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MENDOZA`S FREE MAGAZINE

WHAT TO DO IN MENDOZA

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Nยบ38 JUN / JUL 2009


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editorial EL ARTE DE LA DILACIÓN

THE ART OF PROCRASTINATION

Recién llegas a Mendoza? Te preguntas que hacer? En primer lugar abandona la TV de la habitación de tu hotel y en cambio detente a contemplar uno de los mas hermosos paisajes de viñedos del mundo. Callejea alrededor de una espectacular arquitectura y descánsate en salas de degustación con vistas hermosas. Retrásate con un Malbec mientras dudas terminando un delicioso filete. Arrastra tus pies hasta el Parque Nacional Aconcagua y después deja tu vista transportarse balsa abajo el río Mendoza. Párate brevemente en una vinoteca, da una vuelta alrededor del Parque de la ciudad, prolonga tu estadía en un baño termal y juega por un tiempo en un caballo. Nuestro artículo principal en ésta edición es una completa lista de todo lo que podría gustarte hacer en Mendoza. Ahora no tienes mas excusas y dilatar no fue nunca tan glorioso.

Just arrived in Mendoza? Wondering what to do? First of all drag

CREDITS June- July 2009 / 10,000 Copies / Published by Seven Colors S.A. / San Lorenzo 170 / Mendoza City / Tel (0261) 425 5613 / Cel. 155 413 892 / ask@wine-republic.com Editor: Charlie O’Malley Assistant Editor: Jasmine Montgomery Publicidad: Gabriel DellInnocenti, Ana Laura Aguilera (155 01 88 74) publicidad@wine-republic.com Publisher: Jason Mabbett Publishing Assistant: Muriel Altamirano Design: Beattub www.beattub.com.ar Printer: Artes Gráficas UNION Contributors: Charlia Foley, Jasmine Montgomery , Charlie O`Malley, Lucy Holdsworth, Brad Driscoll. 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.

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yourself from the cable TV in your hotel room and procrastinate instead in some of the most beautiful vineyard scenery in the world. Loiter in spectacular architecture and dawdle in tasting rooms with jaw dropping views. Linger over a Malbec whilst you hesitate ending that delicious steak. Drag your feet up to Aconcagua National Park and then let your intentions slide with that river raft down the river Mendoza. Pause in a wine store, get the run around in the city park, prolong your stay in a thermal bath and play for time on a horse. Our main article in this edition is a comprehensive list of everything you might like to do in Mendoza. Now you have no excuse and procrastination was never so glorious.

Contents News Republic ................................................................................. 6 Wish List Recommended wines ........................................................ 8 Blown Away Las Leñas kicks up a storm........................................11 Hungry Heights Altus winery and their high altitude lunches............16 What to do in Mendoza ..................................................................18 A Vintage Journey do a wine tour with style............…………….22 Top 20 Wineries to Visit Where to go and taste ………………….24 Dining Out Mendoza’s best restaurants .........................................26 Bars Where to drink .......................................................................30 Useful Information ..........................................................................32 City Map ..........................................................................................34


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news republic LA BOURGOGNE - DIPLOMATIC PARK SUITES Not content with opening one of Mendoza’s most beautiful hotels, the plush, luxurious Diplomatic Park Suites has raised the bar further by installing a top French eatery within its walls. La Bourgogne is the famous gourmet canteen housed in the equally famous Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires. In recent years it has spread its wings, most notably in one of Mendoza’s most gorgeous wineries, Carlos Pulenta in Vistalba. The award winning establishment is now within walking distance of your hotel in the city center, located behind the impressive lobby of the Diplomatic Suites on Belgrano. Splendid French cuisine is accompanied by one of the best and most reasonably priced wine lists in the city. Diplomatic Park Suites, Belgrano 1041, Mendoza. Tel. (261) 405 1900; www.diplomatic.parksuites.com.ar

GUTIERREZ NIGHTCLUB A welcome new establishment to those who like to give a twirl without going too far is Gutierrez. Mendoza’s nightclubs have traditionally been outside the City Center in Godoy Cruz or Chacras de Coria, which caused problems for foreign nighthawks without cars trying to get home. Taxis were few and the quality of driving at 6am on a Sunday morning more than sobering. Now the quick thinking owners of one of the city’s best bars Por Aca on Aristides Villanueva have solved all such problems by opening an excellent club a couple of blocks from Plaza Independencia. Their gambit paid off and the establishment is full every weekend. Gutierrez is large, with circular bar, big screens and a dining area cleared for dancing. Music includes the ubiquitous rock nacional and some punchy punchy (techno). There is no admission fee before midnight and on Wednesdays dinner is free for girls. Gutierrez, Gutierrez and Mitre, Mendoza

MIRACLES WILL HAPPEN It was a grim New Year in the Mendoza county of Alvear. On the 31st of December a ferocious hail storm destroyed the entire crop of fruit and grapes over a 9,000 hectare area in this rural department south of the province. Overnight, vineyard owners were faced with financial ruin as they saw their livelihood reduced to pulp and their plantations stripped of every last leaf. But nature is all about renewal, and sometimes faster

than you expect. The late summer and high temperatures have meant the vines have had a second bloom in one year and were subsequently harvested in late May much to the amazement of everybody, including wine regulators the INV, who have granted a special licence to the local wineries to make wine after the official cut off date had passed.

SAN JUAN’S GOLDEN AGE For twenty odd years it sat as a depressing grey hulk. San Juan’s Casa de Gobierno was abandoned halfway through construction because of lack of funds and became an infamous white elephant. El Monumento de Cemento, as the locals called it, became a monument to the poverty of this province, the capital of which is located just two hours north of Mendoza. San Juan is huge, yet 80% is covered by mountains and only 2.4% is actually lived upon and cultivated. Yet something is up in this province famous for its Shiraz. The empty Casa de Gobierno has at last been completed into a state-of-the-art center of governance, new highways lead from the city and there is an overall atmosphere of increasing prosperity. You could think it’s because of its very decent wine but the reality is somewhat different. San Juan has thrown its weight behind mining, particularly gold. Two new mines are producing .75 million ounces a year and a third close to the Chilean border means San Juan will be the biggest mineral producer in the country.

HAPPY FRIENDS DAY On the 20th of July you know who you’re friends are in Argentina. El Dia del Amigo is a clear extension of just how happy Argentines really are and they all meet up for pizza and fernet on this, one of the most important days of the year on the social calendar. The real reason for the holidays´ existence is no other than Neil Armstrong of Apollo fame who, on the 20th of July1969, set foot on the moon. In honor of this historic event, Senor Enrique Febbraro, an Argentine professor of psychology, music and orthodontics, sent 1,000 letters out to strangers across the world. 700 of the 1,000 responded and therefore he felt that this day’s significance should be remembered by our friendships. Argentines share this friendship with everyone. On no other day throughout the entire year are there more text messages sent, not even on Christmas, New Year’s, Mothers Day or Valentines.

Catena Zapata

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THE Wish List Some wines to try while in Mendoza

Carinae Prestige 2005

This delicious blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah is rich in complexity and has hints of chocolate and caramel. It has an incredible long finish and round, full body. Price $95 AR

Prodigo Malbec Reserva 2004

Italian winemaker Alessandro Speri is producing a delicious malbec with an intense floral nose and hints of chocolate and vanilla. Price $ 65 ARG.

Altos Los Hormigas Bonarda Colonia Los Liebres

This usually sturdy grape gets the soft, fruity treatment from one of Argentina’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.

Urban Uco Sauvignon Blanc 2007

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.

Tapiz Sauvignon Blanc

Mil Piedras Sangiovese 2005

A seductive aroma of ripe, jammy fruit with a subtle hint of white chocolate. This Italian grape has found its home in the Uco Valley producing a delicate, dry wine with good body and crisp acidity. Price: $ 25 approx

Melipal Reserva Malbec 2003

Intense ruby red with almost black hints and luscious aromas of over ripe black currants and cooked plums. This complex, full bodied wine has sweet tannins and a long persistent finish. Decant before drinking. Price: $110

Enrique Foster Reserva Malbec

Made from 80 year old vines, this single varietal winery has produced a huge wine with fruity aromas and berry flavours. A stunning example of a full-bodied Malbec. Price: $ 60

Mendel Unus 2004 Malbec

Notes of black cherries, prunes, raisins and jam, together with the chocolate, vanilla, toast and caramel which come from its aging in new French oak barrels. This is a full-bodied wine, with a lot of structure, mature, rounded, sweet tannins and a very long length. Price: $ 160

Pulenta Estate La Flor Sauvignon Blanc

A brilliant greenish yellow colour with intense aromas of grapefruit and citrus fruits. This wine exhibits a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity with a fresh, long finish. Perfect for sipping on summer afternoons. Price $ 30

Yauquen Chardonnay Semillón

Soft golden colour with greenish hues. Intense, fruity nose and citric aromas. The perfectly intergrated acidity highlights its freshness and produces a light, fruity summer wine. Price: $ 17

Ruca Malen Kinien

Despite Mendoza’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.

Ruby red colour with spicy aromas and a delicate touch of pepper among an array of plums, blackberries and cherries. Maturation in French oak barrels provides smoky flavours with vanilla and chocolate overtones. A complex and intense wine with balanced tannins. Price: $ 95

Sottano Malbec 2005

Cavagnaro Malbec

Juicy, ripe cherries and plums, are enriched by delicate flavours of chocolate and vanilla supported by subtle oak. Velvety tannins, great structure and a lovely long finish make this a wonderfully elegant wine to be enjoyed now. Price: $20 ARG

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This Maipu Malbec has delicious, juicy, ripe fruit. It is elegant, well balanced and has an excellent long finish. Price: $ 25


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Mendoza is kno w n to the locals as ‘the land of sun and good wine’. I am here for neither. As I fly into Mendoza the only thing I see are row upon rows of snow capped mountains, I am here for my long awaited summer ski trip. Skiing all winter in the Northern hemisphere, I kept hearing about a ski resort in Argentina called Las Lenas from Argentines working in resorts, ski fanatics and families. They would reminiscence about Las Lenas and call it ‘the wild west of skiing’. For those of you in the know, the only mountains in North America you can compare it to are in Jackson Hole, the only resort in the US with over 4000 vertical and more backcountry access than all of North America. Las Lenas has only a fraction of the people. At least the travel articles and newspapers weren’t wrong about the weather. We land without a cloud in the sky. Our guide is waiting for us at the airport. He tells us how he moved down here 4 years ago after skiing just one day in Las Lenas. Now I’m really excited to see this mountain that everyone seems to fall in love with. We stay one night in one of Mendoza’s boutique hotels to relax before going further south. Since we are here we take advantage of being in one of the biggest wine regions in the world and sign up for some wine tastings before dinner. Our Hotel receptionist tell us of another phrase, which roughly translated means ‘He who came to Mendoza and does not drink wine...what the hell is he doing here?’. Who am I to argue with that? “At least the travel articles and newspapers weren’t wrong about the weather” The next morning we were picked up by minivan for the ride to Las Leñas with our guide. As we drive south, on the left window was nothing but flat and dry land as far as the eye could see, on the right the Andes, enormous jagged mountains shooting into the sky 11

BLOWN AWAY BRAD DRISCOLL BELIEVEs THE RUMOuRS AND CHECKS OUT LAS LEÑAS. HE WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED

from nowhere. T h e g u id e was k e e p in g us entertained, he even brought along some maté, a bitter drink that I think I will skip out on next time. Lucky for me he had some beers in the cooler as well. We finally arrived at a small resort town that has a grand mountain as backdrop. Everything seemed to be slope sided with a view of the hill. We checked into our apartment and were given more information about the casino and how late the night clubs and restaurants stayed open for, (which seem to be longer than the ski lifts). This is an Argentine ski resort. Expect the same late dinners, clubs till dawn and Argentine kids that go to bed when they drop. We wake up the next day and head with our guide to find the legendary ‘Marte’ lift, where all those in search for adrenaline go. We decided for a late start as we thought we would take it easy on


our first day. We get out around 9:30am and there was no one on

off piste, skiing over untouched snow on a whole new face of the

the mountain. Signs of life could be found in the restaurant where

mountain.

the ‘early birds’ were having a coffee and the ski school where kids

Having such an amazing run, we all decided that a beer would

were gearing up for the day. No doubt most people were sleeping

be about all we would need after that. You see, Las Lenas has an

off their late night.

apres ski in the true Argentine tradition. You will not find many hot

We reach the top of one of the steepest lifts I have ever ridden, our

chocolate and knitted jumpers here. The night life is there if you

eyes scan mountains that seem to go on for ever . Unimaginable

wish to find it, (so are the spa and jacuzzi). Expect to bump into

beauty. Never-ending. We take a deep breath and go.

trendy Porteños, Brazilians, Mendocinos and the odd group of ‘ski

Now I understand what my guide was talking about when he said we

bums from the Northern hemisphere in search of summer snow.

would be “helicopter skiing without the helicopter”. We got to the

As we sat at the base enjoying our well deserved beverage. I sit

mountain three days after a storm and we still had fresh snow to ski

and think that yes, Las Lenas is the ‘wild west of skiing’ with an

right from the top of the lift.

Argentine touch, retro lifts with no one to fight for, nothing marked on the runs. (Take a guide if adventurous). As I looked up at the

“You will not find many hot chocolate and knitted

mountain we had been skiing for the last few days, I asked why I

jumpers here.”

hadn’t heard more about this place before. Our guide replied simply, “because most of us just stay”.

On our third day on the mountain, just when we thought we had

Argentina Ski Tours. Darragueira 558 Chacras de Coria. Tel: 0261

seen it all, our guide smiled and asked if we didn’t mind taking

6300026 info@argentinaskitours.com

a short walk. We took little convincing. 20 minutes later we were

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HUNGRY HEIGHTS JAsMINE MONTGOMERY LUNCHES IN ALTUS WINERY IN VALLE DE UCO. WARNING! DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE HUNGRY.

Our journey started with a fantastic car ride up to Tupungato in Valle de Uco. A canvas of amber and chartreuse, against a peacock blue sky painted our landscape as we drove out of the city and up to this high altitude valley of vineyards and fruit trees and towering mountains. About an hour later we rolled up to Altus through a passage of tall golden Alamo trees. The smell of fire burning and the sound of wind rushing through trees, we spotted the winery and its pastoral setting through the colored foliage. The Bodega is a massive barn-like structure, painted vivid barn red. Across the road, was the original adobe rancher, which has been flawlessly remodeled and converted into the restaurant/guest house. For many years other business ventures separated the owners of Altus from the beautiful region they once called home. The splendor of this area lingered in their minds until they returned one day and built the winery in 1997. Currently Altus has over 247 acres of high altitude vineyards planted, ranging from 1,200 to 1,500 meters above sea level. “The torrontes was surprisingly different from the floral perfumey characteristics of the Torrontes grown in the north.� We could see some of those very vineyards as we were seated beneath a veranda, a stones throw from a string of vines. After being greeted by friendly faces our first glass was poured. It was a crisp glass of trorrontes grown here in the Andean heights. The palate and nose showed off a fabulous minerality sucked from the

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terroir of the hills, surprisingly different from the floral perfumey characteristics of the Torrontes grown in the north. The tasting menu started with a procession of tapas that gained momentum in groups of two or three, playfully displayed on slate boards, nestled in the hollow of a soup spoon or shot glass. The meal marched on with a sequence of regional appetizers, followed by a hearty main and a traditional trio of desserts with dark coffee. Needless to say I didn’t eat again that day. First was a shot glass of cold squash soup dusted with almonds and fresh parsley. On the same board a yellow and white corn salad was served, with a touch of olive oil and parsley. A chilled tomato and granny-smith gazpacho finished off the first triad. “This rosé was bursting with raspberry and red current.” The next round of bites were pickled eggplant on herb crostini, a streamed broccoli and hard boiled egg salad and a bright yellow cabbage and mustard coleslaw. The slaw was a tangy surprise accompanied by a full bodied Malbec rosé. This rosé was bursting with raspberry and red currant. Still crisp and dry with lots of texture to chew, by far my favorite glass of the day, not to mention pleasingly pink. The following trio was a legume inspired pairing of white bean and chimichurri salad, lentil with salsa criollo salad (a tomato, onion and red pepper salsa) and roasted squash and raisins with soft and salty

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cheese. Other tapas included a Sponta potato frittata and steamed green bean salad with olive oil. The next course was velvety scrambled eggs topped with a dollop of earthy mushroom pate cradled in the egg’s very own shell. Then a basket filled with two types of empanadas was placed in the center of our table, cheese and sautéed vegetable and classic criollo, (two parts caramelized onions and one part ground beef with a touch of thyme and chili pepper). The next dish was as visually stunning as Valle de Uco is itself wedges of grilled zucchini with slightly charred edges, floated in a pool of magenta beet gazpacho. This dish was full of wonderful earthy and refreshing flavors. A glass of down-to-earth Malbec accompanied this dish perfectly. A tasty pear and thyme sorbet was served to refresh our palates before the main dishes arrived. That day a choice of cannelloni filled with cheese, squash and zucchini or a braised beef with roasted potatoes were on the menu. We ordered both to share and despite being pretty stuffed we managed to polish off the three portions. The regional dessert included a velvety flan, baked apple and creamy rice pudding. It was a perfectly sweet ending for yet another perfect day of Mendocino country charm. Lunch at Altus is truly a fabulous way to experience a Mendoza tasting menu. Altus. Las Vencedoras Tupungato. Tel: 155080261 / 4496066 www.altusdetupungato.com.ar


What to do in Mendoza WINE TOURS

MAIPU

You cannot come to Mendoza without doing a wine tour. Your

The closest wine district to the city has seen a surge in wine quality

budget will determine greatly what quality of tour you do, with

in recent years. This is the best area to do an economical tour of

Maipu the most economical as it is the most accessible and

the city; usually by bicycle. This region is huge and much is covered

popular to tour by bike. However Lujan de Cuyo has the best

by urban sprawl; many wineries have street locations with little or

range of fine wine establishments - old and new, boutique and

no vineyards. The further south you go the prettier the landscape

industrial, foreign and Argentine. The vast majority require pre-

becomes, with the city opening up into olive groves and vineyards.

booking and private transport to get to. There are 1,000 wineries

Take buses number 171, 172 and 173 from La Rioja street in the

in Mendoza but there is basically a core 50 wineries that are

city center and alight on Urquiza. There you will se some bike rental

worth visiting in the sense that they have good wines, beautiful

establishments including Mr Hugo (tel.497-4067; www.lavidyelvino.

locations and knowledgeable guides. The vast majority are

com.ar). Always check your bike is a decent ride as a breakdown

located in Lujan de Cuyo. A recommended wine tour company is

can ruin your day. Go early and bring lots of water as it gets hot

Trout & Wine, Sarmiento 133, Galeria San Marcos. Tel 4255613;

out there. Go to our “Top 20 wineries to visit” on page 24 to see

www.troutandwine.com.

what wineries we recommend. Excellent lunch stops include Casa de Campo, Di Tommasso and La Encantada.

LUJAN DE CUYO Lujan de Cuyo is Mendoza’s finest winery region for tours as it has

VALLE DE UCO

the best variety of wineries, incredible views of the mountains and

Valle de Uco is the new frontier in Mendoza wines; a high altitude

relative proximity to the city. The first of Lujan’s wineries are 20

valley with stunning views of the mountains. Most of the wineries

minutes from the city and the furthest 40 minutes away along the

here are new concept wineries, foreign-owned with imposing

Route 7 to Chile. Poor public transport and visits by appointment

architecture. Many vineyards are newly planted though some areas

means it is more convenient to join a wine tour company when

such as La Consulta have 100-year old vines and are producing

touring the area. Go to our “Top 20 wineries to visit” on page 24

incredible wines. Common varietals are Malbec, Merlot, Chardonnay

to see what wineries we recommend. The most wineries you can

and Pinot Noir. The most wineries you can visit are three in one day

see in one day are four: five maximum as many have set times

and the closest are 90 minutes drive from the city. Go to our “Top 20

for visits – usually 9.30am, 11am, 3pm and 4pm. There is no

wineries to visit” on page 24 to see what wineries we recommend.

cellar door service in any wineries. The better wineries charge 30 pesos to enter and more to sample the premium wines, which include varietals such as Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bonarda, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. A good quality one

HORSE RIDING

day tour of the area costs $135 US. A van picks you up at 9am for a 90 minute drive to the first Andean mountain range known as Cordon de Plata. Here you saddle up at a mountain ranch and begin a trail up through a mountain creek to some commanding views of Potrerillos lake and Uspallata valley.

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The three hour ride is followed by a genuine Argentine asado back at

On another visit you would have to go at night; for Chacras is the

the ranch. Cordon de Plata, Las Heras 1429. Tel.423-7423; www.

Ibiza of Mendoza. If you are out for a good time and a barrel load

cordondelplata.com

of fernet then look out for the best clubs in the area, La Guananca, Pasion and Cemento. Chacras is 15 minutes by taxi. To get a bus

HORSE RIDING

take the number 115 or 116 from 25 de Mayo and Montevideo in the city center.

Estancia Guanaco is a horse-breeding ranch located in leafy

ANDES TOUR

southern Maipu close to the stony riverbed of the Rio Mendoza; 40 minutes south of the city. Here a three hour horse-ride down leafy lanes, through vineyards and along the riverbank is followed by an asado in the farmhouse. Estancia Guanaco. Tel. 156 686 801; www.criolloslaguatana.com.ar

This is the most popular single excursion in Mendoza and a must do as the road to Chile is stunning to look at and fascinating to learn about. There are many ways to see the Andes and the quality of the tour depends on your budget. The cheapest way is to grab the twice

RAFTING

daily local bus with Turismo Uspallata that leaves from the terminal every day at 7am and 10am. It arrives at Puente del Inca at midday, giving you a few hours to explore Aconcagua National Park and the

The rafting camps are located upriver from Potrerillos dam, an hour

Inca bridge before the bus returns to pick you up at 5pm. However

drive south west of the city. A van picks you up at your hotel in the

the bus is very slow with many stops and without a guide you miss

morning and takes you to Argentina Rafting’s base camp, where

much in the background and history of the mountains, the railway,

you get kitted out in wet suits and receive safety instruction. A van

Aconcagua and the indigenous heritage. The most popular way to

takes you further up river to a launch spot for a one hour ride down

see the Andes is with a conventional travel agency in Spanish. The

through the rapids of the chocolate colored Rio Mendoza before

tour is called Alta Montaña, involves large groups and early pick ups.

arriving back at the base camp to enjoy lunch. The bus returns to

Unfortunately none of the agencies enter the park and instead view

Mendoza city in the afternoon. Argentina Rafting, P. de la Reta 992.

the mountain from the roadside, which is unfortunate as Aconcagua

Tel 429-6325; www.argentinarafting.com.

Park is the most interesting part of the tour with stunning views, glacial boulders and million year old fossils. The best way to see the Andes is with a specialist tour company that keeps the groups small

THERMAL BATHS

and in English with a knowledgeable guide. Highly recommended is Trout & Wine, Sarmiento 133, Galeria San Marcos. Tel 4255613; www.troutandwine.com who include lunch and wines in their tour

Cacheuta hot springs is a 45 minute drive southwest of the city,

and a visit to the beautiful Seven Colors Mountain.

located in a mountain pass that carries the Rio Mendoza. The hotel is at the foot of Potrerillos Dam and the baths are split between a well appointed hotel and spa complex and a more down at heel,

SILVER MINE

cheaper alternative. www.termascacheuta.com

If you are the adrenaline junkie type then head below the hills with

CHACRAS DE CORIA The perfect place to visit on a Sunday, when Mendoza is having a day’s siesta. The antique fair is a great place for a rummage (it has been known to find some real treasure). The colonial style church, Our Lady of the Perpetual Help is worth a look in as is the excellent winery Clos de Chacras, 2 blocks from the plaza (see page 24).

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Minas de Paramillos. Trekking through the caverns of an old silver mine before rappelling down one of the shafts is an experience worth your weight in silver. The trip includes an asado in their mountain lodge; framed by the snowy peak of Aconcagua.

The

mines are located outside the Andean town of Uspallata, 2 hours from Mendoza city. Minas de Paramillos, Espejo 183, 7th floor, office 64. Tel. 425-9000


FLYFISHING Patagonia gets all the attention when it comes to fly fishing in Argentina. Yet the fact is there is a community of Mendocinos who like nothing better than pulling on rubber tights and spending their weekends dancing in mountain streams trying to catch that big one. They do it in Uspallata, they do it in Potrerillos, they do it in

which are in Valle de Uco. O.Fournier have a first-rate chef; you are given demonstrations and then you set to work preparing your meal. The whole experience culminates with a meal in their restaurant in their state-of-the-art winery. The other alternative is at Altus Bodega, where it is necessary to book three days in advance. O.Fournier, La Consulta, San Carlos. Tel (02622) 451-088; www.ofournier.com

San Rafael and they especially do it in some private ranches in the heart of Valle de Uco. This is the best place to fish in Mendoza, with

KAYAKING

private isolated rivers in spectacular locations including a 3,000 meter high lake at the foot of a volcano called Laguna de Diamante (only accessible in January and February).

Argentina Rafting offer white water kayaking where you are taught

The main draw here are the crystal clear, fast moving mountain

the roll technique and then partake in a mini run down the river.

streams jumping with wild fighting rainbow trout that are small,

Paddle about on the serene waters of the Potrerillos dam before

super quick and hard to catch. Tour company Trout & Wine conduct

splashing and rolling in the rapids. You are supplied with a light

one-day fly-fishing excursions in the area starting at $280 US per

lunch and transport from the city. Argentina Rafting, P. de la Reta

person (based on two people). Lunch is a riverside spectacular of

992. Tel 429-6325; www.argentinarafting.com

the catch of the day. Trout & Wine, Sarmiento 133, Galeria San Marcos. Tel 4255613; www.troutandwine.com

SKIING

TREKKING

Las Leñas is one of the most important resorts in Argentina due

Compared to the Argentine Lake district, Mendoza’s trekking options

vertical drop is a paradise for extreme skiing. Its 450 km away

are limited as much of the city is surrounded by flat desert and

from the capital of the province of Mendoza and with first-class

the shrubless pre-Cordillera. However, look hard enough and you

accommodation and gastronomy, ski and snowboard schools,

will find some excellent trails, especially in the first sierra known

among other services, Las Leñas is a classic.

as Cordon de Plata. Here you’ll find a mountain hostel called San

The other big ski resort is Penitentes which is 180 Km from the city.

Antonio lodge that conducts hikes to the summits of some nearby

There are 28 runs, with off-piste areas for seasoned professionals

mountains with spectacular views. The excursion can be done in one

and runs for the novices. There is even a snow garden for children!

day but it is best to stay one night to get the most from the area. For

Accommodation ranges from attractive hostels to log cabins and 4

more information contact tour operators Cordon de Plata, Las Heras

star hotels. For private, all inclusive tours to both resorts contact

1429. Tel.423-7423; www.cordondelplata.com. For something more

Argentina Ski Tours. Darragueira 558 Chacras de Coria. Tel: 0261

ambitious you can hike to the base camp in Aconcagua National

6300026 info@argentinaskitours.com

to its matchless snow quality and off-piste skiing; its 1,200-meter

Park. This is a multi-day excursion as the park is a 3-hour drive away and the base camp a day’s hike through a beautiful valley.

PARAGLIDING

You can get there independently by taking a local bus with Turismo Uspallata or hire a tour operator to take you there. A recommended company is Aymara, 9 de Julio 1023, Tel. 4202064; www.aymara.com.ar.

Gliding over the tree tops of Mendoza is not to be missed. Mendoza Parapente offer Tandem flight excursions for $250 ARG. You are

COOKERY CLASSES

transported from your hotel to the summit of the Cerro Acro 20 minutes from the city. There you are strapped onto a giant kite with a trained instructor and then you launch yourselves off into

There are a few offerings in Mendoza province, the two best of

the clear blue skies.………… Fly Excursion. Tel. 156-151159; flyexcursion@yahoo.com.ar

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A VINTAGE JOURNEY CHARLIE FOLEY TAKES A WINE TOUR OF LUJAN DE CUYO Autumn is one of the best times to be in Mendoza; the leaves turning on the vines, the dusty roads still covered by the canopy from Mendoza’s famous trees and the immense mountains rising up from the beautiful landscape. And there is no better way to see this spectacle than with a wine tour. Pulenta Estate was the first stop. Stylish, sophisticated and suave, the bodega supplies Porsche with its wines and it is owned by one of the most famous and powerful Argentine families; the Pulentas. They are the Medici of Florence or the Beckhams of Hollywood and their vineyard shows that power; swathes of grape-laden vines set against the snow capped Andes. This vineyard is stunning and has to be seen to be believed! “Sip smooth, velvety Malbecs, light, brambly Pinot’s and deep ruby red Cabernets.” We were greeted by a glass of rosé; nothing better first thing in the morning than a refreshing slurp of plonk. Whilst draining our glasses we viewed old oak barrels used to store the estates premium wines, deep in the dark cellars. The estate is so stylish it reminds you of a James Bond movie, and you half expect a villain with a little white cat to appear from behind the barrels. Nowhere is this impression more true than in the Tasting Room; a glass walled underground vault where you swirl samples around in your glass and sip smooth, velvety Malbecs, light, brambly Pinot’s and deep ruby red Cabernets. My favorite vineyard came next. Renacer is a little towered bodega famous both for its Malbecs, yet more so for Enamore; the Argentine

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cousin of Italian Amarone. The experience at Renacer is very handson and Victtoria made for an exciting guide. She showed us the vineyards, a patchwork of golden and amber leaves framed by the peak of the volcano, and how they prune and harvest the grapes. We tasted the last of the little, dusty Malbec grape and the taste was like rolling the stunning landscape around me into a little ball and swallowing it whole. In the tower, we were able to play the role of winemaker and blend different varieties of Malbec until we found one that could be the next Gran Reserva. My efforts produced a heavy, tannic wine but the group pulled together and we were able to make a light, spicy wine that we thought could rival the Chateau Haut Brions of this world.


“Visitors names drawn in the dust.”

Clos de Chacras, where the vines are almost 80 years old. Hilary, our chirpy Irish guide showed us the massive concrete tanks used to

My belly was rumbling, despite all the crackers and cheese and so

store the wines before the winemakers realized that concrete was

off to Ruca Mallen for a sumptuous lunch with a view so breath-

porous and so their most precious of liquids was seeping away. The

taking that you barely notice the elegant five course banquet you

cellars contain thousands of bottles; visitors names drawn in the

are treated to. Each dish is expertly matched to one of the estate

dust. I added my name to a vintage bottle of Malbec; my imprint on

wines, a lemon bruschetta with a fresh and zesty sauvignon Blanc,

a day which had made a great impression on me.

a tender steak with a rich plumy Malbec. As the staff swirled and twirled around us the group chatted about

Charlie Foley took a wine tour with Trout & Wine, Sarmiento 133,

polo, tango and Eva Peron (well when in Rome!) We left with wine

Tel. 4255613; www.troutandwine.com.

swilling around our eyeballs and a bursting belly.

An all inclusive tour of Lujan de Cuyo with small groups and

The last stop of the day was one of Mendoza’s most ancient vineyards,

special tastings costs $135 US.

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Paragliding off Cerro Arco


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. The complete wine experience with wine lodge Club

Tapiz the most desired place to stay and the restaurant Terruño one of the best in the province. Most instructive wine tour with tank and barrel tastings. Ruta Provincial 15, Km 32, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. Tel (0261) 490 0202. www.tapiz.com

Ruca Malen 93 points. The emphasis is on excellent food, great

guiding and first class wines. The chef Lucas Bustos does special wine and food pairings. Ample tastings of all the range. Ruta Nacional 7, Km 1059, Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 410 6214. www.bodegarucamalen.com

Carlos Pulenta

93 points. Architecturally stunning, it has a tasting room where one entire wall is a subterranean cross section of the actual vineyard clay. French restaurant La Bourgogne voted the best winery restaurant in the world. Roque Saenz Peña 3135, Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 498 9400. www.carlospulentawines.com

Pulenta Estate 87 points. A new, ultra modern facility with stylish

underground tasting room overlooking barrel room. Sit amidst the slick steel and concrete architecture whilst trying one of the finest Sauvignon Blancs in Mendoza. Ruta 86, Alto Agrelo. Tel. (0261) 420 0800.

Alta Vista 87 points. A masterful mix of modernity and tradition. The

100-year old winery is set in beautiful gardens and vineyards 20 minutes south of the city. Álzaga 3972, Chacras de Coria, Luján de Cuyo. Tel (0261) 496 4684. www.altavistawines.com

Tempus Alba 87 points. An immaculate family run facility making

very good wines. Do a varietal tasting on their sunny roof terrace whilst ovelooking the vines. Perito Moreno 572, Maipu. Tel.(0261) 481 3501. www.tempusalba.com

Finca La Celia 87 points. Valle de Uco may be famous for its new

wineries but this one goes way back and is one of the oldest in Mendoza. Av. de Circunvalación s/n, Eugenio Bustos, San Carlos. Tel 413 4400

Lagarde 86 points. Has the oldest white wine in South America - a

1942 Semillon and a hand crafted sparkling wine operation. The surrounding vines are over 100 years old. Now serves lunches. Ave. San Martin 1745, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 498 0011 ext. 27

O. Fournier 93 points. Architecturally innovative. Excellent lunches Sottano 83 points. Three generations of winemakers put all their in the modernist visitor center and producing world class wines. Los Indios s/n, La Consulta, San Carlos. Tel. (02622) 451 088. www.ofournier.com

Familia Zuccardi 91 points. A professional, far sighted operation

and one of the most visited wineries in Mendoza. Guides enthusiastic and knowledgable. Attractive restaurant with asado-style lunches. Ruta Provincial 33, Km 7.5, Maipu. Tel (0261) 441 0000. www.familiazuccardi.com

knowledge and expertise into an excellent new boutique winery. Ruta 7, Luján de Cuyo. www.sottano.com.

Decero

83 points. A stunning new winery and architecturally impressive with an ample tasting room. The guides give an excellent tour and sit down tasting. Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 524 4747

Nieto Senetiner 81 points. One of the prettiest wineries in

Andeluna 90 points. A brand, spanking new installation, the tasting

Mendoza. Wines to try include their brass labelled Bonarda. Guardia Vieja no number, Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 498 0315. www.nietosenetiner.com.ar

Achaval Ferrer 88 points. Barrel tasting includes a unique sampling

87 points. A modern winery producing some of Mendoza’s richest Malbecs under the Punto Final label. A knowledgeable guide does an excellent tasting with a twist where you get to blend your own wines. Brandsen 1863, Lujan de Cuyo. Tel 488 1247. www.bodegarenacer.com.ar

room has an inviting, old world feel. Spectacular lunches are available with reservations (minimum six people). Ruta Provincial 89, Km 11, Gualtallary, Tupungato. Tel (0261) 429 9299 ext 113. www.andeluna.com

of each varietal that makes up their top scoring Altamira. Calle Cobos 2601; Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 488 1131. www.achaval-ferrer.com

Carinae 88 points. A small, charming winery. Highly rated for its up

close and personal tour and well-honed wines. Videla Arande 2899, Cruz de Piedra, Maipú. Tel. (0261) 499 0470. www.carinaevinos.com

Renacer

Clos de Chacras 80

points. A quaint, pretty winery with atmospheric cellar and fascinating family history. Thier wines are lush examples of what is possible in Mendoza. Monte Libano S/N, Chacras de Coria, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 496 1285

Flichman 87 points. The building itself is a charming, pink hued Rutini La Rural 79 points. Fascinating well-stocked museum colonial style bodega, set in the leafy vineyards of southern Maipu. Munives 800, Barrancas, Maipú. Tel. (0261) 497 2039. www.flichman.com

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with invaluable pieces of winemaking history such as cow hide wine presses and leather buckets. Montecaseros 2625 Coquimbito, Maipu.


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dining 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. reservas@ avenidamexico.com.ar

ANNA BISTRO

Anna Bistro

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

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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. Live music every Wednesday night from 8.30pm. 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.

la aldea

This laidback, eclectic restaurant prides itself on being the only restaurant on Aristides with traditional Argentine bbq asado and wine. Although it specializes in beef - try the excellent T-bone steak and matambre, 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 (with Wifi) in the back filled with antique furniture; perfect for talking and enjoying a drink. There is live tango on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 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 11:00am3am

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

Mi Tierra

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,

Sofia

Asia meets Cuba meets Mendoza at Sofia from menu to décor to ambience. Brick fireplaces,

mi tierra


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dining out 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.

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. 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.

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.

La Sal

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 28

la sal

Azafran

On a stretch where parillas reign, Azafran is a jewel oozing class. From the twinkling lights of the patio to the beautiful interior, its apparent that you are somewhere special. Azafran, meaning Saffron, lives up to its name by their wall of spices and locally sourced preserves and olive oils. Wine and food work in perfect harmony when having chosen your meal, the sommelier then helps to select an accompanying wine from the 500 labels sold at winery prices with a 5 peso lunch and 8 peso dinner corkage fee. Our tasting menu delivered food fit for a king. Regional dishes with little something extra - rare steak with

goats cheese, orange sorbet with olive oil and desserts that even those without a sweet tooth would die for. Sarmiento 765, Tel. 4294200 or 4599009 , open Mo-Sat 12:30-4pm, 8:30pm to close.

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.

COLONIA SUIZA


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

La Encantada

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, 29

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

Casa de Campo

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.

the lines of a traditional British pub, the new nightspot offers a varied menu of seafood and grillhouse fare. There is beer on draught and a fine variety of wines. Average price per meal $30 AR. Leyenda, San Martin 1823, Ciudad.

Praga

Praga specialises in seafood and is undoubtedly the best restaurant in town if it is mariscos you are after. Dishes such as shrimp chop suey, sea urchin or Spanish octupus are done with flair and a great antidote for any of us that miss the sea. The restaurant itself is very charming and romantic, set in front of a pretty plazoleta in the upscale 5th section, three blocks from Belgrano. Inside there is an atmospheric courtyard surrounded by a wooden timberframe. The delightful, Botero-style paintings that hang on the pale yellow walls are done by the owners wife and available to buy. The wine list is spectacular and the bottles stored in an air-conditioned side room. No wonder it’s a popular hangout for many of Mendoza’s most prominent winemakers. Dessert includes crem brulé and chocolate crepes with orange. Average price for a meal without wine $50 AR Leonidas Aguirre 413 (on the corner of Avellaneda and Olascoaga), Tel 4259585, open Mon-Sat from 8pm-1.30am.

Leyenda

The Alameda is a beautiful stretch of sycamore trees and grass on the northern end of Ave. San Martin. It has long been tipped as the new nightlife area in the city. The opening of Leyenda bar and restaurant is part of this renaissance. Styled along

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

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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

Por Aca

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. Aristides Villanueva 557.

Queen

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.


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useful information

Airport Tel: 448 0017 Accesso Norte s/n. El Plumerillo Bus Terminal Tel: 431 3001 Av. de Acceso Este y Costanera. Bus Routes Maipu Linea 10 Nº 171, 172, 173, calle Rioja and Garibaldi, 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.

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Wine Republic, edición Junio-Julio 2009