza city authorities feel confident enough to plan the blow-out to end all blow-outs well in advance of any bushel-counting. ‘Vendimia’ means ‘harvest time’. Festivities run for about three months, from mid-January to mid-April. While it’s ostensibly a grape harvest celebration, when it comes to enjoying the sponsor’s product, there’s very little to be found. The official Vendimia has a decidedly dry feel. Fortunately, Mendoza’s better restaurants, bars and hotels offer punters plenty of opportunity to fall off a passing parade wagon if they so desire. The festivities do however include all sorts of activities, grape-related and otherwise, such as free tango shows and movies in the park, festivals of plums and tomatoes, horse racing, a vintage car rally and a very colourful alternative Gay Vendimia. But the one they come from near and far to witness is the Acto Central, where lithe young maidens representing all of Mendoza province’s departments compete to be crowned National Harvest Queen.
To the outsider with no parochial axe to grind, ranking the contestants or indeed telling them apart at all can be near impossible. Fortunately the panel of experts are miraculously able to turn what may appear to the untrained eye to be a fairly arbitrary exercise into a precise science. Not everybody respects the judgement of the experts, however. It is not unheard of for aggrieved fathers to pursue legal action afterwards to have their daughter’s beauty upheld in court.
The Acto Central, at the Greek amphitheatre in Parque San Martín, is where Vendimia comes to a head. The enthralled masses finally find out who has been chosen as this year’s Harvest Queen. Mendoza Capital’s representative isn’t allowed to compete, for fear of gaining an unfair home-ground advantage. She gets to play hostess instead. An allegorical stage show unfolds, choreographed and rehearsed for nine months. The contestants parade one last time across the stage, flanked by costumed dancers, interspersed by uplifting speeches and rousing music, dazzled by stage lighting and special effects that would rival a Stones tour. And then – all is revealed! The queen of queens is crowned to thunderous applause and fireworks light up the sky as the party leaves the amphitheatre.
The idea of queens being chosen to represent each of Mendoza’ departments is less bureaucratic than it sounds. The departments are geographical districts rather than branches of government (although, not to be outdone, the water board has its own Water Queen beauty pageant later in the year. Ironically, in 2006 that festival was washed out by torrential rain). Any Mendocino will be quick to tell you that Mendoza women are the most beautiful in the world. This makes selecting departmental representatives, let alone one grand winner, a very challenging and serious business that requires weeks of consideration first by district, then regional committees, and then by a panel of 250 experts and 25 members of the public. Mendocinos turn out in force to support the cream of their youthful crop in a competition where they can be confident no flash Porteña is going to swoop in and take top honours. But inter-departmental loyalties are fierce and the air is thick with tension.
Moving Feast Nothing says ‘party time’ like a street parade, and just to be sure everyone gets the message, Vendimia has two. These parades are however essentially the same, one at night and the other the following morning. They feature floats decorated with tinsel, gold paint, optional paper-mache monsters, and harvest maidens, travelling in slow procession escorted by gauchos and sundry street performers through Parque General San Martín and the streets of Mendoza. In the spirit of the harvest celebration, the maidens fling fruit like grapes, plums, tomatoes, and watermelons – yes, watermelons – into the rapturous crowd of a quarter million people with gay abandon. Yet the real action occurs in the evening, after the second parade. Crowning Glory
Vendimia Through the Ages 1890s Rural communities celebrate surviving summer hailstorms. 1911
Official Vendimia festival proposed to raise Mendoza’s profile.
First unofficial harvest parade hits the city streets.
1936 First official Harvest Queen elected. First entrance fees charged. First Carrusel parade. 1938 First Blessing of the Grapes. 1940
Mendoza Capital’s queen appointed hostess and barred from contesting for the title of Harvest Queen.
Floating stage on lake in Parque General San Martin destroyed by storm. First Via Blanca parade as they drove the floats home from the alternative venue.
Official Vendimia song “Canto a Mendoza” adopted.
First repeat of the Acto Central, to settle a tie.
Acto Central has a one-year stint in the new amphitheatre in Parque General San Martin.
1956 Vendimia cancelled due to polio epidemic. 1959 Economic crisis results in Vendimia being celebrated modestly at Government House. 1963
Acto Central moves to the amphitheatre permanently.
Vendimia officially cancelled due to earthquake.
Mendoza Capital’s queen allowed to contest for title in celebration of 50 year anniversary.
Mendoza hosts one of South America’s best known gay festivals “When I was a young boy,” begins La Turca, a well known cabaret performer and transsexual in Mendoza, “it was my dream to become the Harvest Queen.” The slight problem of gender prevented this. Yet nothing in is impossible. If you cannot enter the competition, why not invent your own. Together with nightclub owner Ricardo ‘Tito’ Bustos, La Turca created the Gay Vendimia and was the first gay Queen of the Harvest to be crowned in 1996. Since then, this loud and colourful festival has gone from strength to strength and now the 14th edition lays claim to being one of the best known gay festivals in South America. It’s certainly a pioneering event on a continent that has much catching up to do in the area of gay rights. In the beginning it wasn’t easy. Strong public hostility and police intolerance meant the festival had a rocky start. Newspaper articles associated gays with AIDS, drugs and perversion. However, through perseverance and a keen sense of humour, the festival blossomed into a weekend, nocturnal happening of cabaret, dance displays and drag shows, all compered by the indomitable Turca. It reflects a colourful underground scene that is flourishing around the city in venues such as La Reserva cabaret bar and nightclubs such as Estacion Miro and Queen. Gay Vendimia is now officially recognised by the provincial government and incorporated into the timetable of the mainstream event. Media coverage is enthusiastic and the Queen attracts considerable attention, especially when celebrity transsexuals turn up from Buenos Aires or a lesbian queen is elected. This year there are rumours that one of Argentina’s most famous divas Valeria Lynch will perform in front of a crowd of 4,000 people. After an extravagant cabaret show involving 300 performers, and the irreverent but emotional award ceremony put together by well known producers Gabriel and Fernando Canci with the founder Tito Bustos, the event turns into a huge rave that continues into the early hours. “Gay Vendimia is not a protest,” continues La Turca, “we never meant it to be a satire. It is simply a gay celebration of the city we love, Mendoza.” Vendimia Gay, Saturday, March 7th, after midnight, Auditorio Angel Bustelo, Virgen del Carmen de Cuyo 610, Mendoza city center. Tel. 4293848. To catch La Turca and her troupe of dancers doing their take on everybody from Marilyn Monroe to Marilyn Manson, check out the bar La Reserva on Rivadavia 32.
vendimia program Tickets for the Acto Central are available from the Subsecretaría de Turismo and from Official Ticket Office Nevada, calle Belgrano 1415. The best seats costs between $70 AR and $90 AR for the first night’s performance and $7 AR and $20 AR for the second and third night.
Sunday 1 Boca Vs River · Estadio Mundial, Parque San Martin, Mendoza Wednesday 4 Cinema in the Park “Mientras Tanto”, Rose Garden, P. San Martin. 9.30pm. Winemaker Evening The Vines of Mendoza hosts a winemaker from the area · Espejo 567, 7pm. Thursday 5 Tunuyan Vendimia Celebrations in the Valle de Uco town of Tunuyan, culminating in election of the local harvest queens. Cinema in the Park Martin Fierro, Rose Garden, Parque San Martin, Mendoza. 9.30pm Friday 6 Tango Night Rose Garden, Parque San Martin, 9.30pm. Saturday 7 Tonada Weekend musical festival in Tunuyan that ends on Sunday 8th. Regional Vendimia Simultaenous celebrations in San Martin, Lavalle, General Alvear and Santa Rosa, culminating in election of local harvest queens in each. Folklore Festival Rose Garden, Parque San Martin, 9.30pm. Sunday 8 Live Salsa Rose Garden, Parque San Martin, 9.30pm. Rivadavia Vendimia Regional celebration in the east of the province.
Wednesday 11 Virgen de Lourdes Procession Starting in Lavalle Winemaker Evening The Vines of Mendoza, Espejo 567, 7pm. Thursday 12 Cinema in the Park “Argentina Latente”. Rose garden, Parque General San Martín. 9.30pm.
Wednesday 25 Winemaker Evening The Vines of Mendoza, Espejo 567, 7pm Cherry Festival General Alvear Friday 27 City Vendimia Mendoza city center holds its own harvest festival. Venue; Plaza Independencia 10pm. Saturday 28 Melon Festival Lavalle.
Friday 13 Tango Night Rose Garden, Parque San Martin, 9.30pm Regional Vendimia Godoy Cruz and San Carlos. Dual celebrations in and around the town centres culminating in the election of the local harvest queens for nearby Godoy Cruz and San Carlos in Valle de Uco. Saturday 14 Tango Electronica Mendoza Folklore Festival Rose Garden, Parque San Martin, 9.30pm. San Rafael Vendimia Mendoza’s second city holds its own harvest festival and elects the local queen that will represent this southern town at the main event. Tuesday 17 Federal Week Open-air music, food and artistic displays representing the regions of Mendoza, and other Argentine provinces. Next to Government House, Parque Civico. Runs all week until Sunday 22, from 8 pm everyday. Wednesday 18 Theater “La Bohemia” Teatro Independencia, Chile y Espejo, 9pm. Friday 20 Los Fabulosos Cadillacs in Concert One of Argentina’s greatest rock bands plays in the World Cup Stadium, Parque San Martin, Mendoza City. Saturday 21 Guaymallen and Santa Rosa Vendimia Celebrations in the city district of Guaymallen and the southern town of Santa Rosa, culminating in the election of the local harvest queen. Virgen de la Carrodilla Pilgrimage The patron saint of the vineyards is paraded through the province, starting at the Fountain of Continents in Parque San Martin. Tuesday 24 Americanto A 2-day music festival in Mendoza city ending on the 25th. Venue; Prado Gaucho, Parque Civico.
Sunday 1 Blessing of the Fruit The traditional pilgrimage through the vines ends in San Rafael this year. A procession bearing the Virgen de la Carrodilla starts in Lavalle in the north of the province and ends in the south at the Teatro Griego Chacho Santa Cruz. Monday 2 Mendoza’s Foundation Anniversary Tuesday 3 Piazza Festival A 3-day party celebrating all things Italian, especially pasta and opera. Plaza Italia 10pm. Wednesday 4 Winemaker Evening The Vines of Mendoza, Espejo 567, 7pm Friday 6 Vía Blanca de las Reinas Parade One of the highlights of the festival, this night time parade of floats and regional queens through Mendoza. Starts on Avenida Colón, then San Martín, Las Heras, Chile and finally Sarmiento. Begins 10.00 pm. Saturday 7 Carrusel Parade Hearty and genuine parade of floats, gauchos and regional queens through Mendoza city center. There is even a mobile asado (barbecue) on display. Watch out for the flying melons and rocketing cartons of wine. It all begins at the main gates of Parque General San Martín, then follows Emilio Civit, Chile, Las Heras, San Martín and Colón. It begins 10.00 am.
Saturday 7 Watch the Parade in Style Special Menu on the Terrace at the Park Hyatt, with the best views of the Parade. Reservations required. Park Hyatt Vendimia Acto Central Lavishly presented stage show with lights, singing, choreographed dancing, smiling and waving, all culminating in the coronation of the Harvest Queen. It all goes on a little bit too long (bring a cushion for your backside) but the locals love it. The best part is the spectacular fireworks display at the end. The setting is an outdoor amphitheatre in the park. Teatro Griego Frank Romero Day, Parque General San Martín. 10.00 pm. Saturday 7 Serenade to the Queens The new Queen is serenaded by local musicians at the balcony of the Subsecretaría de Turismo. Subsecretaría de Turismo, Avenida San Martín 1143. 12.30 am (technically, Sunday morning). Gay Vendimia Dinner and drag show featuring this year’s contestants for the gay crown. Auditorio Angelo Bustos. Midnight. Sunday 8 Vendimia Race Meeting The years biggest horse race kicks off at midday in Mendoza Hipódromo. A bleary-eyed new Queen will be in attendance. Sunday 9 Vendimia Acto Central Repeat performance. For those who couldn’t get tickets to the opening night, everyone comes back to do it all again but this time without the time consuming (and frankly boring) election. Teatro Griego Frank Romero Day, Parque General San Martín. 9.30 pm. Monday 10 Vendimia Acto Central Third edition. Participants repeat the wildly popular spectacular for a third night running. Teatro Griego Frank Romero Day, Parque General San Martín. 9.30 pm. Wednesday 11 Winemaker Evening The Vines of Mendoza, Espejo 567, 7pm Tuesday 17 St Patrick’s Day Celebrations Party in the Irish bar, Colon 241. Wednesday 18 Winemaker Evening The Vines of Mendoza, Espejo 567, 7pm Look Out For These Other Festivals During March Nacional Festival de la Tonada City Amphitheatre 8 30 pm nightly. 6th Annual Rally of the Wineries A 580km competition featuring 120 classic sports cars with stages through the mountains and between some of Mendoza’s top wineries. Festival of the Tomato Culminating in the election of Tomato Queen! La Consulta, San Carlos. Classical Music amidst the Vines A series of more than 30 classical, jazz and tango concerts taking place in beautiful vineyard settings and some of Mendoza’s other most picturesque locations during Easter week. Audiences will be small and intimate and tickets are required. Enquire at the Subsecretaría de Turismo (www.cultura.mendoza.gov. ar) for programme details and ticketing.
One-legged Bird Ricardo Accurso notices something is amiss in his garden
A few years back I began to notice the presence of a particularly beautiful bird in my back yard here in Mendoza, Argentina. Not a large bird, but quite colorful in tones of black, white and yellow, with brownish wings, and with a helluva voice, high pitched and screechy, and loud. There wasn’t much growing in the garden around that time, and I think it was attracted to the yard because of the swimming pool more than the vegetation. In the heat of summer, the bird would make repeated swan dives at the pool’s surface and hit the surface with a splash, shaking itself off at the pool’s edge. It was a pretty sight. I think that the bird was also drinking the pool’s water, in spite of the chlorine in it. As time went by, the garden began to grow larger, with more plants, and I think the bird liked the improvements. Not only was there the water that it liked, but also some grubs and worms and other bird treats. Soon after, the garden became a popular habitat for a variety of birds, with my one–legged friend being the earliest and steadiest member of the group. “A notable thing about the bird was the absence of a leg” A notable thing about the bird was the absence of a leg. I suspected the cats that were traversing the garden in those days on a regular basis, going back and forth to get laid in the night and more or less claiming the space in between as their rightful territory. I’ve had to take some great pains to persuade them to go someplace else, but at that time, a couple years ago, there were five or six cats in the backyard regularly.
I felt strongly that one of them had gotten my friend’s leg when it was still young and vulnerable. You can probably guess that I hate cats. “I liked that it was a survivor” The bird used to hop around on its one leg, and although it must have been a bother, it seemed to have adapted to the loss and was able to fend for itself well enough. I liked that it was a survivor. I came to think that the bird would be with me for a long time, especially since it had made it this far and had been a regular feature in my yard over the past four years. This spring, I was elated to see that the one -legged bird was flying around with a mate. “Well,” I thought, “that’s progress. Maybe we’ll see some new ones soon.” Unfortunately (for me and I’m sure for my friend), the relationship didn’t last long—maybe a few weeks. Was it rejected because of the missing leg? If you subscribe to the idea of chthonic nature—that nature is unforgiving and even cruel—you won’t find it hard to accept that possibility. Or maybe it was something else entirely, but the fact remains that the other bird soon disappeared. The one-legged bird remained and continued to cry out with its song, however, maybe trying to get another mate. Futilely, it turned out. This morning the maid found the bird in the pool, drowned, in the skimmer box. I buried it in the garden. It was a friend and it is missed.
the TOP 20
WINERIES to visit We have awarded scores to the best wineries conducting tours; 50 points for just existing, than 10 attributes; hospitality, food, architecture, accommodation, wine quality, guides, history, hygiene, tastings and flexibilty, each scoring 0 to 4. Finally a 1 to 10 score on overall experience.
Tapiz 94 points Complete wine experience with wine lodge Club Tapiz
and restaurant Terruño. RP 15, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. www.tapiz.com
ruca malen 93 points Excellent food, great guiding and first
86 points A sparkling wine operation with 100-year old vines. San Martin 1745, Luján de Cuyo.
decero 83 points Architecturally impressive with an ample tasting room. Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo.
sottano 83 points An excellent new boutique winery. RN 7, Luján de Cuyo.
class wines. RN 7, Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo. Tel. 4106214. www. bodegarucamalen.com
81 points One of the prettiest wineries in Mendoza. Guardia Vieja, Luján de Cuyo.
carlos pulenta 93 points Architecturally stunning with
80 points A quaint winery with atmospheric cellar and fascinating family history. Monte Libano S/N, Chacras de Coria. Tel. 496-1285; www.closdechacras.com.ar
restaurant La Bourgogne. Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo.
93 points Architecturally innovative with modernist restaurant and world class wines.Los Indios s/n, San Carlos. Tel.02622-451579; www.ofournier.com
andeluna 90 points Inviting with old world feel. RP 89, Tupungato.
familia zuccardi 89 points One of the most visited wineries in Mendoza. RP 33, Maipu.
achaval ferrer 88 points Barrel tasting of top scoring Quimera. Calle Cobos 2601, Luján de Cuyo.
88 points A stunning temple to wine set in the Andean foothills with world class art gallery and stylish restaurant. Tupungato, Valle de Uco. Tel.02622 429 500; www.killkasalentein.com
carinae 88 points A small, charming winery situated in Maipu. Videla Aranda 2899, Cruz de Piedra. Tel. 499 0470. www.carinaevinos.com
87 points A charming, pink hued colonial style bodega, set in the leafy vineyards of southern Maipu. Munives 800, Barrancas, Maipú.
finca la celia
87 points One of the oldest wineries in Mendoza. Av. de Circunv s/n, San Carlos. Tel. 413 4400 www.fincalacelia.com.ar
87 points An immaculate facility making very good wines. Perito Moreno 572, Maipu.
87 points An ultra modern facility with stylish underground tasting room. RP 86, Alto Agrelo.
87 points A masterful mix of modernity and tradition. Álzaga 3972, Luján de Cuyo. 24
clos de chacras rutini la rural
79 points Fascinating well-stocked museum. Montecaseros 2625, Maipu.
dinning out mendoza city Avenida Mexico
Mexican food in Argentina, as a rule, is either bland or sweet, given the fact that the Argentine palate avoids hot spices. Avenida Mexico is finally a bite of the proper stuff that will give you a bright red glow (but only if you ask for ¨picante¨). The décor is bright and stereotypical with some funky modern art for sale, and the service is friendly and attentive. Order the shared fajitas for the best dining experience (don´t worry if you run out, they´ll give you more)! Hands down the best margaritas in Mendoza are made in this establishment, get the traditional with salt. Average cost $45 AR. Tue-Sun from 20:30 to 1:30. Telephone (0261) 4299119 Juan B. Justo 836, Mendoza City. firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer´s here, al fresco´s a must and no one does it better than Anna Bistro. Outside the main restaurant is a beautiful atmospheric garden, dotted with plants, tables and candles that are reminiscent of Thailand, though the owners are keen to point out that the entire concept has Mendoza in mind. There is attention to every detail from presentation to cooking techniques with outside clay ovens and open air grill in addition to the capable kitchen. We chose a Pinot Gris from the extensive wine
list and plumped for fish although there is a range of appetising meat. Excellent service provided delicate dishes of ceviche and cesto de portobello – pastry piled with mushrooms and walnuts. To be charmed and treated, go for lunch, afternoon tea, beers, cocktails or dinner – you won´t want to leave, and after several Cocktail Anna´s on their low lying sofas, you may find it difficult to. Average price for a meal without wine $40 AR. Av. Juan B. Justo 161, Tel. 425 1818, Open every day, lunch (available all day) and dinner.
Best friends Gustavo and Charlie have realized their dream of opening a restaurant together with this hip new place on Aristides Villanueva. They pride themselves on being the only restaurant on Aristides with traditional Argentine bbq asado and wine. Although this rustic style restaurant specializes in beef, it has quite a diverse menu that includes salads, sandwiches, pizzas and a unique selection of papas fritas (French fries). There is a pretty good wine list for this area of town and there is seating out front on the lively street. There is also a lounge in the back filled with antique furniture; perfect for talking and enjoying a drink. The plates are big, the wait staff is friendly, and the location is central for the best nightlife. Average meal without wine $20 AR. Aristides Villanueva, Mendoza City. Open Everyday 11:00am- 3am
Asia meets Cuba meets Mendoza at Sofia from menu to décor to ambience. Brick fireplaces, leather sofas and impressive bookshelves contrast with buddhas and disco balls and all to the sound of latino beats. The chef takes on sushi, tablas, tapas, pizza, curry, fish and meat, and wins. Try the slightly misleading, yet very
pleasant chicken curry - battered chicken balls, coconut cream dip and stir fried vegetables. Their fritada de mar is a lightly fried selection of white bait, mussels, calamari and chunks of salmon with piqante and limon shots for dipping. We also recommend their fantastic trucha, perched on top of spring rolls and drizzled with a cheese sauce. Again, sounds strange on paper, works well on the night. Save some room for the postres with flan, chocolate and fruit selections that will have you in raptures. An epic wine list, charming host and attentive waiter tend to our every need. Average price for meal without wine $50-$60 AR. Aristides Villanueva 650, Mendoza City. Tel. 4299836. Open Mon – Sat 8pm to 1am
If you are interested in an elegant take on sampling Argentine wine and carne, two blocks from Plaza Independencia is Mi Tierra. Something of a rarity in the city, they offer flights of wine - a tasting of three glasses in the demure townhouse´s four rooms designated to wineries Norton, Catena Zapata, Escorihuela Gascon and Terrazas de los Andes. Attentive staff greet in the marble floored hall, showcasing Mi Tierra´s touch of class. A sweetbreads, lamb and carne empanadas tasting with spicy tomato salsa is well worth trying. Follow this with the meat tasting experience for two giving you the opportunity to try regional delicacies without having to get your hands dirty and with menus in both Spanish and English, you´ll be sure to know exactly what you´re getting. Disco chicken, pork loin, goat´s cheese pasta and fish are light alternatives whose quality hasn´t been overlooked by the chef. Average price for a meal without wine per person; 50 pesos. San Lorenzo y Mitre, Tel 425 0035 Open Mon-Sat, lunch and dinner.
dinning out Señor Buque
Sarmiento street west of Plaza Independencia is where most of Mendoza’s high-end parrilla style restaurants are located, many of varying style and quality. Señor Buque is undoubtedly one of the best, with attentive service and English speaking waiters. The menu is definitely for the carnivorous with giant 700 gram tibon steak as well as kid goat specialities. There is a mixed grill offering beef, chicken and pork. A salad bar offers 20 varieties of greens for those who like their veg. Also on the menu is a variety of fresh pasta, seafood casseroles and paella, all washed down with a decent list of 40 labels. Sarmiento 777. Tel. 425 3667. Open from 10am to 2am.
Live background music Wed-Sat: bandoneón, violin or flamenco guitar. Average cost without wine 35-40 pesos per person. Belgrano 1069, Tel. 4204322, open Mon-Sat from 9pm. Reservation recommended Fri+Sat.
La Albahaca is an Italian Argentine restaurant, visited by locals as well as the near by Academia Italiana, which is always a good sign. Dishes not only span two continents, but all regions of Italy as well. Be sure to start with the bruscetta al prosciutto crudo and you can´t go too far wrong with any of the numerous pastas. Bife de chorizo and asado also make appearances and, miraculously for such meat favoured origins, vegetarians are catered for with a good choice of salads and vegetable pastas. Don´t let the leaning tower of Pisa poster and green and white table cloths put you off, the food is fantastic, the ambience is authentic and with wines from excellent bodegas like Prodigo and Serrera, you´re ensured a good night. Average price for a meal without wine $30-40 ARG. Espejo 659, Tel. 4442127 - 156177505, Open Monday to Sunday lunch and dinner
If you like ambience with a laidback atmospehere, try La Sal. The chefs at this classy restaurant change the menu every three months so they can always use the freshest local ingredients of the season for their cocina cultural, an international cuisine with a mediterranean touch, composed by the chef himself. The wine list is extensive, maybe the best in Mendoza, and the bottles stored in a specially constructed cava. Specialities include Bramare Marchiori Malbec (rated 93 points by Wine Spectator) and there is something for every palate and wallet.
outside city center
Suiza Miniatur - Pica Piedras
Imagine a typical Swiss chalet surrounded by forests in the foothills of the Andes. Pica Piedras is the most Alpine dining experience in Argentina north of Bariloche. Its Swiss owners display their European sensibilities by conversing in Spanish, German, Italian and English. The restaurant name refers to the fondue speciality, served on a slab of granite with a variety of sauces. This is as authentic as you can get and the countryside surroundings 30 minutes south of the City only add to the experience. Other dishes include roasted potato tortillas and rolls stuffed with smoked ham and pork. Average price for meal without wine $50 - $60 ARG. Ruta Panamericana, on the way to Cacheuta hot springs, Colonia Suiza. Open everyday except Mondays. Midday to midnight. Tel. 154700827 / 156541050. 4962267. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 8pm. Lunches served Saturday and Sunday.
Club Tapiz Resort´s TERRUÑO
Tucked away among the sprawling vineyards of Maipu lies Club Tapiz Resort and its lovely restaurant Terruño. This handsome eatery boasts an elegant interior, excellent service and a wine list that is sure to please even the most finicky oenophile. Celebrity Argentine chef Max Casa has drawn up a tantalising menu that includes top-notch lomo steaks, a rotating range of salads and a savory ginger/ honey chicken dish that is second to none. Call ahead for dinner reservations. Average price for a meal with wine per person: 40-50 pesos. Ruta 60 s/n 5517 Maipú, Mendoza, (15 minutes by taxi) Tel. 496-0131, open for Lunch 12:00-15:00 every day / Dinner Sun-Thu 20:00-23:00, Fri&Sat ‘til 24:00.
La Encantada is very much as its name implies – an “enchanted place” that was officially declared a historical site in 2005. A beautiful adobe building with wood-posted gallery surrounds a lawn courtyard with 120-year old sycamore trees. The speciality is “chivo al disco”, kid goat cooked on a traditional grill that is in reality an improvised plough. Also on the carnivorous menu are rabbit, pork and beef with a healthy dash of fresh salads. The owners Federico and Romina are constantly on hand to make sure everything flows. Speaking of which, on the wine list is a very decent wine called Vinalia which just happens to be made next door. La Encantada is a 15-minute taxi ride south of Mendoza city center and makes for a sunny rustic lunch or balmy, romantic dinner. Average cost without wine $70 AR. Reservations required. Carril Gomez 3602, Coquimbito, Maipu, Tel. (261) 524 1666/ 524 1667 / 156229957; www.mendozatierradentro.com.ar
incredible Hong Kong ribs that come in a giant portion the size of an ex-British colony. Make sure you try the very reasonable Karma Malbec from the wine list. Pure Dalai Lama. Average price for meal without wine; 30 pesos. Italia 6055, Chacras de Coria (15 min in taxi), Tel. 496 1731 / 156125471, open Tue - Sat from 9pm.
Casa de Campo
DOMAINE DUMONT in Mendoza wine country and pips most for hospitality and creativity. The Irish coffee in front of the garden wood stove rounds the experience perfectly. Canadian owners the Montgomerys are the perfect hosts and chef Jasmine Montgomery puts to good use her extensive culinary expertise picked up in some of Vancouver’s best restaurants. Make this lunch stop your final stop when touring Maipu as you won’t want to go anywhere else. Average price for a 3-course meal without wine $30-40 AR. Domaine Dumont, 271 Perito Moreno, Maipu. Tel. (0261) 156 173 626. Reservations Required.
A crisp, fresh rosé greets you on the terrace of a Victorian style mansion in the heart of Maipu. Delectable dishes, each paired with some of the region’s best wines are served in an atmosphere that exudes charm and originality. Domaine Dumont is the latest fine dining experience
The most exotic restaurant in Mendoza, Karma is a Tibetan oasis of dark mahogany, sequined cushions and bamboo roofing. The owner Karma Apo Tsang was an actor on the Brad Pitt epic Seven Years in Tibet (filmed in Uspallata) when he decided to put down his wok in Chacras (familiar story). Tibetan food might conjure images of yak and curry and though there`s plenty of such spice on the menu, there`s not a beast of burden in sight. Starters include momo: delicious steamed dumplings with chopped meat and spring onion. If you`re looking for something more Argentine try the
Casa de Campo exudes authentic rustic charm. A 15 minute taxi ride from the city and you´re in the heart of the east Maipu wine district. Think welcoming casa with wooden beams, intimate tables in with the large selection of wine and small but lively verandah all of which is popular with locals and tourists alike. Discipline is needed with the very more-ish homemade warm bread, prosciuttio and olive oil if you are going to allow enough room for their mouth watering typical rural Argentine fair. Fantastic succulent rabbit and suckling pig cooked traditionally in their clay oven, pollo al vino blanco or ¨Grandma´s menu¨ dish of the day showcases local grown produce. Average price for a 3 - course meal without wine $30-40 ARG. Urquiza 1516, Coquimbito, Maipu. Tel. (0261) 4811605. Open everyday 12 pm. to 6 pm.
casa de campo
bars Clubs - Discotecas - Boliches Just a quick note and reminder to anyone who is looking to experience the night life in Mendoza, if you’re looking to party until the sun comes up that’s fine but you need to get there before 2:30am because they will shut their doors on any late comers.
Mendoza City ARISTIDES VILLANUEVA
This is the Beer Street of Mendoza and should be treated like one long bar. A continuation of Ave. Colon, Areeeesteedez (as its known to the locals) runs all the way up to the park and is crammed with pubs, bars, restaurants. In the summer months it is alive with alfresco drinkers and has a great atmosphere. Some bars are hip and trendy whilst others are just shops with seats outside. Go late.
BELIEVE IRISH PUB
One of the few real bars in Mendoza with nice island counter and high stools to prop yourself up on and sample their great collection of draught beers. Popular with travelers, it also has a great choice of bottled beers (including liter bottles of Warsteiner) and decent pub grub. TV screens display music videos and often there´s a DJ in attendance. Monday night is International night and draws a crowd. Wednesdays is “After Office” with a DJ throwing out 80s and 90s tunes. Great place for any big sporting games. Colon and España 241. Tel. 429 5567
THE VINES OF MENDOZA
As the first and only tasting room in South America, The Vines of Mendoza offers the broadest selection of premium boutique wines in Argentina. Enjoy a tasting tour through Argentine wine country by choosing one of their specially selected wine flights, or relax on the terrace with a glass from their list of over 40 limited production wines. An exclusive wine club is also available to allow guests to enjoy these impossible to find wines back in the United States and Europe. Espejo 567, Tel. 0261 438-1031
the vines - park hyatt Located next to Grill Q in the prestigious Park Hyatt Mendoza, you will find The Vines- Wine Bar & Vinoteca, where you can relax in the intimate wine bar and outdoor patio with a glass of Argentina’s best, accompanied by tapas and a variety of cheese plates. They offer seasonal selection of wines-by-the-glass, and an exceptional collection of Argentina’s 100 best wines available for purchase to carry or ship home. Also find out more about their unique vineyard ownership program, Private Vineyard Estates. Open daily 11am - 12 midnight. Park Hyatt Mendoza, Chile 112. Tel. 4381031
This is one of the only bars in downtown that has some dancing and a DJ and on Friday and Saturday nights will give you the club feeling without having to pay an entrance fee. With smog machines and lighting this place does a great job of entertaining their guests. It’s a bar so it’s small but there are a few lounge style rooms and a quieter area up stairs for those who want a little more room. All ages gather here but it is probably a 25 to 30 range. Located on Aristides Villanueva 557.
Mendoza may appear as a conservative buttoned down city but it has a thriving alternative scene and a vibrant gay nightlife. Queen is a pioneering club showcasing the city’s most colourful and eccentric night owls. This medium sized club is located several blocks south of the bus terminal and is open Fridays and Saturdays, the second night attracting a mixed crowd who come for fantastic drag shows followed by dance and electronic music. 25 de Mayo 318, Dorrego Tel. 431-5846
La Reserva Pub
This is the best disco bar in the city center with a healthy mix of transsexuals, shemales, gays, strays and straights to keep a dancefloor wallflower entertained. The drag shows and
cabaret acts are flamboyant and outrageous and worthy in sophistication of a 1920s Berlin revue. MC tranny La Turca is a Mendoza legend and the dance shows are often peppered with witty comedy sketches. The bar attracts a surprisingly mixed, alternative crowd who are known to jump on stage and join in the fun. Go late. Rivadavia 32, Tel. 420 3531
outside city center Iskra
One of the bigger nightclubs close to the city center. It has a huge dance floor in the biggest of its three rooms, and two bars. The crowd ranges from about 18 to late 20´s and it just varies upon the night. The music is a mix of rock and regaeton, with the occasional cuarteto song. The cover is 20 pesos and again ladies are free. Any taxi will know where it is, but it is. Located on Ave San Martin 905 in the direction of Lujan. For more details visit www.iskradiscopub.com.ar.
carilo nightclub and restaurant
The newly opened restaurant is the latest extension to one of Mendoza’s best superclubs Carilo in El Challao. Now you can eat, drink and dance under several terraces, roofs and stars in one location a ten-minute drive from the city centre on a Friday or Saturday night. The restaurant puts together alfresco dining and cabaret with a plasma screen showing various divas in concert, getting you in the mood for the night´s dancing ahead. Energetic waiters manage the tiered seating and deliver light meat, fish and vegetarian dishes ensuring it´s still possible to hit the dance-floor at the end. Should you forget that the night is still young, vodka, speed and fernet are on hand in addition to the good selection of wine. The nightclub has resident and guest DJs on Friday nights playing many styles of electronica including hardcore techno in the club’s four dancefloors, whilst Saturday nights is more retro with a playlist from the 80s and 90s.
Airport Tel: 448 0017 Accesso Norte s/n. El Plumerillo Bus Terminal Tel: 431 3001 Av. de Acceso Este y Costanera. Bus Routes Maipu Nº 151 or 160, calle Rioja, Chacras Nº 115 or 116, 25 de Mayo and Montevideo. Gendarmeria Nacional Tel 423 0120 Info on tunnel and road conditions Hospitals Hospital Central Tel 429 7100. Private Hospital Clinica de Cuyo José Vicente Zapata 63 Tel 4059000 info@ clinicadecuyosa.com.ar Museums Museo Moyano Lakeside museum shaped like a house-boat with giant condors and mountain mummies. Parque General San Martin, South end of the Lake. Tel: 428.7666. Espacio Contemporáneo de Arte (ECA) Ornate Goliath in the micro-center with simultaneous exhibitions of contemporary art. 9 de Julio and Gutiérrez Streets, Tel: 429.0117. Museo del Area Fundacional Located in Mendoza´s historical district, has excavation sites of centuries old civilization. Plaza Pedro del Castillo, Alberdi y Videla del Castillo Tel: 425.6927. Museo de Pasado Cuyano 1873 house-turned-museum has sixteen separate rooms dedicated to Cuyano history. Montevideo 544 Tel: 423.6031. Museo Historico San Martin Everything you could ever want to know about General San Martin. Remedios de Escalada de San Martín 1843, La Alameda. Tel: 428.7947. Museo Popular Callejero ¨Popular Street Museum¨ is a collection of stand-alone boxes preserving Mendoza´s cultural past. Las Heras Street, between 25 de Mayo and Peru. English Hairdresser London Way, Espejo 724, Tel: 423 3991. Dentist Rodrigo Martinez Emilio Civit 356 Tel 4231200. Money Currency Exchange Maguitur San Martin 1203 Tel (0261) 4251575. Travellers Cheques Supervielle Av San Martin 1198. English Conversation Group Karl Schroeter Tu Café, Colon 347 Wednesdays 10pm. TRAVELER TIPS in mendoza Shipping Wine You cannot do it by ordinary post. Courier is expensive (at least $12 US a bottle). The only viable way is to carry it in a special styrofoam wine box that can be checked in with your luggage. Such wine boxes can be bought at most wine stores or at wine tour company Trout & Wine, Sarmiento 133. As for limits entering your country, in most cases you can take as much as you want as long as you declare it and pay a nominal fee. Exceptions are Iran, Dubai and Salt Lake City. Crime Mendoza has its fair share of sneaky, opportunist snatch and run thieves. Have nothing valuable in your knapsack or handbag. Sew passport and credit cards into secret knickers pocket and you should be okay. Danger spots: bus terminal and internet cafes. Note; hostel lockers are not safe. Bike Tours in Maipu The most economical way to do a wine tour in Mendoza. Take bus (see above) to Urquiza street where you’ll find several bike rental companies. Some are notorious for dodgy bikes. Check and double check you get a good mount as a puncture can cause a mini nightmare. Head south, as north of Maipu is urban and not pretty. Recommended wineries: Rutini, Tempus Alba, Di Tommasso and certainly Carinae. When returning have a late lunch at the excellent Casa de Campo or the elegant Domaine Dumont. Nightclubs In most nightclubs you have to queue twice for drink which can get slightly exasperating as the night wears on. It is wise to buy several drink tickets at once for easy, unimpeded flow of alcohol. Many nightclubs are situated 200 light years away in Chacras which can cause problems getting home.