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MENDOZA`S FREE MAGAZINE

Nยบ40 OCT / NOV 2009

MENDOZA WINERY GUIDE THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT

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editorial Winery Bonanza

Bonanza en las Bodegas

Mendoza has a bewildering array of wineries to visit, many of which offer great tours, wines and scenery. Much like planning your trip in Argentina, planning your time in Mendoza is a tantalising set of choices and sacrifices. If you only have a couple of days you cannot possibly see everywhere. Keep in mind that most wineries require prior booking and all winery restaurants need reservations. It is also important to know that many places are closed at weekends. This edition of Wine Republic is devoted to listing our favourite wineries with brief details and descriptions. We hope it helps you get the most out of your time here. If you feel you’d like to see more, it is all the more reason to come back. Or like some of us - just never leave.

Mendoza cuenta con una desconcertante cantidad de Bodegas para visitar, muchas de la cuales ofrecen excelentes tours, vinos y paisaje. Tanto como la planificación de tu viaje a Argentina, la planificación de tu estadía en Mendoza es un hermoso tormento de opciones y sacrificios. Si sólo tienes un par de días no será posible ver todo. Recuerda que la mayoría de las bodegas requieren reserva y todos los Restaurants en Bodega necesitan reserva previa. También es importante saber que muchos lugares están cerrados durante el fin de semana. Dedicamos esta edición de Wine Republic a listar nuestras bodegas favoritas con un breve detalle y descripción de cada una. Esperamos que esto los ayude a optimizar su tiempo en Mendoza. Y si sientes que te gustaría ver mas, es una razón mas que suficiente para volver. O como alguno de nosotros, nunca más partir.

CREDITS October - November 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 Cover photo: Salentein, Valle de Uco 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, Ana Carolina Guatelli, Romina Leiva, Lauren Jones. 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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Contents News Republic ................................................................................. 6 Wish List Recommended wines ........................................................ 8 The Purple Fairy Tale ....................................................................9 MInd the Gap .................................................................................11 Quicksilver..........................................................…………….12 Oktoberfest .....................................................................................14 The Winery Guide .......................................................…………….16 What to do in Mendoza .............................................…………….22 The Big Sleep…..........…..............................................………….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 Expatriate Games

Free the Tours

The Mendoza Expats Club held its 4th anniversary lunch in the Park Hyatt on September 26th. The association was formed in 2005 by American David English and Australian Debbie Monteith. It brings together the motley crew of foreigners living in Mendoza for fine wine and not so fine conversation and the global language spectrum ranges from English and French to Romanian and a little known dialect called Kiwi. The recent event was sponsored by the winery Lurton and saw the first inaugural race of fully laid tables across the Park Hyatt courtyard chasing the sun - an annual event perhaps. www.mendozaexpats.org

An enterprisng Buenos Aires tour agency has proved adept at acquiring a captive audience by providing free city tours. The walking tours begin at 11am and 5pm and have proved a popular way to learn about the city in a friendly, informal manner while been light on the pocket, though it is bad form not to tip the guide something at the end. www.buenosairesfreetour.com

Fast and Furious

Argentina must be the only country in the world where tourists are limited to $80 US withdrawals from ATMs. These ridiculous limits have been in place several years now and are the cause of much frustration amongst travellers in a country that is very much a cash economy. Many small businesses are reluctant to take credit cards for example, because of month long delays in processing the payments. Just as frustrating is the lack of explanation from the banks and ATM networks. An article we wrote about this subject some time back provoked contradicting excuses and even the lame justification from one bank that tourists were rationed cash to prevent them getting robbed. Our advice is to complain to your home bank as much as possible.

Hiring a car in Mendoza? Beware that recent stringent laws regarding the rules of the road can see you red faced and light of pocket. City traffic police are now stationed at prominent corners in the city with loud hailers calling out double parkers and cellphone talkers. This name and shame tactic is effective, if fleeting. Much more enduring and painful is the $1000 peso fine for innocent misdemeanours such as driving without lights on during the day - now compulsory in the city. Consult with your car rental operator before running the gauntlet.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Free the Mummies In 1987 a group of mountain climbers tripped across some Inca child sacrifices on Mt Aconcagua. The perfectly freeze dried bodies of royal children offered up to the gods have never been put on display in Mendoza and are locked away in a university cold room. Their clothes and personal items such as colourful feathered head dresses can be seen in the little visited but fascinating basement museum in the University of Cuyo. This is in contrast to a similar find made in Salta. A purpose built museum now displays the bodies of three children, one of which is charred black after being struck by lightening. Their personal items like worn moccasins bring to life the tribes that lived here in the Andes in pre-Columbian times. There is even a video show of the bodies being removed from their mountain refuge on Mt. Llullaillaco, making the museum a must see when visiting Salta. Museo de Arqueol贸gia de Alta Monta帽a, Mitre 77, Salta City. Tel (0387) 437-0499. www.maam.org.ar.

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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 2006

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: $133

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 2006 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: $ 180

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 $ 36

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 $ 30 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 2007

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: $39 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: $ 35


The Purple Fairy Tale Jasmine Montgomery lives happily ever after at one of Mendoza’s most beautiful wine lodges - Finca Adalgisa

We were off to spend a luxurious night in the “hotel rural” Finca Adalgisa in the heart of Chacras de Corria. We arrived to the gates of what seemed like a secret garden. The notion of lush foliage, hidden behind brick walls with life spilling over the edges was waiting to be discovered. On the other side of the iron-gate the landscape was just that. Every corner of the place was filled with strategically placed greenery. In the midst of this urban oasis we were received by friendly staff and the family dog Bingo. With keys in hand, we ventured up to our second story room, and once the lock was turned we were transported into a rustic getaway. The room was generous in size and featured a large patio that over looked the vineyards and fruit trees of the three-hectare plot. The lavish bed was dressed in grade-A-bedding, white and crisp, and ready to make you feel like a princess. The bathroom was pristine and ample and the never ending hot water burst from the shower head with the force you’d expect from any fine hotel. Nestled in a world of white, I woke up to a mountain view through the sliding doors that opened onto the patio. I opted to saunter down to enjoy breakfast before the usual 10:00 o’clock deadline. Breakfast was served in the original family house which has been adapted into a dining area and common space for guests. Laced with family relics and works by local artists, everything smelled clean and welcoming. My morning meal was peaceful with hospitable service and a good selection of cereals.

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After breakfast I took a stroll through the grounds. I stumbled upon the pool, a crystalline mass surrounded by vineyards and charming cactus. Hammocks hung between the columns of the veranda, and off in the distance I could see the white building that houses the micro-winery and lounge. In the evenings guests can enjoy a selection of wine, cheeses, cured meats and other regional delicacies in the boutique winery. I decided to beeline it over to the bodega to get a closer look. I have to admit, I am fascinated with the romance of the wine world. I fantasize about making wine, growing grapes and all the silly clichés that follow. Well, as soon as I reached the little winery I was submerged knee deep in my purple fairy tale. Within minutes I found myself inside a concrete tank shoveling indigo mush into buckets to be pressed by an ancient vice. I helped turn the crank and watched the magenta liquid bleed from the mound of crushed berries. Four hours later my purple hands and tired body felt totally enamored with the fantasy of this lifestyle. My stay at Finca Adalgisa reminded me of how sweet and simple life could be, or rather, should be. If you are looking to immerse yourself in a moment of Mendocino whimsy, Finca Adalgisa is certainly a great place to start. www.fincaadalgisa.com


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Mind the Gap Charlie Foley looks at one of South America’s most impressive engineering projects - the Transandine Railway Possibly the most astonishing train journey in the world would have been the crossing from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso in Chile. The landscape is spectacular, the rolling pampas land turning into the lush verdure of Mendoza; where the colossal Andes rise up next to the fields of vines like a slumbering giant. The greatest of shames then that this journey is no longer. In 1984, after a long period of difficult relations between Argentina and Chile, the Transandine Railway closed. It had begun in 1887, with Juan and Mateo Clark, British brothers from Chile, setting to work on a connection over the perilous Andes. The decision had been reached that a railway from the Atlantic coast, 888 miles to the Pacific would be beneficial both for the transport of freight, yet also to allow for a South American passage that did not involve the Polar waters of the south. “Across mountains that turned into graveyards” The passage over the Andes; until the advent of rail, had been limited to mule and cart, which was both arduous and dangerous. Nathaniel Bishop in his book ‘The Pampas and the Andes: A thousand miles across South America’ writes about the journey, “A youth not long since came from Chile to visit a relative on the Argentine side... He had with him experienced guides, and a favorite mule...On the Cumbre pass, at an elevation of twelve thousand feet, a temporal struck the party, and one by one the mules became buried in the snow...The boy never lived to leave the valley, there he lies, pointing to the cross” Many such stories came from these journeys across mountains that turned into graveyards. However, not until 1910 did the rail link open, following the old mule track through the Uspallata Pass and the Cacheuta Springs (still in existence today) before reaching its loftiest height of 3,176 meters at Los Caracoles. Many of the sections were covered by snow sheds or tunnels; as protection from the avalanches. The most famous tunnel is the Cumbre, hewn out of the cloud-wreathed mountains.

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This tunnel was used for road vehicles in the late 1970’s, but the tunnel was so narrow that two-way traffic was impossible and restrictions were put in place. For 67 years the Transandine railway locomotives merrily chugged across the dizzy peaks; the passengers in the comfort of the buffet carriages, as described by Koebel in `Modern Argentina´, “One has gazed on the tormented river, over five or six courses of a meal, and has peered downwards into the yawning gorges through the comfortable vapour of coffee steam and cigar smoke” At its height in 1920 the Argentine railway network was 47,000 kilometres of track transporting 45.5 million tonnes of cargo; all on the ingenious rack and pinion system (huge pins which allowed trains with a high gear to engage for maximum grip). “47,000 kilometres of track transporting 45.5 million tonnes of cargo” The building of the Transandine railway had another benefit; the birth of skiing in the Andes. The British and Dutch engineers who surveyed the route over the Andes had used skis to get about. When the train first began in 1910, it was being used as a sort of ski-lift, allowing people to ski between Caracoles and Juncal. Along the journey across the mountains the passengers would have noticed a statue of Christ the Redeemer with the enscription ‘Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust than the people of Argentina and Chile break the peace which they have sworn to maintain at the feet of Christ the Redeemer’. However in 1977 relations between the two countries did collapse, and the Transandine railway went with it. Problems had been building up since 1948 when the Argentine government privatised the rail network and the industry was weakened by competitive bidding. This bidding meant that the railways became freight and not customer orientated but with cheap competition from road transport and the last of the customers evading fares; the railway was left on its knees. The finishing blow was the tensions between Argentina and Chile over the Patagonian borders, and the Transandine railway was suspended. The last locomotive to steam over the snow-capped peaks was in 1984. There have been many promises of new investment and that the revival of the railway network is forth-coming; but as yet the tracks, snowsheds and tunnels are passengers to no-one, save the Andean condors.


Quicksilver Charlie Foley checks out Mendoza’s latest adventure destination - the silver mines of Minas de Paramillos

Hewn from the foothills of Mendoza province, with the spiny ridge of the Andes dominating the landscape, is the Minas de Paramillos. I headed for the mountains with my team of fellow explorers and adrenaline junkies; feeling much like I was headed into Middle Earth. The drive through the mountains is breath taking, but nothing compared to the view of Aconcagua and its sister peaks from the entrance to the mines several kiliometers beyond the mountain town of Uspallata. We were there for a trek. However it was not your predictable scramble over the Andes; we were going below them. Like Gandalf and his band of brave hobbits in the mines of Moria, we were disappearing into the earth, perhaps to awaken deadly demons and grisly goblins. Certainly I would have to conquer my own demons, because the trek involved abseiling; and launching myself off the side of a cliff attached to a few ropes was just a little too much like ‘living dangerously’ for me. The mines opened in 1614, when the natives sweated and slogged under the earth, trying desperately to extract the silver that gives Argentina its name. The Latin for silver being argentum; Argentina is derived from the title ‘the one that shines like silver’. Therefore the mines of Paramillos have played a greater part in Argentina’s history than maybe even the great General San Martin. “Argentina is derived from the title ‘the one that shines like silver’” After a two-hour drive from Mendoza city, we began on foot through the desert-like ghost town, which once housed the mine’s many levers and pulleys. Today they are crumbling edifices housing rusting metal remnants and massive pits that probe into the earth. It was down one of these pits that we were to go, all of us waddling like penguins in our hard hats and harnesses. First impressions are minimal as your eyes adjust to the gloomy darkness. Yet, you traipse ahead and are eventually struck by the cavernous tunnels. It is amazing to think that people were once down here picking away at the rock with little pickaxes. But that is exactly the reality, for when the British arrived to take ownership of the mine, it was at the height of the slave trade, and the miners 12

were forced to work 20-hour days in the dank and dark. On the way down the tunnels we noticed the silver glittering on the cave walls: I was at the back trying to hack out little lumps. But my efforts were to no avail; the precious stone was staying put; clearly I should have brought a pick axe. The highlight of the tour is the abseiling and it is not for the fainthearted. Perching at the top of a massive shaft, I listened as little rocks which we threw clattered off the walls for what seemed like an hour. Then it was time to get limbered up and attached to the ropes. Sliding over the edge, my mind was a torrent of emotions: ‘go back now or you will never see the light of day again’, ‘keep your feet apart’, ‘if Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible can do this then I can do it’. Before I knew it I was at the bottom, my guide prying the rope from my hands. I gulped water as the rest of the team sailed down; as if they had just got back from abseiling Everest. “Miners were forced to work 20-hour days in the dank and dark” Our guide then asked us all to turn off our lights and while he told us stories of murder and mystery in the mines; shivers ran down my spine and I felt that Gollum would creep up and put a slimy little hand on my head. For the rest of the tour I refused to walk at the back. Down in the tunnels there are old railway tracks with little coal trucks that you can take your picture on. These trucks were used to ferry the silver which was eventually smelted down into jewelry, tableware and coins. Behind the tracks is an underground reservoir which looks incredibly spooky as you shine your torch over the toxic green water. We were now in a tunnel were I could see the light of day glinting at the end of the darkness. Glancing round every two seconds to check that Gollum really wasn’t scurry up behind me I paced to the exit and a rush of hot, familiar Mendoza air. The writer took a tour with tour company Minas de Paramillos. Tel. 425-9000 / www.minasdeparamillos.com. English spoken but check when booking. Prices start at $200 AR for the full day including a lunch time asado.


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Forget Munich. Argentina has its very own Octoberfest in the German colony town of Villa General Belgrano in Cordoba. Lauren Jones reports on the beer lover’s garden party.

We sensed we were approaching Villa General Belgrano when the roadside rooftops took on a very red, shingly, German character. And when street signs bade us “willkommen” and offered us “bier” by the cheap chop. Our hunch was confirmed when we stepped off the mini-bus and into the town’s mini terminal. There was a mess of festival goers in line to purchase their return tickets: foul-smelling, glassy-eyed, smiling. Most of them tourists. All of them drunk. It was almost 2:30 PM. We joined the line, eager to buy our way out of beer heaven while we were still sober. That done, we headed toward town. Yellow streamers hung overhead, stretched across Belgrano’s main (read: only) street. Uniform wooden storefronts selling souvenirs at our sides. Belgrano was the real-life equivalent of a toy town made from Lincoln logs. The fair’s entrance was at once obvious—I’m sure even the super-inhibited noticed. A larger-than-life sized barrel sits in front of an archway and begs you to do the tourist thing: snap a “Before” photo of you and the barrel. Because God knows you’ll not remember to take the “After” one. “The chocolate booth seemed to be getting little-to-no action” Just inside the entrance, we were overwhelmed by kiosks selling the necessary: mugs of all different shapes and sizes—mugs seemingly left over from Oktoberfests passed in distant German towns. And sashes for your mug. And elfish hats for your spinning, tipsy head. The chocolate booth, a touch out of place at this affair, seemed to be getting little-to-no action. We figured the mugs necessary and sufficient, made our purchases, and were funneled like college booze into the main area of the park. Imagine a clock face. You enter the park and straight ahead, at twelve o’clock, is the grand stage. Argentine dancers pull off a German number in flowing white dresses. At one o’clock there are bathrooms. The only bathrooms. You think to yourself, “Hmf, within two beers’ time, I’ll likely consider this an upset in event planning. A contiguous semi-circle of beer kiosks extends from two o’clock to eleven o’clock (broken only by the entrance, where you stand at six o’clock, and the aroma of warm apple strudel that is emanating from eight o’clock but is filling the air from seven- to nine o’clock). Pale Ale. Stout. Reds. Honey Beer. Raspberry and cherry Beer. Commercially-sold beer. Artesian micro brews. Barely wine. Straight-out-of-Germany Beer. Beer

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from Patagonia. Beer without any preservatives. Expensive beer (priced form $5 AR to $20 AR, depending on the size of mug you picked up near the entrance). People, alcohol, and food cover red and white checkered tablecloths, which in turn cover picnic tables, which fill the center of the arena. It is pandemonium. You need a cold one. We staked out a picnic table and christened it our base for the day. Passers-by were our entertainment: • A troupe of men in kilts, dancing something akin to a do-si-do and splashing into their surroundings what beer they still had in their mugs. • Perhaps the largest Argentine man I’ve seen, fully clad in vest and calf-length trousers—with giant fake ears and all exposed skin painted shamrock green. It was Disney’s Shrek, executed to perfection, nevermind that Halloween was still a couple weeks off. • Our attractive/inebriated American friend posing while three different cliques of females took pictures and asked for his autograph. • A semi-sedated elderly couple, sharing our picnic table and requesting that we calm down, as we were close to knocking over their 18-peso beer. • Two college kids, interviewing us with their video camera in attempt to make a documentary of Oktoberfest for their tourism class. Affected by their drink, they preferred to star in their own show and had us interview their merry time. • The most absurd encounter of all: a group of boys who insisted on teaching us their “very Argentine custom”: when drinking among friends, tradition says that each male and female combination within the group must toast, drink, and kiss. Yeah. Right. • Our same attractive/inebriated American friend is genuinely proposed to by an equally inebriated female. For a while after sunset, we hung around inside the festival grounds. Chatting, finishing our drinks, making stumbling trips over to the bathroom (about which we could only affirm that, “yes, this was an upset in event planning.”). Christmas-like lights and big lanterns came on, hanging between trees. The revelry was still in full swing around 11:00 PM, but our bus was to depart shortly. We exited the park and wobbled down Main Street—it was as alive and raucous as ever. We hoped the winding bus ride back would be gentle on our stomachs. And I hoped the quantity of alcohol would go easy on my memory. After all, I had a magazine article to write. Octoberfest takes place on the second weekend of October in Villa General Belgrano, Cordoba.


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The Winery Guide The Best Places to Visit

LUJAN DE CUYO Weinert

10 min

One of Mendoza’s oldest wineries is also the most accessible. Giant oak vats and atmospheric cellar make for an historical tour of Argentine wine. San Martin 5933, Tel. 496 0825. www.bodegaweinert.com

Terrazas de los Andes

30 min

The fine wine sister of Chandon Argentina is a beautifully restored bodega with well appointed tasting room. Try the famous Cheval de los Andes. Thames and Cochamaba, Perdriel. Tel. 490 9900 www.terrazasdelosandes.com

NORTON

Renacer

30 min

Ruca Malen

30 min

Pulenta Estate

40 min

The label Punto Final is one of Mendoza’s best value Malbecs, produced by this Chilean owned winery. Small, modern operation with interesting tour which includes hands-on lesson in blending. Brandsen 1863. Tel. 154546023. www.bodegarenacer.com.ar

Excellent food, great guiding and first class wines. Speciality wine and food pairings over lunch is an unforgettable culinary experience. Generous tastings and gorgeous view of vineyards and mountains. Ruta Nacional 7, Km 1059, Agrelo, Lújan de Cuyo. Tel. 410 6214. www.bodegarucamalen.com SÉPTIMA

Tapiz

40 min

Septima

30 min

A handsome wine lodge Club Tapiz, a high end restaurant called Terruño and an instructive wine tour that includes an invigorating horse and trap ride through the vineyards and a tank, barrel and bottle tasting. Note: the winery is several kilometers south of the lodge. Ruta Provincial 15, Km 32, Agrelo. Tel. 490 0202 www.tapiz.com

Cool minimalist design and rich complex wines make this a winery tour with finesse and style. Convenient to visit on way to Valle de Uco. Ruta 86, Km 6.5. Tel. 420 0800. www.pulentaestate.com

Architecturally impressive with a huge concrete and glass facade and a massive bottling line. Worthy of a visit to enjoy its ample terrace and spectacular view. They make some of Argentina´s best bubbly. Ruta Nacional , Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 498 5164. www.bodegaseptima.com RUCA MALEN 16


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Fabre Montmayou

20 min

French owned winery. The building is new with a traditional design and the tasting room a wooden gallery overlooking the barrel room. Refreshingly unpretentious. Roque Sanz Peña no number, Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 498 2330. www.domainevistalba.com

Escorihuela Gascon FABRE MONTAMAYOU

Norton

30 min

Old style cellars contrast with high tech production line. Tank and barrel tastings conducted at his huge facility and the traditional jug filling on Thursday mornings is popular with locals. R.P. 15, Km 23.5, Perdriel. Tel. 490 9700. www.norton.com.ar

Nieto Senetiner

Historical winery close to city center, famous for housing Mendoza’s first gourmet restaurant Francis Mallman 1884. Belgrano 1108, Godoy Cruz. Tel. 424 2744. www.escorihuela.com

Decero

20 min

40 min

Attractive, modern facility with spectacular view of mountains from a warm, welcoming tasting room. Bajo las Cumbres 9003, Agrelo. Tel. 524 4748. www.decero.com

Clos de Chacras

Expansive lawns and villa style architecture make Nieto Senetiner one of the prettiest wineries in Mendoza. Fascinating underground cellar and old style tasting room. Wines to try include their brass labelled bonarda. Guardia Vieja no number, Vistalba. Tel. 498 0315. www.nietosenetiner.com.ar

10 min

15 min

Charming boutique operation five minutes walk from Chacras plaza. Make great Merlot and do excellent lunches. Monte Libano s/n, Chacras de Coria. Tel. 496 1285. www.closdechacras.com.ar

Chandon

40 min

Cava de Cano

15 min

Catena Zapata

40 min

The original foreign investor. Chandon have been making great sparkling wine in Mendoza since the 1960s. RP 15, Km 29, Agrelo. Tel. 490 9968. www.bodegaschandon.com.ar

Micro winery set in a beautiful, colonial building. Lunch is a spectacular buffet with every type of delicacy. Av. San Martin 2488, Luján de Cuyo. Tel (0261) 498 7283. www.cavadecano.com

LAGARDE

Luigi Bosca

15 min

Lagarde

15 min

Showcase winery designed like Mayan temple overlooking vineyards and Andes. Rich, complex wines. Cobos s/n. Tel. 490014. www.catenawines.com.

Old, family owned operation with lots of heritage and handsome cellars and tasting room. San Martin 2044, Mayor Drummond. Tel. 498 1974. www.luigibosca.com.ar

The oldest white wine in South America, a hand crafted sparkling wine, 100 year old vines and a series of courtyards occupied with mud ovens, clay urns and empty bird cages. Ave. San Martin 1745, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 498 0011 Ext. 27 CATENA ZAPATA 18


Carmelo Patti

20 min

Carlos Pulenta

20 min

Mendoza’s most famous garagista. Carmelo Patti is often there to show you around himself (in Spanish) and try his famous Cabernet Sauvignon from the barrel. San Martin 2614. Tel 498 1379.

Tasting room where one entire wall is a subterranean cross section of the actual vineyard clay - roots and rocks included. Houses French restaurant La Bourgogne. Roque Saenz Peña 3135, Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 498 9400. www.carlospulentawines.com

Belasco de Baquedano

O. FOURNIER 30 min

Gleaming modern facility with fascinating aroma room and restaurant with Andean view. Cobos 8260. Tel. 153 023 491. www.grupolanavarra.com

Alta Vista

15 min

Masterful mix of modernity and tradition. Tasting includes distinctive Torrontes or single vineyard Malbecs. Álzaga 3972, Chacras de Coria, Luján de Cuyo. Tel 496 4684 www.altavistawines.com

Achaval Ferrer

30 min

Makes the highest scoring Argentine wine. The barrel tasting includes a unique sampling of each varietal that makes up their top label Altamira. Calle Cobos 2601; Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 488 1131. www.achaval-ferrer.com

O. Fournier

100 min

Lurton

100 min

La Azul

90 min

Finca la Celia

90 min

Clos de los Siete

90 min

Architecturally most innovative winery with rich, concentrated wines. O. Fournier also provides excellent lunches in the modernist visitor center and the guides are always well informed and enthusiastic. Los Indios s/n, La Consulta, San Carlos. Tel. 02622/ 451 088 www.ofournier.com

The wines are faultless and the location stunning. A French operation producing excellent Torrontes and Malbec. Ruta 94 km 21, Vista Flores, Tunuyán. Tel. 441 1134. www.bodegalurton.com

Simple garage with not so simple Malbec and Merlot. Spanish speaking guide. R.P 89 s/n. Agua Amarga. Tupungato. Tel. 422 175. www.bodegalaazul.com.ar

One of the valley’s oldest wineries conducts excellent tours and tastings. Av. De Circunvalacion s/n, Eugenio Bustos, San Carlos. Tel 451 010. www.fincalacelia.com.ar

Visit three wineries in one and try rich, complex wines surrounded by state-of-the-art architecture and wine making technology. Calle Clodomiro Silva s/n. Tel. 02622/ 422 054. www.clos7.com.ar SALENTEIN

Benvenuto de la Serna

VALLE DE UCO Salentein

90 min

Designed like a temple to wine, this ultra concept winery includes a modern art gallery, lodge and chapel, set high in this Andean valley. R.P 89 s/n, Tunuyan. Tel. 02622/ 429 500. www.killkasalentein.com

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90 min

Charming, family run operation making a very decent Sangiovese under the Mil Piedras label. Carril Los Sauces s/n, VistaFlores, Tunuyan. Tel. 420 0782. www.benvenutodelaserna.com

Altus

90 min

A red barn-like winery faces a lovely adobe style restaurant doing excellent lunches. Las Vencedoras, Tupungato. Tel. 155 080 261. www.altusdetupungato.com.ar


Andeluna

90 min

A brand, spanking new installation, the tasting room has an inviting, old world feel. Ruta Provincial 89, Km 11, Gualtallary, Tupungato. Tel. 429 9299 ext 113. www.andeluna.com

Aconquija

style bodega, set in the leafy vineyards of southern Maipu. Recommended is the top blend Dedicado. Munives 800, Barrancas, Maipú. Tel. (0261) 497 2039; www.flichman.com

90 min

Down-to-earth family run affair with good wholesome Malbec. Spanish speaking guide. España 1094, La Consulta, Sa Carlos. 02622/470 0379

FLICHMAN

LURTON

MAIPÚ Trapiche

30 min

Argentina’s biggest winery is a mix of old and new, traditional and industrial. Mitre s/n. Coquimbito. Tel. 520 7666. www.trapiche.com.ar

Tempus Alba

30 min

A fine modern winery set in the laid back rural lanes of southern Maipu with roof terrace ovelooking the vines. Pip for Pleno label in tasting. Perito Moreno 572, Maipu. Tel.(0261) 481 3501; www.tempusalba.com

Rutini La Rural

20 min

Lopez

20 min

Flichman

40 min

Well-stocked museum with invaluable pieces such as cow hide wine presses and buckets. Giant oak tanks stand in large, cavernous halls whilst side rooms hold Victorian era pumps and bottle corkers. Montecaseros 2625, Coquimbito, Maipu. Tel. (0261) 497 2013 ext.125 www.bodegalarural.com.ar

Familia Zuccardi

30 min

Di Tommasso

30 min

Carinae

30 min

Benegas Lynch

20 min

A professional, far sighted operation, the guides are always enthusiastic, knowledgable and eager to please. Attractive restaurant amidst the vines is famous for its asado-style lunches and ample supply of wine. Ruta Provincial 33, Km 7.5, Maipu. Tel (0261) 441 0000; www.familiazuccardi.com

Officially the oldest winery in Mendoza. Rustic with pleasant restaurant. Urquiza 8136, Russel. Tel. 155 878 900.

Small, charming winery offering personal tours and wellhoned wines. Surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. Videla Arande 2899, Cruz de Piedra, Maipú. Tel. (0261) 499 0470 www.carinaevinos.com

Rich history and richer wines. Lovely old bodega with lots of character. Mendoza’s best Cabernet Franc. Ruta 60. Cruz de Piedra. Tel. 496 0794. www.bodegabenegas.com

Popular, old style winery with handsome tasting room close to Maipu plaza. Ozamis 375, Gral Gutiérrez. Tel. 481 1091. www.bodegaslopez.com.ar

Steeped in history and tradition. Charming, pink hued colonial 20

ZUCCARDI


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What to do in Mendoza Wine Tours 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, Espejo 266. Tel 4255613; www.troutandwine.com. Horse Riding 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

Rafting 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 22

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. 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 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, Espejo 266. Tel 4255613; www.troutandwine.com 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, Patricias Mendocinas 1429 Tel.423-7423; www.cordondelplata.com Paragliding 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

the Q Grill. The Vines of Mendoza; Espejo 567, Tel. 0261 4381031; www.vinesofmendoza.com

Wine Tasting at The Vines

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.

The tasting takes place in stylish and comfortable rooms, with 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

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Parque San Martin


The Big Sleep Ana Carolina Guatelli and Romina Leiva give the nod to nodding off IN MENDOZA Unfortunately for some people, sleeping is a luxury which ironically they can only dream about. But not Mendocineans, for whom sleeping, right along with eating, is one of the greatest pleasures life offers. Mendocineans are certainly not the kind of people that spend the night tossing and turning so if you’re visiting this beautiful city and want to fit into the culture you should be aware of some sleep time quirks. Let’s start with the infamous siestas. It has been scientifically proven that most people have a strong biological tendency to fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon. Mendoza is no exception. The fact that all stores are closed in the afternoon is because of simple mathematics. We can assume that if 75% of Mendoza’s population sleeps during the afternoon, and the remaining 15% does not go out because of the hot weather, only 10% of these people would go downtown and probably half of that group would buy something. It stands to reason that the store owners won’t make much money. So if you can’t beat them, join them.

to you when you’re perfectly relaxed and about to shut your eyes? A graceful and elegant “paloma” swooping overhead to deposit a present on your head, soiling your hair. Yes, shit happens. But don’t get too stressed out about it. If something like that happens to you it’s actually a cause for celebration. You are in a very superstitious city and you’d better believe the old myth - getting pooped on by a bird = good luck. If you’ve just arrived to Mendoza and you’re about to take your first bus ride, don’t freak out if the person next to you just lays on your shoulder and passes out without warning. He or she is not dead, nor drunk - just sleeping and slobbering on your clothes. Mendocineans are highly talented in the art of sleeping on buses. No one really cares about falling asleep (and maybe off their seat) in front of complete strangers. To these people, bus rides are just a series of time-lapse photographs every few meters down the road.

“Mendoza is the most nap friendly city in Argentina”

Sleeping on the weekends is a completely different story and the mathematical equation changes. Music + food + alcohol = little sleep. Sleepless weekends in Mendoza are very common, since weekends are the only time when Mendocineans make up for the hours lost during the week’s siestas. They catch up with old friends, lose weight through dancing and enjoy a variety of shows that range from classical music to stand-up comedy and techno music. When it comes to sleeping, Mendocineans can make it through whatever type of adversity: moving buses, people shouting, broken fans, mosquitoes, etc. Our dedication to sleep is one of our leastknown, but most native talents.

Mendoza is the most nap friendly city in Argentina. The squares and parks are everyone’s favorite places to sleep. Why? Fresh cut grass, a soft warm breeze and music from street artists are the key ingredients to waste two or even three hours of your afternoon. Let’s not say “waste.” Rather, the parks offer you an opportunity to “invest” two precious hours improving your health and completing the sleeping cycle doctors talk about. Lying on the grass and looking at the blue sky sounds dreamy, and it is. With only one little problem - what’s the worst thing that can happen 24

“Sleeping on the weekends is a completely different story”


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dining out mendoza city 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 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

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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

ANNA BISTRO 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

Sofia

Asia meets Cuba meets Mendoza at Sofia from menu to décor to ambience. Brick fireplaces, leather sofas and impressive bookshelves contrast with buddhas and disco balls and all to the sound of latino beats. The chef takes on sushi, tablas, tapas, pizza, curry, fish and meat, and wins. Try the slightly misleading, yet very pleasant chicken curry - battered chicken balls, coconut cream dip and stir fried vegetables. Their fritada de mar is a lightly fried selection of white bait, mussels, calamari and chunks of salmon with piqante and limon shots for dipping. We also recommend their fantastic trucha, perched on top of spring rolls and drizzled with a cheese sauce. Again, sounds strange on paper, works well on the night. Save some room for the postres with flan, chocolate and fruit selections that will have you in raptures. An epic wine list,

If you are interested in an elegant take on sampling Argentine wine and carne, two blocks from Plaza Independencia is Mi Tierra. Something of a rarity in the city, they offer flights of wine - a tasting of three glasses in the demure townhouse´s four rooms designated to wineries Norton, Catena Zapata, Escorihuela Gascon and Terrazas de los Andes. Attentive staff greet in the marble floored hall, showcasing Mi Tierra´s touch of class. A sweetbreads, lamb and carne empanadas tasting with spicy tomato salsa is well worth trying. Follow this with the meat tasting experience for two giving you the opportunity to try regional delicacies without having to get your hands dirty and with menus in both Spanish and English, you´ll be sure to know exactly what you´re getting. Disco chicken, pork loin, goat´s cheese pasta and fish are light alternatives whose quality hasn´t been overlooked by the

mi tierra


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dining out 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.

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 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.

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 la steak salwith 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.

Big Bang

Arístides Villanueva’s newest eatery is an ambitious fusion snackhouse, mixing up five different cuisines from around the World. Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Argentine and American are all put into the pot with the result that spring rolls, sweet and sour pork and buffalo wings all appear on the menu. The venue is a handsome townhouse with tall ceilings and large rooms decked out in funky

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colors and super heroe graphics. There is space out the front for people watching and the restaurant is the only place in Mendoza that boasts a juke box for any after dinner singa-longs to rock nacional. Big Bang, Aristides Villanueva 168. Tel. 429-9119. Average costs without wine $40-$50 pesos.

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 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, Boterostyle 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.


outside city center Clos de Chacras

This 1921 winery has to be one of the most beautiful in Mendoza and handy to visit as it is a short stroll from Chacras de Coria Plaza. Besides excellent wines and atmospheric cellars, the winery is now offering classy meals in its casona style dining room. Lunch is a multi-course bonanza that will satisfy the most insatiable gourmand. Beef, fresh salads and provolone are just some of the parade of dishes that appear. All washed down by a full selection of wines. Service is excellent and pours are generous. For wine buyers, walk away with one of Mendoza’s best Merlots for $30 AR. Set Menu $130 AR for six courses and five wines. Main courses $35 AR. Monte Libano 1025, Chacras de Coria. Tel. 496 1285. www.closdechacras.com.ar. Lunches everyday. Dinner Friday and Saturday.

clos de chacras

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

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fondue speciality, served on a slab of granite with a variety of sauces. This is as authentic as you can get and the countryside surroundings 30 minutes south of the City only add to the experience. Other dishes include roasted potato tortillas and rolls stuffed with smoked ham and pork. Average price for meal without wine $50 - $60 ARG. Ruta Panamericana, on the way to Cacheuta hot springs, Colonia Suiza. Open everyday except Mondays. Midday to midnight. Tel. 154700827 / 156541050. 4962267. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 8pm. Lunches served Saturday and Sunday.

Club Tapiz Resort´s TERRUÑO

Tucked away among the sprawling vineyards of Maipu lies Club Tapiz Resort and its lovely restaurant Terruño. This handsome eatery boasts an elegant interior, excellent service and a wine list that is sure to please even the most finicky oenophile. Celebrity Argentine chef Max Casa has drawn up a tantalising menu that includes top-notch lomo steaks, a rotating range of salads and a savory ginger/ honey chicken dish that is second to none. Call ahead for dinner reservations. Average price for a meal with wine per person: 40-50 pesos. Ruta 60 s/n 5517 Maipú, Mendoza, (15 minutes by taxi) Tel. 496-0131, open for Lunch 12:00-15:00 every day / Dinner SunThu 20:00-23:00, Fri&Sat ‘til 24:00.

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.

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, pork and beef with a healthy dash of fresh salads. The owners Federico and Romina are constantly on

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. 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 indian relics. 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, Espejo 266. 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. 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 Octubre- Noviembre 2009  

Mendoza free magazine.

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