MENDOZA`S FREE MAGAZINE
Nยบ55 APR / MAY 2012
w w w. w i n e - r e p u b l i c . c o m
CONTENTS NEWS REPUBLIC
No More Boring Sundays...............................................................6
The Winery Guide ........................................................................28
Expanding the Manzano................................................................6
The Big Apple................................................................................8
Bars & Events ..............................................................................26
A Guide to Art in Mendoza..........................................................16 Street Art in Mendoza.................................................................18 Shop Till You Drop......................................................................21
Dining Out ..................................................................................30
UNESCO sites in Argentina..........................................................24
MAPS & TIPS Useful Information.....................................................................32 Map of Maipu and Chacras de Coria..........................................32 Map of Mendoza City Center.......................................................34
CREDITS Issue April - May 2012 | ISSN 1853-9610 10,000 Copies Published by Seven Colors S.A. Address: Espejo 266, Planta baja. Departamento 3. Mendoza, Argentina Tel. +54 (261) 425-5613 E-mail: email@example.com Editor: Amanda Barnes Editorial Director: Charlie O’Malley Publicidad: Ana Laura Aguilera (155 018 874), Mariana Gómez Rus firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Design: María Laura Gómez · firstname.lastname@example.org Printer: Artes Gráficas UNION Contributing Authors: Amanda Barnes, Gwynne Hogan, Charlie O’Malley, Molly Hetz. Cover Illustration: Donough O’Malley, www.pencilrobot.net Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the editorial opinions of Wine Republic.
news REPUBLIC By Charlie O’Malley and Gwynne Hogan
It’s been 2 years in the making and a decade of planning and wrangling. Finally, from the 1st of April, Mendoza will have its first passenger train since the city lost its train system 15 years ago. Known as the Metrotranvia, the fire engine red carriages will run from Belgrano Station in the city center to Maipu in the southeast suburbs, covering 12km and 15 stops. It will do much to open up the city district of Godoy Cruz and ease increasing traffic congestion in the city center. It will also make the wineries of Maipu much more accessible for visitors. With any luck, the line will eventually be extended into Lujan de Cuyo. Wine Republic wishes the Metrotranvia every success.
Familia Zuccardi have been serving steak to discerning tourists for years now and its Casa del Visitante is one of the most mouth watering and tasty winery restaurant experiences in Mendoza. Now this famous family enterprise has shown just how enterprising it is by opening a second restaurant amongst its vines and olive groves. Pan y Oliva is 100% inspired by the noble green berry from the biblical olive tree. It is located next to Zuccardi’s olive house and has a relaxed, laidback ambience that sits well with the light and elegant menu of delicious tapas and imaginative salads. www.familiazuccardi.com
No More Boring Sundays
Wandering the streets of Mendoza on a Sunday could have you thinking the city has been evacuated because of a yellow fever epidemic. It’s more like a red meat fever as the locals flock to every patch of roadside greenery to set up deck chairs and eat traditional family asado (barbecue). Such urban abandonment can have the average visitor feeling, well, abandoned. Not so anymore, as the Sheraton has stepped in with a Sunday brunch that offers all day eating and drinking for $165 AR per person whilst sitting 17 floors in the sky with what must be the best view of the city and mountains. A sumptuous buffet is laid on with everything from bacon and eggs to your ubiquitous asado. There is even a crèche and child minder for those who want a break from the kids. Just remember brunch actually starts at lunch time 1pm. To book call 441 5500.
Expanding the Manzano
Manzano Historico (literally “the Historical Apple Tree”) is a protected nature reserve at the far end of the Uco Valley running up into the Andes. It is ripe with climbing, trekking, fishing, paragliding and horseback riding possibilities. Recently a new law was enacted that will protect 314,600 more hectares of land from development, particularly against mining (which is vehemently disliked by most Mendocinos). On March 10th, in celebration of the new law, Tupungato Mayor Martin Aveiro and a large pack of friends, journalists and gauchos set off on a two-day horseback ride into the heart of Manzano, to raise the Argentine flag. The Wine Republic team were invited along and together we braved rain, harsh wind, traditional song and dance, woman-hungry cowboys and seriously sore bums. On our way back down through the sublime and treacherous cliffs and passes, we felt as one with the mountains and proud to be part of its delicate ecosystem. That was until a gaucho in traditional garb plodding along beside us hurled a plastic coke bottle off the side of the cliff. Humm.
The Big Apple
Photo by Gwynne Hogan
Tunuyan is home to some of Argentina’s best wineries, but most tourists and visitors don’t stay for more than a day. Amanda Barnes explores Tunuyan’s Manzano Historico and finds out that there is a lot more to this attractive corner of the Uco Valley… You have to love somewhere that is named after an apple tree. Argentina’s favorite liberator and hero, General San Martin, apparently sought shade under an old apple tree here and so the area was named after that servile sapling. Not only does it have apple trees, but this nature reserve is full of history and ripe for adventure activities. The History This is the place where San Martin rallied his flagging troops and inspired them to fight the Spanish in a bid for independence. In a cunning plan he told the native Indians that his planned route and attack troops would be attacking through this old trade route. As he suspected, the natives sold out and informed the Spanish of his planned route. So the Spanish duly prepared to fight back on this front, but in fact San Martin used the Manzano Historico for a decoy attack, and actually attacked full force from the Uspallata route. They won the battle and the rest is Argentine independence history. The ‘Ruta Sanmartiniana’ has always remained an important gateway to Chile, with the stunning moon-like landscaped border named ‘El Portillo’ (or the gate). This was a cattle route for hundreds of years and you can still see sun-drenched skulls and bones. ‘Gauchos’ have crossed this part of the Andes for centuries, and they still do…
passport if you are thinking about heading up to El Portillo - you have to check out with the guards before walking to Chile. Horseriding. Down in the Manzano Historico you can organize a horseride with some of the local gauchos who will take you up the adventurous dirt path, through the valleys and alongside the snaking river. Horseriding here is a real delight with different terrains to amble along and lots of adventurous river crossings. It will set you back around 200 pesos a day. Climbing. The big attraction is Arenales - the second most important climbing wall in South America. Attracting lots of international climbers each year, this area has many different rock faces to climb of varying intensity - the longest of which is 500m and takes you to an altitude of well over 4000m. These are stunning climbs with condors sweeping around you. You can do bouldering here too, but the best climbs are with ropes - make sure to get a guide if you don’t know what you are doing. Fishing. A gushing river which winds its way through the valley keeps flyfishers happy with brown trout and beautiful scenery to while away some precious rod time. Sit alongside all the picnickers from Tunuyan and see if you can catch the ‘big one’.
What to do nowadays Ruta Sanmartiniana. Ruta Sanmartiniana is still a big tourist attraction here and many want to follow in the footsteps of San Martin, and also of Charles Darwin (whose crossing here helped formulate his thoughts on evolution). It can be covered by foot, horseback, dirt bike or 4x4.
Paragliding. For adrenaline junkies, this is the second most popular spot for paragliding in Mendoza (after Cerro Arco). Jumping off of Cerro El Manzano gives you a sweeping view down the valley and over the lush countryside and vineyards of Tunuyan.
Trekking. There are a dozen or so trekking routes here that can last from a couple hours to camping overnight at the refuges along the way. One of the most popular is next to the Cajon de Arenales where there is a tall waterfall, from snowmelt, which you can walk behind and take a (very) refreshing dip in the pool at the bottom. Bring your
Sightseeing. If you want to stay down at normal altitude, visiting the Manzano Historico on a Sunday can be a perfectly pleasant trip in itself. With a large wooden sculpture of Christ set against the mountains, a large monument to San Martin, two museums on local history and an artisan market in the afternoon, this is a nice spot to visit.
Amanda Barnes takes a look at the winemaker’s magic box of tricks. I guess naively I always thought wine was very simple to make: pick some grapes, let them ferment and hey presto! You have wine. I figured it was probably discovered in some backwater farmland in Ancient Greece sometime when a forgetful farmer left his basket of picked grapes out in the sun too long and under the watchful eye of an imperturbable goat, the juice gradually turned into wine - a discovery to the delight of the Greek family that Sunday afternoon and to future wine drinkers around the world. How wine was actually ‘discovered’ is a mystery, but what we do know is that people have been making it since at least 6000BC in Georgia. The oldest winery found so far dates back to 4000BC in Armenia and has relics of wine presses and fermentation vats. If they were that advanced 6,000 years ago, chances are the ‘discovery’,with my goat as the first eye witness, was long before then. Something we perhaps neglect to realise though is that winemakers have also been adding things to their wine for a couple of thousand years too. We are often misled to think that 100 years ago, everything was ‘natural’ - there were no chemicals added to food or drinks and that using ‘additives’ is a nasty development since the chemical revolution and McDonalisation of society. In fact, winemakers have always used additives in wine - it was developed simultaneously as an integral part of winemaking. Even the Romans would throw in lots of sulphur to their wine.
Most of these non-vegan or non-vegetarian products come in at the fining stage. To make a wine clearer you sometimes need to add proteins so that all the tannins stick to them and fall out of the wine. Here is where winemakers might throw in milk proteins, egg whites, gelatin or even the rather unappetizing addition of fish bladders. It may sound disagreeable, but this is only the beginning of Pandora’s box of wine tricks. Most winemakers love to tell you that they do “very little” in the winery. The fact is they do quite a lot, so I decided to go to an expert to find out what exactly. David Kingsbury has his own company, Gransud, which supplies the wine industry in Argentina and Chile with winemaking products and light machinery.“We have a portfolio of over 200 products,” David told me. “I guess on average a winemaker would add between 10 and
Wine is not just fermented grape juice One of the biggest clues that wine is not just fermented grape juice is when you see labels on bottles stating that they are vegan, or even vegetarian. What? Go back a minute. Vegan? Vegetarian? Why wouldn’t it be? Animal products in wine?! This is where you read a bit further and see: ‘contains milk’ or ‘contains eggs’ which can be pretty confusing for new wine drinkers who thought they were just drinking grape juice. Although legally no country has to specify ingredients in wine, some producers/ importers/buyers are a bit more conscious of those people with allergies or ethical scruples, and so list ‘ingredients’ like milk and eggs. 10
IIlustrations by Donough O’Malley · www.pencilrobot.net
30 different products to a wine in the process. But what’s important to remember is that most of these don’t end up in the bottle - they fall out of the wine through fining and clarifying. Even though we add things, wine is still well over 99% fermented grape juice.” Most of the products all come in powders which are used in small quantities and dissolved in water. Although the quantities might appear small and fairly insignificant, if you don’t use any additives it can make the wine making process quite hard to get off the ground. Take for example the very first stage of winemaking - fermentation. Grapes come with natural yeast on their skins, which should be enough to ferment the juice on its own. However winemakers need to add yeast to ensure complete fermentation and have more control over the process. Otherwise it can get ‘stuck’ and stop fermenting half way through. David has a handful of anecdotes of panicked winemakers calling at all times of the day and night with stuck fermentations when their precious 50,000 litres of juice is just not turning into wine. Using industrial yeast is the most reliable way to stop this happening, keep the risk low and help the winemaker keep a little bit more hair on his head. A winemaker adds between 10 and 30 different products to a wine There are over 100 yeasts on the market and each yeast (which is all microflora, or different bacteria) has very different characteristics, changing the alcohol levels, aromas and flavors of the wine. “Between using different yeasts you could have anything up to 2% difference in alcohol levels,” said David, “so it’s quite important what yeast you use.” Flicking through Gran Sud’s product booklet, it reads a lot like a nerdy cookbook (think Heston Blumental or Ferran Adria) or a contemporary guide to alchemy. Spider diagrams point out the different profiles for each product, and there is even a check list for which yeasts work better with which wines. Not that different from adding spices to your frying pan or baking powder to your cakes. Everything you add can quite significantly change the outcome of the wine - this is where the idea of a winemaker as an artist or perhaps magician comes in, they craft their wine by all the ingredients and processes that they use. Everyone knows about yeast though, and it doesn’t hold too much taboo. The products which always turn up in sensationalist journalism are the use of kitty litter, African tree sap and long and unintelligible additives such as carboxy methyl carbonate. David blows away the magician’s smoke for me on these three: kitty litter is referring to Bentonite (a main component for cat litter) which is added to white wine to remove the proteins left after fermentation which can make the wine hazy; African tree sap (or Gum Arabic) actually comes powered and is used to stabilize the colour of the wine; and carboxyblahblahblahblah is used for tartrate stability which although sounding a bit nasty it is also the main component for toothpaste. All of these additives are very legal, and actually quite boring All of these additives are very legal, and when they are explained they are actually quite boring. I want to know the winemaker’s naughty secrets, and so I speak to a couple winemakers ‘off the record’. They let me in on a trick of the trade. Water.
Sounds pure enough, but actually the addition of water is in theory not allowed in Argentina. The large majority of winemakers do it anyway. A big problem in the warmer New World wine regions (and due to climate change even the Old World ones) is alcohol. If winemakers here picked grapes at their optimum level and didn’t correct the alcohol level, we would be getting wines of around 17% on the shelves (legally wine has to be under 16%). Some winemakers told me that they might take up to a third of the juice out and replace it with water, but never in an attempt to boost volumes, just to lower the alcohol. Winemakers in some countries use a code word of ‘Jesus units’ to talk about how much water they have added (referring to the miracle of turning water into wine). The authorities turn a blind eye to adding water as practically everyone does it. What the authorities can’t turn a blind eye to anymore is adding antibiotics to wine which caused a scandal in 2009 when the German authorities caught an Argentine wine producer adding antibiotics to the wine, and impounded the 100,000 contaminated bottles. Winemakers were adding them to kill the bacteria and make the wine more manageable and although it doesn’t actually have any health risk attached, the EU wine rules state it is not allowed. Perhaps rather odd as the exact same antibiotic is allowed to be added to smoked sausages and cheese. But no wine additive scandal tops what happened in Italy in 1986. A producer added toxic methanol to increase the alcohol in his low alcohol wine, a fatal error which killed 23 people. Other famous health risks of recent years include concerns about BSE from gelatin used in wine, and more famously the use of bull’s blood. Bull’s blood (or of any cattle) was used for centuries to clarify wine but was banned in the EU in 1997 because of BSE risks, although for a couple consequent years wine was still being found with traces of blood in it. That kind of puts the egg whites into perspective.
producers making ‘corrupt’ or fraudulent wine, and in medieval Germany the penalty for selling fake wine went from branding to beating the criminal to death or hanging. It was only in 1889 that a country (France) first legally defined wine as fermented grape juice. Who knows what went into it before. But rest assured, nowadays the wine world has gone the other direction. “A wine cannot be clearer or more sterile than it is now,” comments David. “I would like to think that people can believe that wine is a living product and that it changes colour and there are by-products. But we are probably not going to go back to those days.” We used to be accepting of drinking a wine with sediment or crystals at the bottom of a bottle, but those days are no longer - we expect to buy a brand and have the same product every time. One of the reasons so many different products are added to the simple grape juice is to fine and clarify the wine because consumers demand a perfectly clear product. The UK is one of the most sophisticated wine markets in the world, but perhaps due to the fact it is not much of a wineproducing country, there is little tolerance of ‘blemished’ wine. This trend is spreading across the globe and so the demand for completely sanitized wine, and thus the box of magic tricks, gets bigger and bigger. If we don’t want to see a white rabbit listed on our wine ingredients in the future, we need to get over the fact that wine is a living product - warts and all.
In medieval Germany the penalty for selling fake wine went from branding to beating the criminal to death or hanging However this is still monkey play compared to the types of wine fraud that happened centuries ago. Old wine ‘recipes’ not only called for the addition of blood and sulphur but other ‘ingredients’ such as mustard, ashes and lead. There are records from Roman times about IIlustrations by Donough O’Malley · www.pencilrobot.net 12
GRANSUD David Kingsbury is an Australian winemaker who has travelled the world making wine in places as diverse as Bordeaux and Brazil making wine in countries as diverse as Bordeaux and Brazil. He came to Argentina in 2001 as a consultant winemaker and has been here since, now acting as CEO of Gransud, providing winemaking accessories to wineries in Chile and Argentina. For more information visit www.gransud.com
WISHLIST Here are some of our favourite wines in Mendoza at the moment. Check out our 2011 Wine Tasting results on www.wine-republic.com Torrontés, Serrera, 2011, $35AR This elegant Mendocinean torrontés from the small family winery has notes of peach and flowers with a good acidity for food pairings, and it is great value to boot! Sauvignon Blanc, Pulenta Estate, 2011, $65 This Lujan wine is just brimming with lime and asparagus, one of the best Sauvignon Blancs in the country. Always the earliest to harvest, this year’s vintage is set to be a goodie too. Single Vineyard Malbec, Alta Vista, 2010, $200 This is a classic Malbec from Mendoza made from the French terroir specialists. Always one of our favourites, it’s an inky wine with attractive plum notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Kaiken Ultra, 2009, $95 This Chilean-owned winery really knows how to make their Cab - a big concentrated wine with nice oak and sweet tannins. Malbec Argentino, Catena Zapata, 2007, $630 Still reigning supreme as one of the best Malbecs of the country, Catena Zapata’s icon wine topped our 2011 tasting with its rich fruit with coffee and vanilla. Gran Estirpe, Clos de Chacras, 2006, $145 This Cabernet Sauvignon, Mablec and Merlot blend is great value from this boutique winery in Chacras. Rounded and plummy it’s one to mull over. For more wine recommendations visit www.wine-republic.com
A Guide to Art in Mendoza Mendoza doesn’t have the beautiful art galleries of Buenos Aires, it doesn’t have the serpentine libraries that inspired Borges to write and it doesn’t have the same clique of brooding creatives that gather in the capital’s dark and devilishly seductive coffee shops. Buenos Aires is definitely the ‘arty-est’ city in Argentina. But don’t write Mendoza off just yet, because what it does have when it comes to the world of art, is a hot art community bubbling under the surface and waiting to be tapped by art enthusiasts and curious visitors alike. Amanda Barnes gets out her pick axe to break into Mendoza’s art scene… On your tourist map (or the one at the back of this nifty copy of Wine Republic) you will see two galleries marked in Mendoza: the MAMM and the ECA. Is that it? Two art galleries for Argentina’s third largest city? The answer is no, but finding other places to appreciate paint and canvas is not an easy feat here. Both the MAMM (Plaza Independencia) and ECA (9 de Julio and Gutierrez) are nice modern art galleries - their exhibitions rotate regularly, they have quiet and clean spaces and host lots of different artists from around Argentina and South America. However your artistic route of the city will be over in less than an hour if you just go to these two. One way to extend your route around town is with the five star hotels - the Park Hyatt and Diplomatic both have pleasing changing exhibitions, but the hotel art prize undoubtedly goes to the Sheraton with its vast collection of art on the ground floor and on its top floor (with a great view over the city to boot). Further out of the city in Lujan is a real treasure - Casa Fader. This old mansion was home to a wealthy Argentine family who hired the services of French painter Fernando Fader to paint some mural in the hallway and swimming pool room in 1906. Fader soon fell in love with the daughter of the family, Adela, and they married and lived there together. Fader became well known in Argentina as a Post-Impressionist painter but died at the
young age of 33 and now the house, which the family donated to the local government as a museum in 1951, has the largest collection of Fader’s works as well as a changing exhibition of different artists and a beautiful sculpture garden. Museo de Bellas Artes, San Martín 3651, Mayor Drummond, Luján de Cuyo (261) 496 022. Tue - Fri 8.30am- 6pm. Sat & Sun 2pm - 7pm. Back in the city though there are other ways to see great art, although not in your conventional gallery. One of the best ways to really get to know the local art scene is by visiting some artist’s workshops. Make sure you call and book ahead but there are a handful of artists in or around the city centre that happily welcome you in to their lairs. If you want to get a feel for ‘latin american’ style art, Lucia Coria is your woman. Tucked away in a bright red house in the quinta neighbourhood is her workshop and home. The workshop is a colourful space covered top to toe in her vibrant paintings and large dresses. Deeply feminine, her work has a very latin feel to it (think Frida Kahlo) and features many brooding self-portraits. One series is called ‘women drinking’ and portrays different self-portraits of those introspective moments that we all know too well, when drinking a glass of wine alone. To visit Lucia, call her on (261) 438 0707 or 15 510 4745. www.luciacoria.blogspot.com
A couple blocks up the road is another ‘taller’ that should be visited by those who have a love of eccentric artist characters - that of Martin Villalonga. Technically a very good artist, Martin teaches in Mendoza as well as working through a myriad of different styles in his own time. He has tried just about every type of art and most of it sits on canvases stacked around his house but you can also take back a more portable piece of art in the form of his entertaining wine sketches which are on sale at different wine shops around the city. To visit Martin call him on (261) 15 653 8993. The quinta section is a hub of local artists and among the streets you will find dozens of different artists workshops including Fernando Jereb’s (see page 22) beautiful studio - an essential stop on the ‘taller’ route. If you want to see lots of different artists in one space, Santangelo Galeria de Arte has a good rotating collection of some of Mendoza’s cornerstone artists. This tiny space is packed with photos, sculptures, and paintings of all different genres and the gallery’s director Eduardo Jacky can guide you through the pieces (including lots of wine themed ones) in English. Santangelo, Olascoaga 631, Tues - Fri, 10-12:30 and 5:30- 9pm, Sat 10 -12:30. (261) 425 5205.
Photos of grafitti in Mendoza by Gwynne Hogan and Amanda Barnes 19
The best kept secret though is in the bohemian arty suburb of Bermejo. Just 5kms outside of the city, in leafy Guaymallen near the aiport, this neighbourhood feels a world apart and puts you right into the ‘campo’ (countryside). No surprise then that this is where lots of Mendoza’s artists like to work on their brushstroke. Not only is it home to one of the region’s big granddaddy’s of art, Luis Quesada (see page 22), but also to another prominent golden oldie in the art world and an absolute master of sculpture - Roberto Rosas (page 22). With a house that screams pure fantasy from the outset, ringing the bell of his tall metal gate feels a bit like a Tim Burton filmset. But the intriguing world of Rosas doesn’t end there, rather it is just the beginning. Huge scultpures of women, angels and demons beckon you in and reveal his house and workshop, which in itself is a work of art. Inside is a museum of his quirky and enchanting style with over a thousand pieces adorning walls and stands. His gorgeous sculpture garden is the cherry on the cake. This is surely one of the art ‘mustsees’ in Argentina. Call to visit on (261) 451 1605, entrance is $30 pesos. Another great sculptor around the corner is third generation carpenter Miguel Galdolfo. One of the most influential wood workers in Mendoza, he is responsible for some of the gorgeous furniture in different wineries including Monteviejo, Sophenia and The Vines, but more impressive are his conceptual sculptures. Geometrical in nature, he contorts wood into complicated knotted structures and colourful sculptures. Find out more about his upcoming exhibitions on www. miguelgandolfo.com or call for a visit on (261) 445 6888.
Another prominent art community in Mendoza is in Chacras de Coria. Around 20kms south of the city centre (accessible by bus or car) this quiet neighbourhood is filled with boutique wineries, restaurants, bars and an arty crowd. There are lots of artists workshops here that are worth the visit (including Gonzalo Anton, see page 22) but getting around can be a bit of a nuisance without a guide. The best way to book and visit different artist’s workshops is with an art guide who has the right contacts. Gonzalo Cuervo is an art dealer and local oracle whose ‘little black book’ of names and numbers is at bursting point. He can organise a personalised art tour in any of the art communities or help put you in touch with the right people. His ‘closed doors’ restaurant, Ituzaingo, is also a haven of art and good music. Contact Gonzalo on (261) 15 666 5778 or email@example.com
Art in Wineries There are so many reasons to visit wineries in Mendoza: great wine, stunning views, gourmet restaurants and some of the best art spaces! Most wineries have a picture or two embellishing the walls, but some have gone all out with dedicated art galleries and spaces: Salentein. With a separate art gallery, Killka, this is the bodega for art lovers. Out in the Uco Valley, thousands flock here every year to take in some good Pinot Noir and enjoy the collection of 19th and 20th century Dutch art and contemporary Argentine art. The owners from Holland are art fanatics and their permanent personal collection is an eclectic mix nicely complimented with temporary exhibitions of Argentine artists ranging from the well established like Sergio Roggerone to new
talent like Sebastian Barrera. Open everyday for visits, Ruta Provincial 89, Tunuyan. (262) 242 9500. www.killkasalentein.com Trivento. This is the new kid on the block, and they don’t want to play by the rules. Out in Maipu, Trivento attracts a young crowd with their kooky events and DJ parties. With a large performance and art space they invite local artists to exhibit on rotation and have regular music nights to see art ‘en vivo’. For those who want a more hands on experience to wine and art, Trivento have also just started a photography workshop for visitors. Open Mon - Sat, Ruta 60, Maipu (261) 413 7100 www.trivento.com Zuccardi. Not only is there a beautiful cellar with a gorgeous art collection in Zuccardi, but this winery actually wants to ‘harvest artists’. In March this year, the winery invited all the artists that had been part of their art exhibition over the last year to harvest grapes and, after inspiration in the vineyard, to design their own wine labels. In May the ‘cosecha de artistas’ will come to fruition when the artists will be presented with their own bottles of wine with the fruit they harvested and the labels they designed. Open everyday, Ruta Provincial 33, Km 7.5, Maipu (0261) 441-0000 www.familiazuccardi.com
Taking it home… If you are here visiting Mendoza and want to take some art home, be patient - there is a bit of prohitivive bureaucratic red tape to step over. In an effort to protect Argentina’s cultural heritage, the State has made taking art out of Argentina quite a tricky process. You need to get permission to legally export it, which can often take some time. However if you are in a bit of a rush here are some tried and tested ways around it: a) say you bought it at an artisanal market and it isn’t worth anything, b) get a letter from the artist saying it is a gift (not paid for), or c) roll it up and traffic it in your checked luggage.
Shop till you drop
Art comes in all shapes and sizes - from small and accessible to ginormous and completely impossible! One of the best ways to take away a piece of art or cultural souvenIr from your stay in Mendoza is through the arty shops dotted around the city. Gwynne Hogan gives us a look at some of her favourites:
Flora Maria A quirky little shop on España street, Flora Maria features the fashion collection of owner and designer Lucia Quiroga. Quiroga specializes in the use of bold colors and textured fabric and presents a wide and eclectic profile of dresses, tops, and trousers. Complimenting her collection, she includes the work from other Argentine designers featuring a cornucopia of garments, soft leather boots and handmade jewellry. Flora Maria, España 1029. Open 9:30-13:30 and 1721 Mon - Sat. Tel (261) 429 7797 Ni Chicha Ni Limonada Arquitect Canela decided about three years back that she was tired of travelling to Buenos Aires in order to find household items a little out of the ordinary. So she opened Ni Chicha Ni Limonada, a collection of things with ordinary function but extraordinary form. Items range from sleek and modern to knee-slappingly funny. Take a paper-towelholder that is a naked cook, only decent once dressed with a roll of paper towels; or a ceramic coffee mug that looks exactly like a cardboard to-go one. The perfect place for an unusual gift. Ni Chicha Ni Limonada: Agustin Alvarez 17, (261) 423 5852; or Paso de los Andes 1893 (261) 420 0481. Open Mon - Sat, 9:30am to 8:30pm. Got to love those places that open in the siesta! Kraam Of all the shops on this list, Kraam is the one that most transcends the genre of shop. Located in a converted house on Espejo, along with the display of clothing made by Mendocino designers, you’ll find a monthly exhibit of a local artist. Each month they throw an art opening for that month’s exhibition and feature a local band in the festivities. Besides clothes and shoes for both men and women, they sell the artwork and cds from local bands. Kraam: 659 Espejo. Open from 10:30-1:30 and 17:30 - 21:30 Mon - Sat.
Divino Tormento Located just outside Mendoza center, Divino Tormento is one of the first design-by-owner shops in the province. Founded eight years back, the three sisters who own it each present their own collections of women’s clothing and accessories. Garments are hand-cut and sewn, and certain items hand-painted. The shop is located in Barrio Bombal which is just south of the city and is often referred to as Mendoza’s own version of Palmermo Soho in BA, with unique shops, eclectic restaurants and tea houses. Divino Tormento: 9 de Julio 214. 424 1288. Mon - Fri, 10-1 and 5-9 and Sat AM. Mutantes Just opened a few months back, Mutantes (Mutants) is a curious and exciting new location for one-of-a-kind gifts, stationary and garments for both sexes. A sibling trio of owners, Facundo and Federica are designers while Valentina mans the ship back at the shop. Besides featuring the collections of the two co-owners, you’ll encounter many a unique item from small-scale designers and artists in Mendoza and some from BA. My personal favorite: Facundo’s 3-D tee-shirts that actually come with a pair of complimentary 3-D glasses! Mutantes: Paso de los Andes 720. Tel. 420 0906. Mon - Sat 9:30-1:30 and 5-9. Hay Diseño Another collectively owned boutique featuring local designers, at Hay Diseño you’ll find and bright and bold mix of men’s and women’s ware, durable handbags and funky footware. The collection rotates and changes every month, guaranteeing that you’ll return for another Hay fix. If you’re lucky like I was, their bewitchingly patterned, 100% cotton undies will be on sale for 25 pesos a pop! Hay Diseño: 9 de Julio (between Rivadavia and Montevideo). Mon - Sat, 9-1:30 and 5-9.
NI CHICHA NI LIMONADA
Mendoza is the home to great wine, but has also cultivated some inspiring artists. Amanda Barnes takes a latchkey look into four artists from Mendoza. Gonzalo Anton
Only a year shy of his 90th birthday, Luis Quesada is quite rightly known as one of the ‘maestro de los maestros’ (master/teacher of the masters) of art in Mendoza. Still working as a painter, sculptor, print artist and jewelry maker - Quesada has had a very productive life and has been a huge influence on different artistic movements in Argentina. As a young boy instead of going to school one day he decided to take a walk in the countryside. Pottering along he found a cow hide and put himself to work making lots of different trinkets for his family, and there his life as an artisan and artist began. His trademark styles have since moved from still life paintings, to enormous laminate sculptures of birds and women, and his well known prints. Colourful, bold and quirky, his workshop and home is a delight to visit if you get the chance. Contact Gonzalo Cuervo for a visit (page 20).
Gonzalo has the sort of dedication, determination and balls you really have to admire. At the age of 25 he decided to turn his back on a successful web design company, lock himself in a studio and start a new career as an artist. Pretty gutsy move for someone who had never studied art. But perhaps even more ballsy was his unsolicited call to the world’s most important modern art fair - the Art Basel in Switzerland. Most artists spend their lifetime trying to get to this fair so for an amateur artist from a small town near the foothills of the Andes in Argentina, to call up out of the blue asking for a stand at the fair, the organizers were - to say the least - a little surprised. But one organizer threw him a bone and invited him to an art event in Miami from where he made his own contacts in the art world and has now created his own cult following of collectors in the US. And it’s certainly Gonzalo who has the last laugh now - at 29 he is already commanding some of the highest prices in Argentina. His work varies in style and technique, but there is a strong leaning towards the importance of rich and thick textures, quality materials and open abstract meanings. You can see some of his enormous pieces at the Sheraton in the city centre, the new Hand of God tasting room in Chacras, and Entre Cielos restaurant in Vistalba www.gonzaloanton.com. His workshop is in Chacras, call for visits: (261) 15 6607 531
Luis Quesada Rosas is a reference point for sculpture in Argentina. Born from a very humble family in Villanueva, Mendoza, he was always different from his six brothers and sisters - he didn’t like dancing or football and had little interest in going out, instead he preferred to sit in a quiet corner with his paints from a young age. Creating his own home and workshop in Bermejo, Guaymallen, he has focused on sculpture since he was 30 and has reached great critical acclaim since then. Now 73 years old, he is still a very productive artist and visiting his workshop and home is like stepping into Pan’s Labyrinth. Weird, wonderful and often dark sculptures fill the house and garden creating a mythological fantasy world. This is a real ‘must’ for art lovers in Mendoza.
roberto rosas 22
Visit his stunning workshop at Mathus Hoyos 4447, call for reservations on (261) 451 1605.
A lot of artists in Mendoza add some sort of wine symbols to make their work sell better to tourists, but with Fernando’s art you can see that his love of wine isn’t just canvas deep. Having made his own garage wine for 10 years, he is a big wine lover and although he has been painting for over 20 years it is recently that he has starting integrating his two passions into one: art and wine. His earlier works reflect his study in architecture, but in the last decade Fernando has focused on the cork, or the ‘guardian of wine’. He recreates the stunning textures and deep colours of corks as well as using actual old corks from bottles of wine he has enjoyed in collages. Some of the most visually engaging of his art series are his paintings of cork houses - with entire imaginary worlds created inside. Colourful Andes landscapes also set the background for abstract floating cork sail boats. Playful, melancholic and pure fantasy, Jereb is a quintessential Mendocinean artist who you shouldn’t miss. Catch Jereb’s work at wineries Carinae, Zuccardi, Pulenta Estate, Antucura and Tapiz, as well as large murials in the Maipu Arena Casino and Walmart. www.artejereb.blogspot.com. His workshop is in the quinta section of the city, call for visits: (261) 15 541 3100.
UNESCO sites in Argentina By amanda barnes
Cor UNESCO is an acronym that gets thrown around in guidebooks a lot without many people really knowing what it means. Sure, most UNESCO sites happen to be very pretty but the criteria for becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site is actually down to its natural or cultural importance. Did you know that some of the 936 sites include a 1910 shoe factory in Germany, a nuclear test site in the Marshall Islands, a steam pumping station in the Netherlands and a rather ugly and gloomy looking coal-mining factory in Wales? Certainly not the prettiest of places to visit. Others of course include outstanding National Parks, coral reefs, pyramids and palaces, but UNESCO isn’t about beauty. Which is why Mendoza is up for debate as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its canal and tree system. And it wouldn’t be the first set of drains to make it on the list - there are six listed already. But for now at least, Argentina has only eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites - all of which are quite astounding in their beauty… Iguazu National Park One of the most obvious sites to be elected, the thundering waterfall in the middle of the Iguazu jungle which separates Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay is one of the most awe inspiring waterfalls in the world. 80m high and more than 3km wide, its rapturous beauty and deafening roars of tones of falling water is enough to give you heart palpitations however the site was actually selected by UNESCO for its 2000 species of vascular plants and rich wildlife. But don’t miss out on the falls while you are looking at the plant life. Ischigualasto - Talampaya National and Provincial Parks These two parks spanning over almost 3000 sq km of desert in North West Argentina have the most complete fossil history of the 45 million year long Triassic period (which was some 245 million years ago). Although parched completely dry now, this used to be a basin of rivers, lakes and swamps and hundreds of plant, animal, fish and dinosaur fossils have been found here. However most people come to visit for the strange rock formations. 24
Cueva de las Manos These caves are located down in a deep canyon and the rock art inside is one of the most important sites of early hunter-gatherer tribes in South America. Rocks covered in stencil art of handprints and drawings of animals and hunting scenes may have been child’s play when the native artists did them originally, but their existence some 12,000 years later make these cave paintings pretty impressive stuff.
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares One of the ‘must-see’s’ of Argentina, this National Park will blow your mind. Pure, unadulterated rugged beauty with wild barren landscapes, towering mountains, dense forests and most enchanting of all - soaring walls of blue ice in some of the world’s only advancing glaciers. Lago Argentino is the most accessible spot to see the glaciers with Perito Moreno as the top attraction. Standing in front of a 250km field of ice and witnessing the crunching explosions of ice tumbling into the milky glacial lake is an experience to remember… Peninsula Valdes This is an oasis of wildlife on the coast of Southern Argentina. Although one of the most important tourist sites in Argentina, you still feel in the middle of nothing here as you have the peninsula very much to yourself - that is sharing it with few other tourists, you will of course be sharing it with hundreds of sea lions, seals, penguins, dolphins, a billion birds and the king of the peninsula: the killer whales which pay a visit between June and December.
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Jesuit ruins - Cordoba and Misiones Jesuit ruins in Argentina make up two UNESCO sites - one in Cordoba and the other in Misiones. The Jesuit block in Cordoba has intact a university, church, college and five estancias (farming estates) from the 17th and 18th century and is still very much in tact. However the sites in the eastern Misiones state are much more ‘ruins’ of these constructions made by the Guaranis around the same time, and have a more Jungle Book feel as they are set in the heart of the Argentine tropical forest. Quebrada de Huamahuaca UNESCO picked this as a site for its cultural importance as a trade route, but Huamahuaca is more of a tourist attraction for its multicolored hillsides, odd rock shapes, cactus dotted landscape and vibrant little villages with traditional adobe churches and cobblestoned streets. If you get up to these altiplano hillsides make sure to try the local Torrontés and llama steak. 25
bars inside Mendoza City
The list below has some great bars but if you’re looking to browse, head to Aristides Villanueva Avenue, the nightlife strip of Mendoza. It’s a continuation of Ave. Colon and is simply referred to as Aristides by the locals. Get your shut-eye before a night out because the clubs don’t even get started until 2am, and call a taxi because they are all located out of the city in Chacras or El Challao.
BELIEVE IRISH PUB
One of the few bars in Mendoza with a bar counter and high stools to prop yourself up on. Kelly, the English part-owner/pub-mascot is almost always there to share a chat and a smile with the crowd; which is most likely a factor in its notable popularity among expats and travelers. On the menu is a great collection of draught beers, bottled beers (try the Warsteiner) and surprisingly decent pub grub. TV screens hang in every corner airing hit music-video montages or football games. Colon and España 241. Tel. 261-429-5567. www.believeirishpub.com.ar
One of the busiest bars on Aristides, this is one of the ‘it’ places. Take your pew on the street where everyone hangs out to be seen, or pop into the back room for a boogie or the garden to chill out in with a cool Mojito. Aristides Villanueva 245
THE VINES OF MENDOZA
As the first and only true tasting room in South America, The Vines of Mendoza offers the broadest selection of premium boutique wines from Argentina. Compare the wine notes with one of their tasting flights or chose a glass from the impressive list of limited production wines. Chatting with their learned bartenders and sipping fabulous flavours on the patio under a canopy of vines makes for a truly enjoyable afternoon. Join their Wine Club to receive these exclusive Argentine wines. Espejo 567, Tel. 261 438-1031. MonSat, 3pm-10pm www.vinesofmendoza.com
A laid back American style burger bar with a good playlist and a patio outside, Cachitas boasts one of the best barmen in the city. Christian from Germany has travelled the globe perfecting the art of cocteleria and here you can sample some fab drinks that will get your night off to a good start. Sarmiento 784 Mon - Sat, 6pm till late.
This is where everyone ends their night in the city centre. A bar with cheesy music, sticky floors and rammed full of tourists and locals bumping uglies together in the dark - you either love it or hate it, but most of us end up loving it! Aristides Villanueva 557.
UPCOMING EVENTS Classical music on the wine routes: 30 March - 8 April
One of our favourite festivals in Mendoza, this is your chance to drink fine wine and enjoy fantastic classical music in a handful of wineries and performance spaces in the Mendoza region. Check out www.winerepublic.com/events for more information on individual shows.
Wines and Polo Annual Tournament: 18 - 22 April
A five day polo tournament with wine tasting and live music on the side! Held at Club de Campo Mendoza in Guaymallen, the event is free.
Winemaker’s Night: 8 May (weekly)
If you can’t make it out to a winery, this is the opportunity for a winery to come to you! At The Vines wine bar in the city centre, each Wednesday sees a different winemaker from some of the country’s best wineries come to present a couple of their wines during an informal question and answer session. Wednesdays, 7pm, $55 pesos per person. The Vines, Espejo 567, (261) 438 1031. For more events visit www.wine-republic.com/events and see our cultural calendar.
The Winery Guide The Best Places to Visit
Overall Winery Experience
Driving Time from Mendoza City min
LUJAN DE CUYO
Luigi Bosca Old, family owned operation with lots of heritage, handsome cellars and a tasting room. Large selection of wines from low-end to high-end blends. San Martin 2044, Mayor Drummond. Tel. (0261) 498 1974. www.luigibosca.com.ar 15 min
Terrazas de los Andes The fine wine sister of Chandon Argentina is a beautifully restored bodega with well-appointed tasting room. Try the famous Cheval de los Andes. Tel. (0261) 488 0704/ 5. Thames and Cochamaba, Perdriel. www.terrazasdelosandes.com 30 min
Tapiz Great wine lodge Club Tapiz, high-end restaurant Terruño and an instructive wine tour that includes an invigorating horse and carriage ride and a tank, barrel and bottle tasting. Tel. (0261) 490 0202. Ruta Provincial 15, Km 32, Agrelo. www.tapiz.com 40 min
Norton Old-style cellars contrast with a high-tech production line. Tank and barrel tastings are conducted at this huge facility and the jug fillings on Thursday mornings are popular with the locals. R.P. 15, Km 23.5, Perdriel. Tel. (0261) 490 9700. www.norton.com.ar 30 min
Ruca Malen Excellent food, great guiding and first-class wines. The pairings over lunch make for an unforgettable culinary experience. Generous tastings and gorgeous views of the vineyards and mountains. Ruta Nacional 7, Km 1059, Agrelo, Lújan de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 562 8357. www.bodegarucamalen.com 30 min
Kaiken This rustic 80 year-old winery houses a new venture by the prestigious Chilean winery Montes. There is nothing rustic about the wines however. They are big and powerful and destined to be famous. Here you can enjoy a terrific view, dynamic tours and a friendly guiding environment. Roque Saenz Peña 5516, Las Compuertas, Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo. firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. (0261) 524 3160. www.kaikenwines.com 20 min
Catena Zapata Showcase winery designed like a Mayan temple overlooking vineyards and the Andes Mountains. Rich, complex wines. Cobos s/n. Tel. (0261) 413 1100. www.catenawines.com 30 min
Melipal Great Malbec and gourmet lunches make Melipal one of the most exclusive wineries to visit. Ruta 7 km 1056, Agrelo. Tel. (0261) 524 8040. www.bodegamelipal.com.ar Sottano
Dominio del Plata Argentina´s most famous female winemaker Susana Balbo is creating some rich and complex wines in the heart of Agrelo. Try their Crios and Ben Marco. Cochabamba 7801 Agrelo. Tel. (0261) 498 9200. www.dominiodelplata.com.ar
This small, modern winery located in Agrelo is owned by three generations of winemakers. Big, concentrated reds are their speciality, including a top wine with the name Judas which you can taste whilst viewing vineyards and snowcapped mountains. Ruta 7 y Costa Flores S/N. Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. Tel (0261) 153 535506. www.bodegasottano.com
Pulenta Estate Cool minimalist design and rich complex wines make this a winery with finesse and style. Convenient to visit on the way to Valle de Uco. Ruta 86, Km 6.5. Tel.(0261) 155 076426. www.pulentaestate.com
Decero FABRE MONTAMAYOU Attractive, modern facility with spectacular views of the mountains from the cozy tasting room. Bajo las Cumbres 9003, Agrelo. Tel. (0261) 524 4748. www.decero.com
Carmelo Patti Mendoza’s most famous garagista. Carmelo Patti himself is often there to show you around (in Spanish). Try his famous Cabernet Sauvignon from the barrel. San Martin 2614. Tel ( 0261) 498 1379. 15 min
Lagarde Owner of the oldest white wine in South America. Try the hand- crafted sparkling wine made from 100 year old vines; best enjoyed in one of their many courtyards. Ave. San Martin 1745, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 498 0011 Ext. 27. www.lagarde.com.ar
Chandon The original foreign investor, French-owned Chandon has been making great sparkling wines in Mendoza since the 1960s. RP 15, Km 29, Agrelo. Tel. (0261) 490 9968. www.bodegaschandon.com.ar
Clos de Chacras Charming boutique operation. A five minute walk from Chacras plaza. Great Cabernet Sauvignon and excellent lunches. Monte Libano s/n, Chacras de Coria. Tel. (0261) 496 1285/ 155 792706. www.closdechacras.com.ar
Vistalba Tasting room where one entire wall is a subterranean cross section of the actual vineyard clay, roots and rocks. Houses French restaurant La Bourgogne. Roque Saenz Peña 3135, Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 498 9400. www.carlospulentawines.com 20 min
Belasco de Baquedano Gleaming modern facility with fascinating aroma room and restaurant with Andean view. Cobos 8260. Tel. (0261) 153 02349. www.belascomalbec.com 30 min
Piattelli Al lovely family owned winery done in a Tuscan style. Enjoy lunch on a deck beside a pond. Calle Cobos 13710, Luján de Cuyo. Tel (0261) 479 0123. www.piattellivineyards.com 30 min
Achaval Ferrer Modern boutique close to Mendoza riverbed. Big concentrated wines. Calle Cobos 2601; Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 488 1131. www.achaval-ferrer.com 30 min
Alta Vista Masterful mix of modern and traditional. Tasting includes distinctive Torrontes or single vineyard Malbecs. Álzaga 3972, Chacras de Coria, Luján de Cuyo. Tel (0261) 496 4684. www.altavistawines.com 15 min
An old style winery ran by one of Argentina’s most famous winemaker dynasties the De La Motta family. Terrada 1863, Mayor Drummond. Tel. (0261) 524 1621. www.mendel.com.ar Bonfanti A lovely winery in a pastoral setting. It offers one of Mendoza’s most up close and personal tours with the owners themselves and a tasting room set amidst the vines. Terrada 2024. Tel. (0261) 488 0595. 20 min
Benegas Lynch Rich history and richer wines. Lovely old bodega with lots of character. Mendoza’s best Cabernet Franc. Ruta 60. Cruz de Piedra. Tel.(0261)496 0794. www.bodegabenegas.com
La Azul Simple, small production winery with not so simple Malbecs. R.P 89 s/n. Agua Amarga. Tupungato. Tel. (02622) 423 593. www.bodegalaazul.com
Dolium A completely underground winery with innovative design and top notch Malbecs. Ruta Provincial 15, Km 30 s/n, Agrelo. Tel. (0261) 490 0190. www.dolium.com
Finca La Celia One of the valley’s oldest wineries. They conduct excellent tours and tastings. Av. De Circunvalacion s/n, Eugenio Bustos, San Carlos. Tel (02622) 451 010. www.fincalacelia.com.ar
Caelum This modern, medium size winery is located on the main road to Chile just before you reach the mountains. Argentine owned, it produces quality Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Ruta Nacional 7 km 1060, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 156 439564. www.bodegacaelum.com.ar
Benvenuto de la Serna Charming, family-run operation making a very decent Sangiovese under the Mil Piedras label. Carril Los Sauces s/n, VistaFlores, Tunuyan. Tel. (02622) 420 0782. www.benvenutodelaserna.com 90 min
Altus A red barn-like winery which faces a lovely adobe-style restaurant doing excellent lunches. Las Vencedoras, Tupungato. Tel. (02622) 155 080261. www.altusdetupungato.com.ar 90 min
Dante Robino Founded in 1920, Dante Robino offers an atmospheric old-style winery with a modernist, light-filled tasting room with excellent view of the mountains and vineyards. The tasting includes sparkling wine from the tanks. Recommended: the Gran Dante Malbec. Callejón Maldonado 240, Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. Mendoza. Tel. (0261) 488 7229 Ext. #2. www.bodegadanterobino.com. 30 min
Viña Cobos American winemaker Paul Hobbs was one of the first to recognise the possibilities of Malbec and his Bramare label is possibly one of the best examples of this varietal. Ruta 7 Luján de Cuyo. Tel. (0261) 479 0130. www.vinacobos.com
Andeluna The old-world style tasting room looks upon dramatic views of vineyards against mountains. Ruta Provincial 89, Km 11, Gualtallary, Tupungato. Tel. (02622) 423 226 Ext 113. www.andeluna.com Gimenez Riili A brand new family run affair, part of the exciting Vines of Mendoza project. This is a modern winery in a stunning setting. Ruta 94 (s/n), Tunuyán. Tel: (0261) 424 5973. www.gimenezriili.com 90 min
Atamisque This Uco winery has some great white wines, a unique stony roof and they breed their own trout which is served in the charming restaurant. Ruta Prov. 86 (Km 30), San Jose. (0261) 156 855184. 90 min
Salentein Designed like a temple to wine, this ultraconcept winery includes a modern art gallery, lodge, and chapel set high in the Andean valley. R.P 89 s/n, Tunuyan. Tel. (02622) 429 500 . www.killkasalentein.com 90 min
O. Fournier Most architecturally innovative winery with rich, concentrated wines. Excellent lunches in the modernist visitor center. Los Indios s/n, La Consulta, San Carlos. Tel. (02622) 451 088 . www.ofournier.com 100 min
Lurton The wines are faultless and the location stunning. A French operation producing excellent Torrontes and Malbec. Ruta 94 km 21, Vista Flores, Tunuyán.Tel. (0261) 441 1134. www.bodegalurton.com 100 min
Rutini / La Rural Well-stocked museum with invaluable antiques such as cowhide 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 20 min
Lopez Popular, old-style winery with two museums on the wine and history of Lopez and Argentina, close to Maipu plaza. A newly opened restaurant offers gourmet cuisine with a panoramic view. Ozamis 375, Gral Gutiérrez. Tel. (0261) 497 6554. www.bodegaslopez.com.ar 20 min
VALLE DE UCO
Familia Zuccardi A professional, far-sighted operation. The guides are always enthusiastic, knowledgable and eager to please. Attractive restaurant amidst the vines, famous for its asado-style lunches and generous wine pourings. Ruta Provincial 33, Km 7.5, Maipu. Tel. (0261) 441 0000. www.familiazuccardi.com
Flichman Steeped in history and tradition. Charming, pink-hued, colonial-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 40 min
Familia Di Tommasso Officially the oldest winery in Mendoza and still run by Argentine hands. Their charming and rustic restaurant looks onto the vineyard, just two steps away. At La Chiase the DiTommaso, the kitchen of the home makes homemade food made with family recipes that can be enjoyed among vineyards in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Urquiza 8136 - Russell. Tel. (0261) 524 1829. www.familiaditommaso.com 30 min
Carinae Small, charming, French-owned winery offering personal tours and well-honed wines. Surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. Videla Arande 2899, Cruz de Piedra, Maipú. Tel. (0261) 499 0470. www.carinaevinos.com 30 min
Trapiche Argentina’s biggest winery is a mix of old and new, traditional and industrial. Mitre s/n. Coquimbito. Tel. (0261) 520 7666. www.trapiche.com.ar 30 min
Tempus Alba A fine modern winery set in the rural lanes of southern Maipu. The rooftop terrace ovelooks the vineyard. Great Pleno label. Perito Moreno 572, Maipu. Tel. (0261) 481 3501. www.tempusalba.com 30 min
SAN MARTIN Familia Antonietti A family winery in San Martin where you can have a tour with the owners, try some of their sparkling wines and stay for a homecooked lunch. Pizarro s/n esq. Zelazar Chapaney. 4390964/155688905. email@example.com 90 min
dining out mendoza city Florentino
Florentino is a real delight. An intimate, artistic bistro tucked into a converted house by Plaza Italia provides the perfect nook to try some of Mendocino chef Sebastian Flores’ salubrious and scrumptious dishes. We recommend the indulgent mushrooms with cheese (proper parmesan), thyme and garlic croutons, or the warm salad of squid, chorizo and watercress. There is a nice variety of mains - and it hasn’t taken long for their succulent chivito (baby goat) to become the thing of Mendoza legends: moist, tender and lean on a bed of creamy polenta and roasted garlic.
Florentino Desserts are just as irresistible as is the extensive Argentine wine list. Florentino has made a very promising start and its beautiful simplicity and good taste is a real charm. Montevideo 675. Tel: (261) 464 9077. Mon - Sat, 12.30pm - 12am (serves early dinner also). Avg. meal $120.
For an intimate, unusual and memorable evening - Ituzaingo is one of the city’s best kept secrets. A ‘closed door’ restaurant located in a historic house in the bohemian quarter, Ituzaingo has been receiving rave reviews from locals, expats and travellers alike who relish in the warm atmosphere, 30
good company, unique art, and good food all accompanied by an eclectic music mix. The maestro in question is Gonzalo Cuervo who likes to welcome in up to 45 people in his attractive loft conversion house or leafy summer garden, and his chef Lucas can delight guests with an eight course menu of Argentine flavours catered to an international palate, or simply relax with a glass of wine and nibble on a picada or empanadas. This is a real place to meet the wines, food, art, music and hospitality of Argentina. Ituzaingo, tel: (261) 15666 5778, cocina@ituzaingoresto. com.ar, 8 courses $190-$220 (inc wine). Advanced booking recommended.
Located in the elegant Park Hyatt, Grill Q serves up traditional regional cuisine at a five star level. Sit back in the chic parilla style restaurant amongst the cowhides and local artwork, pick from one of the many Mendocinean wines, make your order and watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen. They are famous for their grilled meats and gigantic empanadas, and serve hearty Argentine classics such as ‘locro’ - a stew which hails back to the early independence days. Save room for the stunning desserts. The Hyatt’s other restaurant, Bistro M, offers a more gourmet evening menu and the most exuberant ‘lunch menu’ in town. With a gorgeous buffet spread of starters like thai squid salad, chicken ceasar with macadamia nuts and mezze style tapas, you’ll need to bring your stretchy waistbands to fit in the hearty and flavourful main options and the sumptuous dessert buffet on top. Put aside an hour or two for this tempting lunch. Chile 1124. (261) 441 1225. Avg. meal Grill Q $105. Bistro M Executive Menu $130 with starter buffet, main course, dessert buffet and glass of wine. Thu-Sat lunch & dinner; Sun (lunch).
Farrah is the type of restaurant that shines in personality, from the funky and colourful décor and eclectic music, to the unique wine list and menu that has dishes such as ‘flirting’, ‘last sensation’ and ‘wet, wet, wet’. The good taste and character showing through are those of the three Farro sisters and their brother. The creative mind in the kitchen is middle sister Belen who creates fresh and innovative dishes with plenty of meat, fish and veg options. Lots of different salads and starters, creative ciabattas such as blue cheese and rainbow trout, pasta dishes including artichoke lasagna and their signature dish of sticky BBQ ribs, all sit on the menus in this attractive house in the 5ta. Save room for their refreshing sage crème brulee or oozing Chocolate volcano to savour Farrah’s ‘last sensation’. Tue - Fri Fixed lunch menu at midday. Tue - Sun open evenings. Paso de los Andes 1006, tel (261) 423 9981.
This cosy Mendocino restaurant has a casual, rustic charm about it. A colourful hub of activity on a quiet street, Patrona attracts a crowd full of locals every night of the week who come for the honest, traditional Argentine food and friendly and warm atmosphere. Classic dishes like the hearty empanadas and sizzling asado are worthy and popular fare but the real star here is Patrona’s warm, open sandwiches We recommend the artichoke hearts and goats cheese; roasted vegetables with white wine and honey; or the more traditional pick of rich glands cooked in lemon. A decent wine list and some satisfying desserts complete the gastronomy experience but the key to Patrona is the cosy way that they really make you feel at home. Mi casa es Patrona casa! 9 de Julio 656. Tel: (261) 4291057.Mon to Sat: 12.30pm - 3.30pm and 8.30pm - close. Avg. meal cost: $60
For a romantic evening outdoors Anna Bistro is unsurpassable. Carved wood tables adorned with candles are nestled between exotic flowering plants and hanging vines. Couple this with soft lighting and tranquil jazz, and any mundane evening is transformed into a memorable event. Gazing at their menu of delectable dishes, from ceviche and cesto de portobello (pastry piled with mushrooms and walnuts), to melt-in-your-mouth salmon al limon and trout, produces an unavoidable bout of indecisiveness. The Anna Bistro staff swear by the T-Bone steak and local Malbec combo. End the feast with a Blackberry Cheesecake and glass of bubbly on the sunken sofas for a quick trip to nirvana. Av. Juan B. Justo 161 Tel: (261) 425 1818. Everyday 12pm - 1am. Avg. meal cost: $90
(mojito included!) and don’t miss the indulgent chocolate brownie drowned in stout. Aristides Villanueva 347. Mon - Sun from 7pm till late. Happy hour till 9pm. (261) 420 4091 Avg. meal: $80
La Marchigiana As the first Italian restaurant in Mendoza, La Marchigiana has plenty of history and traditional recipes to whet any nonna’s appetite. Maria Teresa Corradini de Barbera moved to Argentina with her parents as a teenage from war torn La Marche, Italy, in 1948 in the search for peace. They didn’t find peace, but they did find the Argentines had a penchant for Italian food. The family restaurant started off with only six Italian dishes but has grown into a popular local fixture with dozens of hearty pasta dishes alongside other typical Argentine fare. Check out the Brad Pitt photo for celeb credentials. Patricias Mendocinas 1550. (261) 423 0751. Avg. meal $100
outside city center Casa de Campo Anna Bistro
Jerome Brew Pub
Kiss the homesick blues goodbye with Jerome Brew Pub, where you’ll find real beer, American style service and proper pub food. Jerome Brewery up in the Andes has been producing ferocious czech-style ales since the mid-eighties, and this pub in downtown champions the fine ale. Wrestle with their juicy hamburgers, melt away with their succulent fish and chips, dapple in their rotating specials and snuggle up to a pint of one of their speciality ales like their barley wine, zesty double IPA and Malbec barrel aged Archangel. Check out stunning beer cocktails
For rustic charm and traditional dishes visit Casa de Campo; A 15-minute taxi ride from Mendoza city center. Think welcoming casa with wooden beams, intimate tables and a smallbut lively verandah. Locals flock for the mouthwatering Argentine fare. Appetizers come in a taster’s collection of home-made goodies, from bread, prosciuttio and olive oil to sausage, pickled eggplant, cheeses and olives. Save some room for their clay oven specialties of succulent rabbit and suckling pig. Complement this with a bottle from their extensive wine list and the result is a flavor combination of gourmet quality. A picturesque stroll to Rutini La Rural bodega, just ten minutes away, is a wonderful way to conclude the afternoon. Urquiza 1516, Coquimbito, Maipu. Everyday 12pm - 6pm. Tel: (261) 481 1605.casadecampomza.com.
Winery lunches are one of the best things about Mendoza, but there is rarely an opportunity to enjoy a six course gourmet tasting menu near the city in the evening - until Nadia. Nadia OF is the beautiful brainchild of Nadia Heron, head chef at O Fournier winery. Open every night and tucked away in tranquil Chacras, 20 mins from the centre, the restaurant has a gorgeous courtyard, evocative art and a relaxed vibe. Originally a biochemist, Nadia started cooking for passion rather than trade and it certainly shows through her creative and colourful culinary flair. With divine appetisers such as sweet and salty melon gazpacho with crispy ham; and a remake of moist Spanish omelette wrapped in tender red pepper with a drizzle of parsley oil - the weekly changing menu aims to play with appearance, aromas, flavours and textures with a focus on seasonal ingredients. Most courses innovate vegetarian dishes but you can also tuck into one of Mendoza’s biggest, juiciest steaks with mojo rojo (red sauce). You can BYO here or pair courses with O Fournier wines. Open daily from 8.30pm, Italia 6055, Chacras de Coria. Tel: (261) 496 1731. Avg. meal: $130 without wine.
Terruño - Club Tapiz Tucked away among the sprawling Maipu vineyards 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 of wine snobs. Their chef compiles 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. If you like what you see and taste, book a room in one of their seven Renaissance-style villas. Don’t forget to call ahead for dinner reservations! Ruta 60 s/n 5517 Maipú. Tel: (261) 496 0131. tapiz.com. Lunch, everyday, 12pm - 3pm. Dinner, Sun - Thurs, 8pm-11pm, Fri & Sat until 12am. Avg. meal cost: $130 31
Police, Fire Department and Emergency Medical Dial 911 Bus Terminal Tel: 431-3001 Av. de Acceso Este and Costanera. Bus Routes: Maipu, Linea 10 N° 171, 172, 173, Rioja street and Garibaldi. Chacras, N° 115 or 116, 25 de Mayo and Montevideo. Airport Tel: 5206000 Accesso Norte s/n. El Plumerillo. Shipping Wine Ordinary post will not ship wine and a courier can cost at least U$ 30 a bottle. The most economical way is send it with your checked luggage in a special styrofoam wine box, available at most wine stores or at Trout & Wine, Espejo 266. Crime Be alert. Mendoza does have crime. Hold on to purses on the street and at restaurants. Avoid carrying valuables. Hostel lockers are not safe. Danger spots: bus terminal and internet cafes. 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 a drink which can get slightly exasperating as the night wears on. It is wise to buy several drink tickets at once for an easy, unimpeded flow of alcohol. Bathrooms are usually ill equiped so bring your own toilet paper. Many nightclubs are 200 light years away in Chacras which can cause problems getting home. Clubs rarely get going before 2am. Taxi Services Taxi Godoy Cruz Tel: 427-0055 - Radiomóvil Guaymallén Tel: 445-5855 - Mendocar Paraná 250 Tel: 423-6666 - La Veloz del Este Alem 439 Teléfono: 423-9090 Mendoza Expats Club An organization which enables Expatriates to meet each other. www.mendozaexpats.org. Hair Dresser English speaking and eccentric hairdresser Haisley from Delite will do your hairdo right. Arístides Villanueva 444. (261) 429-9124 - Leocut: Mendoza plaza shopping, (0261) 4490239