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MENDOZA`S FREE MAGAZINE

Nº39 AUG / SEP 2009

SKID ROW MENDOZA´S SKI RESORTS LAGARDE WINERY WHAT TO DO IN MENDOZA 1


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editorial City for the Trees

Ciudad para los Árboles

When you have lived in Mendoza for a while you take its famous trees for granted. You forget that the vast variety of árboles that line the avenues and plazas is what makes this city so beautiful. They say there are more trees in Mendoza than people and the fact is there are more leafy nationalities than tourists with species from as far as Japan and China. Winter strips most of these trees bare, revealing a city with architecture that could be described most kindly as Soviet in style and grim in nature (shame on the modern architect). Yet winter provides an opportunity to appreciate the remaining architectural gems such as the Teatro Independencia, the Subsecretaría de Turismo, the Park Hyatt façade and Salentein House. Notable modern buildings include the Moyano Museum, the Edificio Da Vinci, the Museo Fundacional and the Auditorio Angel Bustelo. They are a reminder that what remains of Mendoza’s architectural heritage should be guarded jealously. How come nobody is knocking down the glum cigarette boxes that blight this city’s skyline? Instead they are taking the wreckers ball to the gorgeous old colonial townhouses that line Calle Montevideo. It seems we cannot see the city for the trees.

Cuando vives en Mendoza por un tiempo, dejas de apreciar la belleza de los árboles. Uno se olvida de que la gran variedad de ellos, colma las avenidas y las plazas y es lo que hace a esta ciudad tan hermosa. Dicen que hay más árboles en Mendoza que personas y lo cierto es que hay más nacionalidades frondosas que turistas con distintas especies de plantas de lugares tan lejanos como Japón y China. El invierno deja la mayoría de estos árboles pelados, revelando una ciudad con una arquitectura que podría ser descrita, amablemente, como soviética en su estilo y deprimente en su naturaleza, los arquitectos modernos deberían sentir culpa. Sin embargo el invierno nos da la oportunidad de apreciar las pocas gemas arquitectónicas de Mendoza, tales como el Teatro Independencia, la Subsecretaría de Turismo, la fachada del Hotel Park Hyatt o Casa Salentein. Notables Edificios modernos incluyen el Museo Moyano, el Edificio Da Vinci, el Museo del Área Fundacional y el Auditorio Angel Bustelo. Estas construcciones son un recordatorio de que la herencia arquitectónica de Mendoza debe ser guardado celosamente. Como es posible que nadie este volteando los edificios “caja” modernos que oscurecen el cielo de Mendoza? En lugar de esto, están destruyendo las casas con hermosos frentes que se alinean en la calle Montevideo. Los árboles no están dejando ver la ciudad.

CREDITS August - September 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: Charlie Foley 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: Charlie Foley, Jasmine Montgomery , Charlie O`Malley, Lucy Holdsworth, Ellie Sharpe. 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.

www.wine-republic.com 4

Contents News Republic ................................................................................. 6 Wish List Recommended wines ........................................................ 8 Flight of the Condor........................................................................11 Last Resort .....................................................................................14 Lagarde Ages Well ...................................................…………….17 The School by the Lake ..................................................................18 Latin Fever ................................................................…………….20 What to do in Mendoza .............................................…………….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 Domestic Bliss

Turtle Park

Aerolineas Aerolineas recently announced a new morning flight from Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires to the central city of Cordoba with an onward connection to Mendoza. This means you can skip the chaos of changing airports in the capital. It follows more good news concerning getting around Argentina by plane. A new airline called Andes Lineas Aereas (www.andesonline.com) is now operating from Cordoba to Salta city in the north west and from Cordoba to Iguazzu where the famous falls are located. Cordoba is fast becoming a domestic hub with another airline called Sol Lineas Aereas (www.andesonline.com) offering flights from Cordoba to Mendoza and onwards to Neuquen in northern Patagonia. Up until now all travellers getting about by plane in Argentina have had to go through Buenos Aires with the absurd result that travellers from Mendoza to Salta have to cross the country twice.

Elegant Parque San Martin serves many purposes. Besides picnics and mate sessions, one of the most popular things to do in Mendoza’s lovely municipal park is to go there and dump your unwanted dog. Any jogger in the park will relate the frequent problem of being followed by a four legged stray the whole way home, where it camps out on the front doorstep until the very same jogger relents and adopts it. Now park management have to deal with abandoned turtles in the lake, again the result of people changing their minds regarding keeping a pet. The good news is the authorities have finally announced a clean up of the lake which has not been emptied in a decade and reputedly holds 10,000 truck loads of dirt, several abandoned wine harvest festival floats and a Ford Falcon.

Free Alcohol The swine flu has had a devastating effect on Mendoza’s nightlife with many nightclubs forced to close for several weeks in an attempt to stop teenagers snogging and spreading the disease. The question is who snogged the pig in the first place? The shutdown forced hardcore night owls to drive two hours north to San Juan for some disco action. Mendoza’s nightclubs are now back open but with restrictions such as limited entrance and compulsory use of latex gloves when groping. People must stand two meters apart when dancing and any couples caught getting physical are put in quarantine in a love hotel. Pigs are obviously not allowed admittance. Meanwhile, blissfully ignorant British tourists have been knocking back the free alcohol hand gel, mistaking it for a flavourless alcopop.

Maipu Bikes Thankfully pigs cannot ride bicycles and the popular bike tours around Maipu have not been effected by the ham pandemia. The wine region is the closest and most economical area to visit a winery in Mendoza and infrastructure is improving all the time. Now there is a new bike rental operation called Maipu Bikes that lets you jump on a saddle once you have dismounted the bus from the city. For recommended wineries to visit in Maipu go to page 24 of this magazine. Maipu Bikes, Urquiza and Gomez St. Coquimbito, Maipu. Tel. (0261) 487-3311; maipubikes@gmail.com.

The Tides of Wine Despìte a general air of negativity in the industry, Mendoza and Argentina continue to sell lots of wine, particularly in the United States. The country is the only wine producer that is actually increasing its market share, with other countries such as Chile affected badly by the weak dollar. Argentina is now the fifth biggest exporter of wine to the United States, close on the tails of Chile which is fourth. Total exports to North America have increased by 30%, as opposed to fruit exports which have collapsed. It seems Malbec is recession proof. Catena Zapata

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THE Wish List Some wines to try while in Mendoza

Carinae Prestige 2007

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 $150 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

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

Ruca Malen Kinien

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.

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

Tapiz Sauvignon Blanc

Cavagnaro Malbec

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.

Sottano Malbec 2005

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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Flight of the Condor ELLIE SHARPE TAKES A SKI TRIP TO MENDOZA’S MOST ACCESSIBLE RESORT PENITENTES

After hiking Machu Picchu in Peru, learning tango in Buenos Aires

Mountains. After finishing our eggs and coffee in a small mountain

and whizzing to Iguazu, my husband and I finally made it to Mendoza

town called Uspallata we had another short drive before reaching

to relax. They say that Mendoza is the place for weary travelers

Penitentes ski resort mid morning.

to recharge. And recharge we did, after a couple days of wine tours with 5-course meals, too many steak dinners, empanadas

“I had my head glued to the window taking in the sunrise over

and walking around Mendoza city, we began to get antsy looking

the Andes Mountains”

up at the white-capped Andes mountains, the amazing backdrop

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to Mendoza. We did not plan on skiing during our summer trip

Opened in 1978, Penitentes is a small resort that neighbors

to South America, but figured since we are here, what better way

Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside the Himalayas. From the

to end the trip with a day ski in the middle of July (and a bit of

front you can see the beginner slopes (which I wanted to go on), and

exercise to compensate for the over indulgences seemed like a

small children whizzing past (If only I could be like them). Yes, the

good idea). The excitement started to kick in as we were fitted with

beginner slopes looked tempting to me, but no, our guide said that

our gear the night before. We were told to get a good night sleep

we would be skiing the back (I think he had more faith in myself

as we would be picked up from our hotel bright and early the next

than I). Putting on your ski boots can take a large amount of time,

morning. After a week in Argentina we found it near impossible to

with all the fastening and clicking, but I just let my guide do it and

go to bed before 11:00. When in Rome… A late dinner and a bottle

checked out the resort, which was pretty empty. It had snowed the

of Malbec later, we got to bed at midnight.

night before and yet I could only count about 10 people skiing and

When the guide came to pick us up at 7:30am my husband wasn’t

maybe 10 more on the lift. Good, less people to crash into. I was

very talkative, sleeping for most of the way, I on the other hand had

astonished at how warm it can be at 3,000 meters, note to self –

my head glued to the window taking in the sunrise over the Andes

bring sunscreen next time.


“One of the highlights was spotting a condor during

in the office envious. The seasoned skier that he is, I decided to sit

my chair lift ride”

the next few runs out and enjoy my coffee in the warm restaurant. He went off with the guide in search of “hidden tracks” which I am

Having only skied a couple of times in my life I was a bit nervous about

quite content leaving undiscovered.

lunging off, but my guide assured me I was going to be fine…yes, it

The experience of skiing in the southern hemisphere for a day was

was just like riding a bike, with a little bit more concentration. What

surreal. After sharing a cerveza with our guide we headed back to

was it? Arms forward, don’t sit like a tourist, and most importantly,

Mendoza. In the car, watching the sunset, feet and legs sore, tired

I remembered how to stop. After the initial nerves I finally started

light headed and relaxed, I couldn’t have thought of a better way to

to relaxed and got thinking that here I was, skiing the Andes, in the

end our trip in Argentina…well maybe one last empanada.

middle of my summer vacation. One of the highlights was spotting a condor during my chair lift ride, it was enormous, my instinct made

Ellie Sharpe did her ski tour with the English speaking company

me want to duck. To me it looked more like a pterodactyl.

Argentina Ski Tours, Darragueira 558, Chacras de Coria. Tel.

Back at the base for a quick lunch break I caught my husband

156300026; info@argentinaskitours.com

updating his status on his phone trying to make all his colleagues

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LAST RESORT

WHETHER YOU ARE AN INTERNATIONAL PLAYBOY WITH A PENCHANT FOR SKIING, OR A PENNY PINCHING BACKPACKER WHO’D LIKE TO LEARN, MENDOZA HAS SOMETHING TO OFFER YOU. RESORTS VARY FROM THE ULTRA-CHIC TO THE BABY SMALL. Las Leñas This is the biggest and best and most expensive. It attracts snowstarved enthusiasts from the northern-hemisphere for some offseason sport and fun, as well as rich Argentines who like to ski and party. 445km south of Mendoza City in the heart of the Andes, it was purpose built to attract the beautiful people. Some call it Punto del Este in the snow. It has a total of 35 marked runs that cover a distance of about 64km. The highest reaches 3,430m and another has lights and music to accompany your ride. Of the marked runs, 30% are to be considered beginner, 25% intermediate, 20% black and another 25% double black. Las Leñas is also said to have around 4,000 hectares of out of bounds skiing for experts and thrill seeking riders. Plan your trip around the weather and keep an eye on the forecast because if it begins snowing the staff will close all but 2 lifts at the base of the mountain which then will accumulate 40 to 50 minute lift lines. Sometimes snow storms at Las Leñas

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can last for 2 or 3 days so keep that in mind. Also remember that the lifts are a little slower and older than in modern ski resorts and even during normal conditions from the base to the top of the Marte chairlift, the summit, it’ll take you about 45 minutes. The modern village contains luxury hotels, restaurants, casinos, nightclubs and of course a multilingual ski school. If you decide to stay in nearby Malargue (70km) you get a 50% discount on the lifts. Buses leave regularly from the Mendoza bus terminal. The high season is now upon us, with its higher prices which started July 12th and goes thru August 8th. The cost for any one who is between 12 and 64 years of age, is considered to be an adult, and will have to pay 190 Arg pesos per day but if you have a minor with you, ages 6 thru 11 the cost is only a mere 152 Arg pesos per day. For more information on nearby accommodations, lessons, rentals, weather conditions and driving directions check out the website at www.laslenas.com or send the resort an email at informes@laslenas.com. There is also a great website to check out at www.laslenasski.com with unbiased information and opinions about the resort. Los Penitentes What Los Penitentes loses in size and glamour it makes up for in scenery and accessibility. Named after a row of monk-shaped peaks in the mountains, this tiny village is literally bisected by the main road to Chile (165km west of Mendoza City). With a base altitude of


2580m rising to 3200m, the well-snowed slopes provide excellent opportunities for downhill or cross-country skiing and snowboarding. Nordic skiing and competition skiing are also practiced at Penitentes. The resort has a total of 28 runs, 11 of which have been approved by the International Ski Federation, but all varying in difficulty stretching a total of 22 kilometres covering about 300 hectares. There are some baby slopes for beginners as well as hotels and hostels to stay over in and rest those sore and weary limbs and backsides. The high season is from July 4th to August 10th and from August 15th to August 18th which will run you 140 per adult and 115 per minor. Catch the mid season from 8/11 to 8/14 though for just 120 Arg pesos for adults and 90 for minors. If you are just passing by the resort and have your children begging you stop, luck for you they can go tubbing in the tubbing park for as little as 10 pesos in the low season or in the high season for adults it will set you back 25 pesos, but at least you have the option. For more information go to www.interpatagonia.com. Vallecitos This is where Mendocino ski history began. It is the provinces oldest ski centre, nestled in the stunning Cordon de Plata mountain range at an altitude of 2,900m (rising to 3,200 for the highest run). 80km south west of Mendoza City and just 16km past Potrerillos, it is perfect for day trips or one night stays. The resort has a total of 12 runs, 20% for beginners, 60% for intermediates and another 20% for advanced and covering about 88 hectares skiable ground. Apart from the marked trails there are a number of out of bounds bowls and chutes to be explored and for Nordic skiers there is also quite some ground to be travelled. This is another resort that has outdated equipment when it comes to world standards so be patient and enjoy the scenery. Vallecitos is modest in size but also in prices. Nearby is San Antonio mountain hostel but your best bet for accommodations are in the town of Potrerillos. Los Puquios The new and tiny Los Puquios is the economical choice for beginners and children. 4km west of Los Penitentes, four lifts will take you to any of the 10 runs of gentle gradient. The resort also offers tubbing for those not wanted to strap on the skis. Instructional classes and

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equipment are available at the resort as well. Transport is available thru Turismo Uspallata bus company for under 20 pesos one way. Prices vary but a half day will run you 50 pesos and a full day 60 not including rentals. For more information visit their web page at www.lospuquios.com.ar. Los Molles Close to las Lenas is Los Molles ski resort. Small and relaxed, it has the extra attraction of thermal baths to soak those aching bones after a hard day falling over. In all the resorts watch out for different events throughout the season such as provincial championships, obstacle races and torchlight parades at night.


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LAGARDE AGES WELL CHARLIE FOLEY CHECKS OUT ONE OF MENDOZA’S MOST HISTORIC WINERIES

1897 was a disastrous year; S. A. Andrée’s Arctic balloon expedition ends in the death of the entire team. The German composer Brahms pops his clogs and another famous German, Joseph Goebbels is born. On the other hand Queen Victoria celebrated 60 long years on the throne of England and the Lagarde winery in Argentina was opened. Today it is owned by the Pescarmona family who are famous for big business, particularly the energy industry. Amazing to find then that Lagarde is not a massive exporting winery but actually a quaint artisan style bodega. The family came to the winery in the 1970’s, only to find casks full of white wine stacked up in the cellar. It turned out that the wine was Semillon and it had been there since 1942; it is now one of the keystone wines, scooping many awards mostly for its unusual dark brown colour and its sherry like taste from years in French oak. This and other note-worthy wines have led to Lagarde becoming one of the Charter members of the DOC (because the vineyards are on sacred ground). “It turned out that the wine was Semillon and it had been there since 1942.” There are numerous lines of wine from the Henry Gran Guarda (named after the owner), through the Lagarde Reserva to the Altas Cumbres; which displays an Andean condor on the label. The Henry range is the most interesting with an assortment of reds jostling for top spot; the Cabernet Sauvignon pulling a punch with its deep colour and tough tannins, the Malbec proving itself with red fruit flavours and the Cabernet Franc as the underdog despite its excellently peppery taste. This range has been honoured with awards from the Hyatt and Decanter, proving that even for a small winery the results

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can be enormous. The Lagarde Reserva which they describe as everyday wines contains a few surprises, namely the sparkling wines, a Brut produced in the traditional Methode Champenoise and a sweeter sparkling fermented by the tank method. “An ancient vineyard lies behind the bodega looking like the twisted arms of an old witch” The most interesting feature of the winery is the artisan style production, from the concrete tanks to the rows of racks used to riddle the sparkling wines. All this old school style winemaking makes it look just how a winery should, with large oak barrels and pot kilns in a dusty courtyard. This winery is the only one in Argentina to feature cast iron tanks which raised problems in terms of maintaining a temperature and so the majority of the wine is now produced in the conventional stainless steel. The rustic charm doesn’t stop there however as an ancient vineyard lies behind the bodega looking like the twisted arms of an old witch. The vines are so close that they require a mule to drag along the till; further adding to the bucolic feel of the place. A soaring chimney marks the spot where an old boiler used to power the entire enterprise.. The bodega is located 20 minutes from the city center and contains a restaurant which has its merits, specifically the pastry chef who makes an excellent chocolate torte accompanied by a flute of the bodega’s sweet champagne. By biggest regret was not being able to taste the Semillion 1942 as it promised to be such a stunning wine, but then 1942 was one hell of a good year. Lagarde, Av. San Martin 1745. Open for visits Mon-Fri with reservations. Tel. 498-0011


The School by the Lake LUCY HOLDSWORTH VISITS A MENDOZA SCHOOL IN THE MOUNTAINS

It’s 8.30am and my first day at school. I’m nervous, what if the kids don’t like me? My friend Silvia is a teacher at the school in the mountain village of Potrerillos, and is about to start teaching English to her class of 12 year olds. She believes that being presented with a real life English person will interest them more with the language. I’m a gringa show and tell. My first day at school as a student may have been many moons ago, but I do remember that the journey to it didn’t involve any horses or mountain ranges, the sky was probably not perfectly blue and my alarm clock was undoubtedly not a rooster. Just off the main Route 7 to Chile, Potrerillos’ new village and school was built to make way for the man-made reservoir. The community is overjoyed with their new homes and the new Capitan de Fragata Carlos Negri School which has 100 students. “They are outraged on my behalf” Silvia greets me at the gate, reminds me I’ll be needing to use my Spanish and wishes me luck. I walk into the class and am met by 19 shy, smiling little faces. I take my seat at the front of the class & Silvia introduces me as Lucy from London, does anyone have any questions for her? And then

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there’s a terrible silence which lasts for seemingly eternity until, hooray, one hand goes up. “Te gusta cerveza?” Do you like beer? So they do know about the English. “Yes”, I cautiously venture, “but I prefer wine.” Although talking about alcohol wasn’t quite what I had envisioned, I’m happy to run with it. “How much is wine in England?” I tell them that the cheapest bottle is about 30 pesos and they are outraged on my behalf. “And cigarettes?” asks a little voice from the back. I hazard a guess at 30 pesos, and again there’s uproar. And we’re off, fortunately steering away from potentially addictive and life threatening subjects and onto Princess Dee and Prince Carlos. It takes a second to realize who these exotic royals are before agreeing that yes, wasn’t it sad and no I haven’t met him but I’m sure Carlos is a very nice man. That I once met Keanu Reeves has ingratiated me with the girls and that I don’t support Manchester United with the boys. Everyone has crowded around, girls playing with my hair and the boys with my Ipod. The girls want to talk boyfriends and the boys can’t think of anything worse.


“I try my hardest to pretend I love yerba mate” When the bell rings and our time is up I’m mortified. But then I’m in for a surprise, they have made me gifts. One by one they present me with handmade cards and pictures of Potrerillos so that I don’t forget. I’m showered in kisses and given a speech of thanks for coming and being so nice and to please come back. I’m finishing up with Silvia when there’s a knock on the door and they’ve returned to ask if I would spend their morning break with them. I’m thrilled and led away to the recreation room where everyone gives me their biscuits and yerba mate and I try my hardest to pretend I love it. I promise to come back and help them with their next English class and I look forward to it all week. The following Tuesday the rooster goes off and I spring out of bed eager to see my favourite gang. As I round the corner and see my class a cheer goes up and I’m greeted like a long lost sister. “Their generosity and energy is contagious” Their lesson today is how to introduce yourself in English. There’s much hilarity over “how do you do” and getting to

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grips with pronunciation. The alphabet is pronounced differently in English so the kids stare at my mouth and mirror my A E I O and U. They’re becoming hysterical and I’m getting jaw lock so we compromise and write out sentences phonetically. ‘Nais tu mit u tu’. A lot of the kids will go on to work with their families horses giving riding trips to tourists. To be able to speak some English will undoubtedly help and Silvia believes it will benefit the community as a whole. I ask if any English is picked up from music or television but apparently not. Most of the T.V is South American and films are dubbed. It’s also clear from the lack of recognition with my Ipod that English and American music isn’t very well known. I realize my arrogance in presuming it would be. I wasn’t sure about going initially having always been a little wary of children but I am so glad I did. Their generosity and energy is contagious. I’m not sure we were as enthusiastic when we were 12, it probably wasn’t considered cool. I was welcomed into the community in Potrerillos. The people and scenery are good for mind, body and soul. They would love to meet people from different countries and learn about their cultures. To go and talk to some of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, contact Silvia Scilipoti on 155266860.


Latin Fever

CHARLIE FOLEY TAKES IN SOME BALLET AT MENDOZA’S TEATRO INDEPENDENCIA The night was cold and frosty, but inside Mendoza’s Teatro Independencia there was a warm glow. I was here for a ballet by the famous Argentine principal Juan Pablo Ledo; feeling slightly apprehensive as this was my first ballet. Truth be told I had only sat through Billy Elliot because it was about my hometown and I had the impression that ballet was the sort of thing my little sister would be interested in; but so far it had not caught my attention. This, however, was about to change. The theatre is a grand old building with an imposing façade, where all the dapper old dames ambled about with glasses of champers. I had bought a good ticket and was ushered to my seat, only to find some thieving middle aged couple occupying it. They were not going to budge and so I gallantly relegated myself to the gods. I seated myself so I looked right down on the stage; with a great view of the magnificent chandelier and the rest of the theater. The congregation was mostly women taking out their elderly mothers; unfortunately my neighbors were women taking out their energetic daughters, so I was treated to amateur pirouettes all the performance. “I only sat through Billy Elliot because it was about my hometown” The lights dimmed and I quickly noticed that there was no set; just a blank stage with black drapes and dark lighting. In my ignorance I had not realized that ballet is not like a play and so the absence of a set makes you concentrate on the movement as the dancers tell the story. The ballet opened with a couple twisting and turning around each other in very traditional moves. However as the performance progressed the dancing became more contemporary, the cast dividing into an almost tango style of movement and the classical ballet style. Halfway through the first act out came the ubiquitous white tutu for someone’s performance as a swan; waving her arms gracefully and sliding down onto one leg as if a swan dipping 20

into the water. I wondered if the ballet was the Argentine version of Swan Lake, but then concluded that it was actually a patchwork of various stories as depicted by the differing styles. Despite my original hesitation about ballet, I actually enjoyed watching the grins as the chins of the women skimmed the floor and my feeling of anticipation as the music reached fever pitch before breaking. The movements were coordinated perfectly with the beautiful music, which was a fusion of rolling percussion, pianoforte and strings. However it was the tango style dancing which really caught the audience’s attention. Gone was the elegant prancing, twisting and turning. The music increased pace and tempo, becoming a rumba style rhythm, whilst the dancers kicked their heels, stomped the feet, clapped the hands and generally boogied about the stage. “This was the sort of class that I expected from Argentina” My favorite scene had to be one where the male and female dancers dressed in black and white suits with trilbies and danced a captivating tango to a rolling percussion; this was the sort of class that I expected from Argentina. Another interesting scene involved dancers twirling around chairs; using them in such inventive ways that I will never look at a chair in the same way again! The lighting added to the sexy, sultry image with lots of red back lights and blue spotlights, giving me the impression of a seedy alley in Buenos Aires and all from the comfort of my plush seat. Twyla Tharp, the American ballerina, has been noted as saying, “A lot of people insisted on a wall between modern dance and ballet. I’m beginning to think that walls are very unhealthy things.” I tend to agree with Ms Tharp, as this performace showed not only that ballet can actually be exciting but also that a night out at Teatro Independencia is a very good night out indeed. Teatro Independencia de Mendoza, Chile and Espejo, Mendoza City. Tel. (0261) 438 06 44; www.cultura.mendoza.gov.ar.


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What to do in Mendoza Wine Tours

Rafting

You cannot come to Mendoza without doing a wine tour. Your budget will determine greatly what quality of tour you do, with Maipu the most economical and popular to tour by bike (check out Mr Hugo or Maipu Rental Bikes). However Lujan de Cuyo has the best range of fine wine establishments – old and new, boutique and industrial, foreign and Argentine. The vast majority require pre-booking and private transport to get to. There are 1,000 wineries in Mendoza but there is basically a core 50 wineries that are worth visiting in the sense that they have good wines, beautiful locations and knowledgeable guides. The vast majority are located in Lujan de Cuyo. The first of Lujan’s wineries are 20 minutes from the city and the furthest 40 minutes away along the Route 7 to Chile. Valle de Uco is the new frontier in Mendoza wines; a high altitude valley with stunning views of the mountains. Most of the wineries here are new concept wineries, foreign-owned with imposing architecture. The most wineries you can visit in Valle de Uco are three in one day and the closest are 90 minutes drive from the city. A recommended wine tour company is Trout & Wine, Sarmiento 133, Galeria San Marcos. Tel 4255613; www. troutandwine.com.

The rafting camps are located upriver from Potrerillos dam, an hour drive south west of the city. A van picks you up at your hotel in the morning and takes you to Argentina Rafting’s base camp, where you get kitted out in wet suits and receive safety instruction. A van takes you further up river to a launch spot for a one hour ride down through the rapids of the chocolate colored Rio Mendoza before arriving back at the base camp to enjoy lunch. The bus returns to Mendoza city in the afternoon. Argentina Rafting, P. de la Reta 992. Tel 429-6325; www.argentinarafting.com.

Horse Riding

The road to Chile is stunning to look at and fascinating to learn about. The cheapest way is to grab the twice daily local bus with Turismo Uspallata that leaves from the terminal every day at 7am and 10am. However the bus is very slow with many stops and without a guide you miss much in the background and history of the mountains. The best way to see the Andes is with a specialist tour company that keeps the groups small and in English with a knowledgeable guide. Highly recommended is Trout & Wine, Sarmiento 133, Galeria San Marcos. Tel 4255613; www.troutandwine.com

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. The three hour ride is followed by a genuine Argentine asado back at the ranch. Cordon de Plata, Las Heras 1429. Tel.423-7423; www.cordondelplata.com. Another option is Estancia Guatana, a horse-breeding ranch located in leafy 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 Guatana. Tel. 156 686 801; www.criolloslaguatana.com.ar

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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). There is an excellent winery called Clos de Chacras, 2 blocks from the plaza (see page 24). Chacras is 15 minutes by taxi. To get a bus take the number 115 or 116 from 25 de Mayo and Montevideo in the city center. Andes tour

Trekking Compared to the Argentine Lake district, Mendoza’s trekking options are limited as much of the city is surrounded by flat desert and the


shrubless pre-Cordillera. However, look hard enough and you will find some excellent trails, especially in the first sierra known as Cordon de Plata. Here you’ll find a mountain hostel called San Antonio lodge that conducts hikes to the summits of some nearby mountains with spectacular views. The excursion can be done in one day but it is best to stay one night to get the most from the area. For more information contact tour operators Cordon de Plata, Las Heras 1429. Tel.423-7423; www.cordondelplata.com.

bilingual guides who will pass on their extensive knowledge of wine. It is the first and only tasting room in South America and the only place in Mendoza where you can try a wide range of excellent wines by the glass. Regular events include a winemaker’s evening every Wednesday and a cheese and wine tasting on Mondays (this schedule changes in the winter months). The Vines also have a second tasting room located in the Park Hyatt Mendoza, next to the Q Grill. The Vines of Mendoza; Espejo 567, Tel. 0261 438-1031; www.vinesofmendoza.com

Paragliding Parque San Martin Gliding over the tree tops of Mendoza is not to be missed. Mendoza Parapente offer Tandem flight excursions for $250 ARG. You are 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 the clear blue skies.………… Fly Excursion. Tel. 156-151159; flyexcursion@yahoo.com.ar Wine Tasting at The Vines The tasting takes place in stylish and comfortable rooms, with

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Parque General San Martin is probably one of the finest municipal parks in South America. It has 420 hectares (that’s nearly 1000 football fields) of glorious green. Fifty thousand trees line it’s boulevards and border it’s huge open spaces. The park contains a huge artificial lake 1km in length surrounded by pristine gardens. There is a Science Park, a natural history museum, a theatre, a football stadium, a zoo, a velodrome, an equestrian centre, a university, an anphitheatre, and numerous clubs with swimming pools and gyms.Tour buses leave every half hour from the tourist information office on the corner, ferrying people to Cerro de la Gloria.

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) 562 8357. 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

Renacer

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

O. Fournier 93 points. Architecturally innovative. Excellent lunches SALENTEIN 87 points. A slick, modernist visitor center with art gallerry 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

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

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

Achaval Ferrer 88 points. Barrel tasting includes a unique sampling 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

Flichman 87 points. The building itself is a charming, pink hued

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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leads to a stunning temple to wine, all set in the stunning Valle de Uco. Tupungato. Tel. (02622) 429 500. www.killkasalentein.com

Clos de Chacras 85

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

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

Sottano

83 points. Three generations of winemakers put all their knowledge and expertise into an excellent new boutique winery. Ruta 7, Luján de Cuyo. www.sottano.com.

Nieto Senetiner 81 points. One of the prettiest wineries in

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

Rutini La Rural 79 points. Fascinating well-stocked museum 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 Agosto-septiembre 2009  

Mendoza free Magazine

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