MENDOZA`S FREE MAGAZINE
Nยบ50 JUN / JUL 2011
w w w. w i n e - r e p u b l i c. c o m 1
THE LIST 2011
Our 50th Edition, the List 2011 ......................................................... 6
Eat: Empanadas around the world and Argentina .......................... 9 The List 2011, Eat ........................................................................ 10 Drink: The List 2011, Drink ........................................................ 13
Play: 24 hours in Mendoza ......................................................... 16
Mendoza Wineries: Social fabric or upholstery? ................................ 8
The List 2011, Play ..................................................................... 20
Wishlist .............................................................................. ..........12
Away: A weekend in San Rafael ................................................. 22
The Winery Guide The best wineries to visit .................................. 26
The List 2011, Away ..................................................................... 26
RESTAURANTS Dining Out & Events ................................................................... 30
MAPS & TIPS Useful Information: .................................................................... 32 Map of Maipu and Chacras de Coria .......................................... 32 Map of Mendoza City Center ...................................................... 34
CREDITS Issue June - July 2011 10,000 Copies Published by Seven Colors S.A. Mendoza, Argentina Tel. +54 (261) 425-5613 E-mail: email@example.com Editor: Amanda Barnes Editorial Director: Charlie O’Malley Publicidad: Ana Laura Aguilera (155018874), Mariana Gómez Rus firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Design: Beattub, www.beattub.com Printer: Artes Gráficas UNION Contributing Authors: Michael Holder, Amanda Hall, Amanda Barnes, Charlie O’Malley, Madeline Blasberg, Gwynne Hogan. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the editorial opinions of Wine Republic.
By Charlie O’Malley
Our 50th edition You have in your hands our 50th edition. It is an 8-year milestone for a magazine that started out as a black and white free sheet, churned out on an ancient, rattling photocopier with penciled illustrations by yours truly and a distribution system that involved myself and an old lady’s shopping trolley. Times have changed somewhat since and I can now walk into a 5-star establishment with a stack of Wine Republics under my arm without getting stopped by security who once sniffily perused the suspect publication like Libyan secret police. It is amazing what a bit of colour and gloss can do. Mendoza has changed too. Back then getting a visit to a winery was an agonizing process, where owners, marketing managers, foreign importers and a very determined wine tourist had to coordinate efforts to get past the shotgun toting security guard at the forbidding winery gates. “What? You want to visit our winery?” Was the reaction of most winery owners. “Yes, I’m afraid we do. And so will half the wine world once the secret of Malbec and Mendoza gets out.” As it duly did. And the rest is history. Mendoza has developed its own irresistible colour and gloss. Many thanks to all our advertisers down the years. Without your support I would not be writing this editorial but probably nursing a beer in some jungle town brooding over what could have been. A special thanks to all our writers, readers, interns, wine freaks, mountain lovers, food fanatics, our patient designers, paper haulers, over worked printers and obstinate publicity sellers. It has been a great eight years and may it long continue. Muchas gracias a todos los auspiciantes que nos han acompañado a lo largo estos años. Sin su apoyo no estaría escribiendo esta editorial sino fantaseando sobre lo que esta revista podría haber sido, sentando a la mesa de algún pueblo perdido, acompañado de un vaso de cerveza. Mi agradecimiento especial: a nuestros escritores, colaboradores, pasantes, diseñadores, impresores (siempre pasados de trabajo), distribuidores e incansables vendedores de publicidad; a todos nuestros lectores, amantes de la montaña, fanáticos del vino y la comida. Han pasado ocho años espectaculares y vamos por más!
The List 2011
Each year we compile our top recommendations of what to do, see, eat and drink in the city – our ‘List’. This year we coaxed our over 1000-strong facebook fans to help suggest the best places in the city for each of the categories. With their help, and our own experience and personal favorites, we have brought you this edition: The List 2011. We hope the recommendations help with your stay in Mendoza and please drop us a line if you have any other good tips we have missed.
Charlie O’Malley, Editorial Director Amanda Barnes, Editor Find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/winerepublic 6
Mendoza wineries: part of the fabric, or the fancy upholstery, of the community? Everyone associates Mendoza with its wineries and great viniculture, but over the years the bodegas have moved further and further away from the local culture and community. Gwynne Hogan looks into the past, present and future relationship between the local wineries and the local people. For over a century wineries and wine consumption have been an integral part of Mendocinian life, however, the role that this industry plays is one that has changed dramatically over time. The first European immigrants to Mendoza brought with them generations of grape growing and wine making tradition and saw the land and climate Mendoza provided perfect for viniculture. From 1887 to 1910, the amount of land dedicated to grape growing increased by 600% reaching than 30,000 hectors. Much of the 20th century was characterized by huge production of wine for domestic consumption. The possibility of exporting that product came as an afterthought, if of course, there was any wine left over.
on Argentine soil enjoy the ‘divide by four’ (or five, or six) equation that makes gourmet dining and outstanding wines daily commodities. A slur of top restaurants and pricey hotels are a testament to this fact. This lavish reality enjoyed by the passers-through hovers eminently above a less comfortable one that is lived daily by the grand majority of the local population, who struggle with the skyrocketing prices of basic items, who patch, rebuild and fix rather than buy, and whose humble savings every day feels like it is worth less and less. Popular graffiti offers a biting critique of these dual realities in which a butler bent over a suitcase is caught in a Kama-Sutra like pose with the suitcase’s owner behind him.
Due to this history, it goes without saying that wine drinking and wineries have long been a powerful engine influencing local culture and economy. The harvest provided jobs for anyone in need and the queen of the harvest (Vendimia) was chosen among the pickers as the most industrious in the fields. Wine snuggled its way into the drinking habits of everyday life accompanying lunch and dinner, and the national religion of weekend asados (barbeques) demanded a big, busty Malbec to complement it.
Despite this divide, several small initiatives are underway that aim to (at least symbolically) combat it. The winery where I work, for example, recently provided a tour and tasting guided by the winemaker for a group of men working in the winery’s vineyards. The afternoon ended in a champaña toast, winemaker and employees expressing mutual thanks for the work and dedication of the opposite party.
But within the last ten years the face of wine culture has altered dramatically. An economic collapse in the early 2000’s inspired winemakers from countries all over to take interest in Mendoza for the rock-bottom land and labour prices it offered. Foreign capital flowed in and elaborate new wineries popped up all over, often more extravagant than their older siblings. These new wineries employed international staff and winemakers, and tend to gear their products and services towards an international market. While transforming Mendoza into a global wine producer and tourism hotspot, it appears also to have distanced the local population from the heart of the industry. Winemaking, which had been 100% local -pickers, agronomists, winemakers, vineyard owners, caretakers, and of course, consumers- now found itself spiralling away from these roots. One concrete result is that many younger Mendocinians, have almost all but abandoned wine, preferring nationally produced (and terribly mediocre) beer, or the potent and medicinal liquor Fernet.
A more formal approach towards bridging the gap between tourist and local is underway in the government-affiliated Turismo Social, a program founded within the last year by tourism student Facundo Pardo as a project connected to his degree. The program offers Lujaninos free, guided tours of tourist attractions in Lujan, and functions on little to no budget, relying on the cooperation of the private sector. Day trips can include tours and tastings in a selection of the fifteen wineries that participate, visits to religious monuments, or lunches in scenic destinations
Besides changing the drinking habits of the younger generation, international focus on Mendoza has dug itself into the very heart of Mendocinan culture, highlighting the dramatic difference between haves and have-nots. Tourists and those earning in foreign currency 7
like the damn in Potrerillos or hot springs in Chachauta. While any resident of Lujan is eligible, the program’s focus tends to be the older generation of retirees who logistically have the most free-time. Pardo helped illuminate the goal of Turismo Social explaining that Lujan receives a tremendous amount of national and international tourists annually, who visit places and gain experiences that many Lujaninos cannot afford. Turismo Social makes these experiences available to the local residents and then has the additional goal of subsequently transforming its participants into more educated ambassadors for lost or confused tourists wondering through Lujan. While many of the higher prestige positions in the wine industry have attracted international candidates, the demand for local manual labour remains huge. As such, most of the participants of Turismo Social have worked in the industry at some point but according to Pardo have generally, “worked in the fields” and “don’t know about
The new generation of winemaker By Amanda Barnes It used to be the case that winemaking was something you were born with here in Mendoza, but in recent years there has been a shift taking the wine making tradition out of the home garage into big, flashy wineries with guards at the gate. A new project has emerged to bring oenology back home, by teaching the youngest generation how to make wines from scratch. Cecilia Cabrera is leading a Dolwines initiative to teach young children at primary school how to grow, harvest and ferment their own grapes – learning all the valuable biology and chemistry in-between – and resulting in designing, bottling and labelling their own special wine at Lujan bodega Dolium. The initiative started two years ago to great success with children and their families relishing in the opportunity to learn together and bringing local families back into the bodega. For more information contact Cecilia at firstname.lastname@example.org
production.” He describes the broad positive response to winery visits, and how local tourists leave ecstatic at having tasted a gamut of sophisticated wines. But alone, this small-scale effort will not be enough to bridge the gap in the ever-increasing difference between tourist and local. If things continue along the same path, we will inevitably find ourselves in a land of separate but equal wineries: those who cater to local interests, tastes and wallets, and those whose prices make them utterly geared towards a foreign budget. Perhaps the most successful wineries will find a way to break out of this rigid dichotomy, incorporating local desires and needs in alongside of those of an international community. Contact Facundo Pardo for more information on the Turismo Social project: 261 498 1912
Empanadas: a tale of more than two cities… We all know empanadas as a staple in Argentina, but what about the rest of the world? Latin America is loaded with regional recipes for empanadas, and who’s to say a steamy Chinese potsticker isn’t a distant cousin? Amanda Hall takes a bite into the empanada family tree.
Empanadas are a staple in every visitor’s diet here, and in Argentina carne is king. You will find a variation of carne (meat) empanadas up and down the country, as well as corn, vegetable, and cheese and ham filled relatives. But where do empanadas come from? And how did so many different versions spread around world? As early as 100 B.C. goods, religions and flavours crossed physical and cultural boundaries from China to the Middle East via the Silk Roads.
Religions and flavours crossed physical and cultural boundaries via the silk roads Traders along northern China’s Silk Road noshed on small meat-filled dumplings at tea shops as a morning meal. This cuisine, dim sum, is still popular and versions of the steamed dumplings or jiaozi are ubiquitous in the cuisines of East Asia, maybe you’ve heard of Japanese gyoza or Korean mondu? In the ninth century, a Persian poet wrote about sanbusaj, a baked stuffed dumpling filled with meat, pumpkin, or potatoes – still popular in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. And the great Indian samosa is documented from a similar time, which still curry favour (excuse the pun) in central Asia and northern Africa today. Sweeping over to Europe, the Moors of central Asia and Northern Africa occupied the Iberian Peninsula bringing a host of Middle Eastern tradition to Spanish culture. A nameless 1200s Andalucian cookbook included a Mukhabbazah recipe: small baked pies with pinched
edges filled with spiced minced lamb and eggs. Starting to sound familiar? And thus the humble empanada spread through Europe to the calzone and stromboli of Italy, Cornish pasties of England and birdies of Scotland.
Between Filipino empanada land and Indian samosa country lay the curry puff nations From the 1500s to the 1700s, Spanish traders put down roots all over the world bringing with them their beloved pastry parcels. Their influence in the Philippines brought baked or fried meat empanadasfull circle back to Asia. Between Filipino empanada land and Indian samosa country lay the curry puff nations: Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is this time the Portuguese who, with their Moorish history similar to Spain’s, are typically credited the introduction of these flakier pastries to South East Asia. In the southern US, “fried pies” or turnovers are a common high-calorie dessert filled with fruits in sugary syrup, and in Louisiana, Creole cooks make spicy fried Natchitoches filled with pork, beef, pepper and onions.Those in Central A m e r i c a and the Caribbean typically fry spicy meat empanadas and in Haiti, flaky paté crusts made with lard are filled with parsley and shallot spiced beef. Fried Chilean empanadas are easily five times the size of those in Argentina, and Uruguay is known for its sweet, membrillo-filled dessert empanadas. Chicken is the meat of choice for Brazilian pasteis. With so many variations, there must be an empanada for every palate, and every plate. Who knew the world loved empanadas, and their cousins, as much as we do? 9
THE LIST 2011:
The almighty Argentine empanada Recruiting the help of our top empanada chef Hector Ordenes from Grill Q, Amanda Barnes gives us the lowdown on the regional variations of Argentine empanadas. Like every national treasure (apple pie, Yorkshire pudding, spaghetti bolognaise) every home has a different version. Empanadas are no exception – there are differences between each household, but throughout the country you can see quite striking regional variations too: Empanadas from Tucuman are heralded as the most famous with their large chunks of meat, and it’s no surprise that it is here where National Empanada Festival is celebrated. Ever see carne al cuchillo empanadas? In Salta they are famed for adding potatoes and cayenne pepper which are mimicked in Jujuy, La Rioja and Catamarca with an addition of olives and garlic. Empanadas as you imagine have always been a good food for easily accessible food and leftovers and in the east you can find carpincho (large guinea pig) stuffed empanadas, while fish empanadas are common as you get closer to the river. In Patagonia too you will find seafood fillingsand even the renowned centolla (king crab) in Tierra del Fuego. Lamb is also the meat preference for southern empanadas. Cordoba is famous for its sweet tooth, and their empanadas are no different – with sugar and raisins added to their meat. But it’s not only in Cordoba where you’ll find the nationally popular sweet empanadas with dulce de membrillo, raspberry and chocolate fillings. And in Entre Rios you should try their empanadas filled with rice and milk – proving that there really is no rule about these little treats!
The empanada munchies: Grill Q by Amanda Barnes Empanadas are a favourite in Argentina and seem to suit every occasion here – a quick mid-morning snack, a bite for lunch, a budget dinner and they are even served with sparkling wine as canapés. The national amor for empanadas is bottomless. And within reason, especially when you eat empanadas like those of our favourite spot for a classy empanada: Grill Q. The ginormous size and pot of fresh salsa beside certainly help, but the real delicacy to these juicy empanadas is the sweetly tender onions and, of course, succulent carne with gentle spicing cooked in a clay oven. Wash it down with a nice glass of Malbec and this is empanada heaven. Grill Q, Park Hyatt, Chile 1124. (261) 441 1234 Top tip: Empanadas aren’t always fine dining, and some other top spots are takeaways and bakeries for good value empanadas. De la Ostia (various locations) and La Patrona (9 de Julio 656, 261 429 1057) are other restaurants renowned for their empanadas.
Quatro Staggione by Charlie O’Malley It is one of Mendoza’s great paradoxes –a huge Italian influence yet most pizza joints make terrible pizza– thick, stodgy bases glooped in tasteless cheese are slapped down with wallpaper sized slices of ham and laced with limp strings of over boiled green pepper that look like they have been through a washing machine. Quatro Staggioni’s Italian title is no accident as it stays faithful to the Motherland of oven cooked dough frisbees and fresh, tasty toppings. Cool, crisp rocket and lightly baked potato slices come rolling out on much anticipated platters alongside adventurous combinations like zesty apple slices with Roquefort cheese. Quatro Staggione (Av. San Martin 8075, Carrodilla, 261 436 4246) One reason Quatro Staggioni is off the radar for most visitors is its location in the southern city district of Godoy Cruz but it is well worth the 15 minute taxi ride.
No Kidding! Chivito at Florentino by Amanda Barnes Chivito (or kid goat) is one of the real delicacies of traditional gaucho cuisine. The meat is always rich and tasty, but is usually comes enrobed in chewy fat – putting a bit of a downer on it. However kudos goes to one of our new favourite restaurants, Florentino, for its outstanding Chivito on a bed of polenta. Appearing rather like fillet steak in shape, it is only rippled with flavoursome fat with large juicy, tender chunks of unadulterated meat in-between. A real indulgence and a must in Argentina! Montevideo 675, 261 464 9077.
Dirtiest Choripan: Estadio Malvinas ARGENTINAS by Amanda Barnes If you are asking “What is a choripan? And, why do you want it dirty?” you haven’t been in Argentina long enough! Chori (a fatty sausage) + pan (bread) = an Argentine phenomena that is probably best seen outside of Mendoza (this city is too prim for seriously dirty choripans). But if you go down to the woods today you will be in 10
for a big surprise! (Or rather down to the park, next to the football stadium, when a match is on.) Sweaty masses of football fans follow the enticing waft of sausages perspiring on the grill, and for about 10 pesos you can get your hands on the dirtiest choripan in town: a gristle rippled, fire blistered, sausage in a bun with a smattering of wilted salad and dubious coloured ketchup and salsa golf. Sure to give you a smile and a satisfying stomach ache! Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Parque San Martin
Top Scoop: Ferruccio Soppelsa by Michael Holder With all that Italian ancestry, there are some pretty great helados in Argentina, including Italian chain Soppelsa. Be sure to fill your cone with one of the many Dulce de Leche flavours – an Argentine speciality. However, if you´re more in the mood for something more Mendocinean, try their impressively accurate wine flavours: light and fruity passionfruit with Sauvignon Blanc; Strawberry with Torrontes; and the more full-bodied Vanilla with Malbec – you can include wine in every part of your day! Ferruccio Soppelsa, locations various
Steak out: Grill Q by Charlie O’Malley It might seem a daunting task selecting Mendoza’s best steakhouse. Grill houses here are ten a centavo but if you apply a cold analytical eye (and watering mouth) you can soon separate the wheat from the chaff, or filet from the gristle. The fact is that lots of parrillas here dish out meat so tough it could have once served as leather on San Martin’s saddle. Quality can vary wildly and what appears like a hearty slab of the Pampa’s finest bovine muscle often turns out to be some old cow’s mid riff tyre. Not so at Grill Q. Here an asado is served with the finest cuts in eye-raising portions and mouth melting morsels. The fantastic salads are tempting enough to destroy your appetite before the main event and the wine list is superb. A chain hotel restaurant might not be to everybody’s taste but the Grill Q avoids the walk-through-lobby feel as it is separate from the hotel with a lovely ambience and decor. Its location overlooking the main Plaza is not bad either and compared to other local high-end grill houses, prices are very reasonable. Grill Q, Park Hyatt, Chile 1124, 261 441 1225.
Veggie Power: Nadia OF by Amanda Barnes It used to be the case that vegetarians in Argentina were stuck with pollo (chicken) or jamon (ham), but those days are almost over. Fortunately for green goddesses there are numerous vegetarian takeaways and a growing number of vegetarian restaurants in the city, but our ultimate veggie fix is actually a non- vegetarian restaurant. No-one delivers the green stuff with quite as much flair as Nadia Heron. Her attractive Chacras restaurant has a stunning 5 course tasting menu which can all be vegetarian with beautiful creations such as refreshing melon gazpacho, warm Spanish tortilla wrapped in red pepper and cold and creamy Almond soup. Vegetables have never tasted so good; but, no fear, there is also an option for a whopping great steak to satisfy the meat-eater in your life. Nadia O F, Italia 6056, Chacras de Coria (near the Plaza, bus accessible)
Pancho Power: Pancho Villa vs Mr Dog by Amanda Barnes There is only one hangover food that will ever cut the bill in Mendoza: the pancho (or macho-sounding hot dog). But even at 6am, you can get a whole lot more gourmet than you would expect! Introducing Pancho Villa: our top chav-chic stop to soak up that fernet at the end of the night. With over a dozen toppings you can muse between the marvels of smoked ham and mushroom sauce, fresh-ish tomato and olive salsa,aubergine dip, the usual ketchup and mustard - and don’t forget your lluvia de papas (literally ‘potato rain’, or in layman’s terms ‘mushed up crisps’). However a small storm rages in Wine Republic as some prefer the worryingly-named Mr Dog. If you can get over the name and the ‘chefs’ with a fag in their mouths, Mr Dog serves up a softly steamed bun which perfectly complements the rubbery texture of the hot dog. It only makes sense when you’re intoxicated. Pancho Villa and Mr Dog have numerous outlets, mainly located near late night bars (I wonder why?) 11
THE Wish List
Our Annual Wine Republic Wine Tasting is coming up on 23 June, and so we thought for this List edition we should give you some of our top varietal wines from our first Wine Republic Wine Tasting in 2010. With a panel of 7 judges tasting and swirling over 60 wines blind, it was quite an epic tasting which took a couple hours. This year we are excited to announce another stunning line up of wines with an international panel of judges including well respected wine writers Fanny Polimeni, Cristina Pandolfi and Fabricio Portelli, among other esteemed wine tasters. Here’s some of our favourites from last year, and be sure to check out the next edition for the results of the 2011 tasting!
Tempranillo: Urban Uco
(2008, O. Fournier)
Angelica Zapata Chardonnay Alta
(2005, Catena Zapata) “We love this complex multi-layered Chardonnay with its notes of apples, caramel and honey. A very rich and concentrated wine.” Score: 91
“This Spanish owned winery was one of the first to do a proper Tempranillo, and to great success with scents of strawberry and raspberry throughout in this good value wine.” Score: 89
Cabernet Sauvignon: Kaiken Ultra (2007, Kaiken)
“Cabernet Sauvignon is the varietal on everyone’s lips at the moment, and with good reason when you try Kaiken’s deep Cab. Nicely balanced with hints of smoke and blackcurrent.” Score: 90
Malbec: primus (2006, Salentein)
“Just a great all round wine that epitomises the attractiveness of Malbec. Excellent structure topped with strawberries and liqourice.” Score: 91
Sweet: Afincado Tardio Petit Manseng, single vineyard (2006,
Blend: Meritage - Cabernet
Terrazas de los Andes)
“The blends were the most outstanding of all categories last year, and Benegas’ Meritage is right up there. Enticing basil, thyme, spice and plums.” Score: 92
“It takes something special to make a good sweet wine and Terrazas has it down to an art. This late harvest wine is brimming with honey, apricots and quince.” Score: 90
Franc /Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot/Petit (2006, Benegas Lynch)
Other wineries in Wine Republic Tasting 2010: Merced del Estero, Alessandro Speri, Jose Mounier, Dominio del Plata, Alta Vista, Tapiz, O Fournier, Terrazas de los Andes, Salentein, Catena Zapata, Domaine Jean Bousquet, Foster, Chandon, Familia Cassone, Ruca Malen, Decero, Vina Essencia, Carinae, Hacienda del Plata, La Azul, Bodega Oralia, Finca La Celia, Renacer, Cavagnaro, Melipal, Bodega Callia, Domaine St Diego, Benvenuto de la Serna.
THE LIST 2011:
Inevitable end to night: Por Aca (followed by a cheeky pancho) by Amanda Barnes There is only one way to end your night in Mendoza. After the inevitable bar crawl through Aristides’ myriad of bumping bars, when the barmen ring their metaphorical bell, Por Aca is THE place to go (and also coincidentally the ONLY place to go – nightclubs are a mood wrecking 30min taxi ride away). Dark, grimy and crowded, with cheesy music and even cheesier dancing – this place is pure 3am gold. Music is directed to more tourist tastes, but that’s not to say the locals don’t love it – they are usually the ones dancing on the radiators to Franz Ferdinand. After you roll out (probably steaming) the ‘piece de resistance’ is to make the short crawl across the road to the inevitable meaty nightcap – a pancho. Por Aca, Aristides Villanueva 557
One stop shop (Wine Flight): The Vines By Amanda Barnes If your time in Mendoza is limited, or you just love trying different wines, indulging in a wine flight at The Vines is essential. With special line ups of different varietals (both classic and reserva lines) or simply all Malbecs, you can sniff and swirl your way through five glasses of fab wines and discover some of Mendoza’s best bodegas from the comfort of their tasting room. For a real splurge go for their Icon wine line-up and try some of the best of the best from Mendoza! The Vines, 567 Espejo, (261) 438 1031. Starting from $75AR. Top Tip: If the wine bug hits you, ask about their special blending lab where you can handcraft your own wine with The Vines’ sommelier.
Bar to be seen in: PH vs Bar Latina? By Amanda Barnes
Bar man’s fantasy: Anna Bistro By Amanda Barnes Everyone loves a good cocktail and Anna Bistro’s barmen know how to shake it as you like it. This is one of our top romantic restaurants and there is no better way to woo your woman than by kicking off with a karma sutra: a fresh, spicy and boozy cocktail with hints of ginger whose aphrodisiac properties are sure to awaken the senses and maybe even the neighbours. Anna Bistro, Juan B Justo 161. (261) 425 1818.
Last year the ‘it’ bar was PH, but this year we think local favour has slightly shifted towards Bar Latina this year. Both bars are always packed out and even in the depths of freezing winter evenings, punters prefer to sit outside where they can be seen better. If you can’t make up your mind over which one to be seen at, don’t worry -being almost directly opposite each other, you can practically see everyone at the other bar anyway. PH 282 Aristides; Bar Latina 245 Aristides
Most mind boggling wine list: 1884, Francis Mallman If wine is your tipple of choice, you will either be delighted or daunted at the prospect of facing over 600 different wine labels at Francis Mallman’s restaurant in Godoy Cruz. With over 12,000 bottles in stock, you are sure to find at least one that you like! Belgrano 1188, Godoy Cruz, (261) 424 2698
New kid on the block: 8va By Amanda Hall If you think Aristides is all crowded bars with bumping sound systems, think again. This new wine bar and vinoteca has a softer vibe catering to a more relaxed clientele who come for their good range of boutique wines to either take away or enjoy with a picada in their handsome bar area. Finish off with a proper espresso, or a scotch and cigar! Octava Vinos, Aristides Villanueva 768, (261) 425 5465 14
Where to get a good cuppa: Filippa
Top spot for a pint and some footie: Irish Bar
By Amanda Barnes
By Amanda Barnes
If you really miss tea or decent coffee, there is a new teahouse in Chacras that is roasting everyoneâ€™s beans with its tea party design, wide range of Patagonian and British teas, and a great list of the allimportant boozy coffee. Settle down in one of the patterned sofas to a platter of cakes and sandwiches with a proper cuppa! Filippa, Viamonte 5263, Chacras de Coria . (261) 496 0230
Sometimes a man (or woman) just needs a decent pint and a game of football. The Irish Bar is, naturally, the place to go. With actual beer on the tap and a proper bar, you can watch your all-important football game in peace and leave the Mrs at home. Believe Irish Bar, Colon 241
24 Hours in Mendoza 7.12am - Regardless of the day ahead, the alarm clock is always the most horrific sound audible to mankind... I jump in a hot shower and pack for my day ahead. 8.16am - The first of my plans immediately goes awry as the waiter at my first cafe tells me they´ve had a problem with the morning coffee delivery… so I take a walk down Sarmiento in hope of better luck. Arriving at another café I order a cappuccino, croissants and tortitas (local bread rolls). In order to fully immerse myself in the Mendocinos´ world, I also grab a copy of the local newspaper Los Andes. The headline story concerns a Good Friday parade, and appropriately enough I discover an Easter present in the form of a large lump of chocolate at the bottom of my capuccino. Coffee the Argentinean way. 9.15am - I head to the MAMM in Plaza Independencia. Underneath the main fountain, the small modern art gallery is surprisingly easy to miss, much like some modern art itself. In the middle of the gallery there`s a covered grand piano with a sign saying “Don`t move the piano. It has a broken leg.” With no artist´s name written on the sign, though, I decide it probably isn`t part of the exhibition and divert my attention the ‘real’ art works on hanging on the walls. Having almost been hypnotised by the strange diagonal lines on one painting, I bump into what looks like an apron hanging on the wall with a red, wire-wool penis sewn onto the front. After attempting to extract some meaning from the latter piece, I decide it`s still too early for my mind to be creative and go in search of something to eat. 10.16am - Fancying a traditional, Argentinean form of sustenance, I pick up some cheese and ham empanadas from a bakery along the way. I then walk through the famous front gates of Parque San Martin. The park is huge – bigger than the city itself - so I keep my map close by. 16
IF YOU ONLY HAVE A FLEETING MOMENT IN MENDOZA, WHAT EXACTLY CAN YOU ACHIEVE IN 24 HOURS? MICHAEL HOLDER TAKES US THROUGH THE CITY’S HIGHLIGHTS AND A HANDFUL OF THE LIST 2011 RECOMMENDATIONS IN AN EXHAUSTING 24 HOUR WHIRLWIND! 10.55am - After a long walk through the park and a steep but short climb, I reach the top of the Cerro de la Gloria. The views of both the city and the foothills of the Andes from the top are easily worth the climb, but I can`t help but feel a slight pang of jealously towards the tourists who arrive in the bus just after me. 11.36am - There isn`t much time to admire the memorial statue and the condors flying above, as the day is still young and I need to get to Chacras for wine tasting. I trek back past the tranquil Lake and impressive Museum of Natural Sciences into town. 12.33 - When the 116 bus finally arrives, I can`t help but notice the bus driver has had his dashboard decked out in red, fluffy velvet in what looks like a mobile shrine to Valentine´s day. His wife must really love him. 14.00 - After strolling through Chacras village with a friend admiring the old church and plaza, we find the beautiful boutique bodega Clos de Chacras. Our guide, Federico, takes us through the old building and cellars, seemingly able to answer every ridiculous, wine-novice question we throw at him. We learn of the very serious dangers of cleaning wine vats, and that good wines are like old people – “wiser but more delicate.” 15.35 - It has turned into a fairly hot, sunny day, so when Federico pours out 4 glasses of excellent Clos Malbec and Cab Sauv by the pond outside, it seems a real shame to have to leave. We end up chatting with Federico for far longer than intended, as the leisurely wine tasting by the fish-filled pond somehow swallows over an hour on its own. My companion swoons and falls for the charming Federico. After several glasses of wine, I fall for the whole place in general and decide wine tasting is a great highlight of Mendoza, but … time is ticking away. 17.16 - A wobbly, mildly-drunken bus journey later, it`s time to lick away at the best of Argentinean ice cream at Soppelsa. This I do with
aplomb, sampling the Vanilla al Malbec (it actually tastes like wine – or is that me?) and, not just dulce de leche, but‘super dulce de leche’ (a must for anyone travelling to Argentina). 18.03 - In an attempt to make up time to learn a little local history, I jump in a taxi to the nearby Plaza de Don Pedro del Castillo. This was the original central plaza in Mendoza before the 1861 earthquake levelled the city. The ruins of the old San Francisco don`t terribly impress though some old rubble here and there, a rather boring museum, and a pleasant enough plaza… but that`s basically it. 18.45 - Back to the hostel for a very necessary shower and change. No sitting down! 19.13 - Not one to pass up on a deal I head to the Vines of Mendoza for a half price glass of wine, or three. The pretty wine bar offers tastings from countless wineries around Mendoza, and it’s an easy way to taste your way around without leaving your seat. For the hell of it, I start with a sparkling wine, in the hope that the bubbles will reinvigorate my dimming energy supplies.
21.31- Whether it was the bubbles or the two glasses of Malbec that followed, I feel fresh and ready to take on anything at the all-you-can-eat parrilla on Las Heras. I`d heard so much about the mouth-watering steaks in Argentina, but I had heard somewhat less about Argentineans eating the all of the other bits of the cow. Undaunted, I let the morcilla (blood sausage), costillas (ribs), glands, molleja (kidney) and chinchulin (intestine) all pass down my throat. The general verdict would probably have to be smokey, salty, and pretty tasty; except I won`t be eating intestines or glands ever again. I even manage to drag my vegetarian companion along on the premise of ´cultural immersion.´ She isn`t so impressed though when a fatty-offcut flies into her beer while I carve away at some meat. 23.13 - Things become hazier as I head to Aristides – the Mendoza street famous for its many, many bars and party atmosphere. So many, in fact, that it`s hard to know where to start. The first bar I walk into is handing out free Fernet by ladies in pyjamas - the sickly, medicinal liquor of choice among Argentines. I’m in luck… 00.05 - The next bar seems more normal, but boasts a cat for extra company. My companion falls in love, again. 01.17 - The place to dance on Aristides is Por Aca, and sure enough
this is where I end up. There`s plenty of local and tourist eyecandy, but like most clubs there are far more chicos than chicas. Still, a small group of locals keep passing us beer and shots - certainly a lot friendlier than most clubs I`ve been to. 03.49 - All that dancing works up an appetite, so it`s pancho time. Pancho (hot dog) shops are everywhere, and at 4 in the morning, it`s easy to understand why. With countless sauces and toppings on offer, I skip the fuss and just slop some ketchup, mustard and olives on top. I then garnish with the popular Â´Lluvia de PapasÂ´ (potato rain) - which is a romantic way of saying that I sprinkled some crisps on top. 4.30am - Tired, and full of booze and meat, I collapse onto my hostel bed. Not quite 24 hours, I`ll admit, but it wouldn`t be day on Mendoza without a Siesta somewhere along the way, would it? Michael went to Clos de Chacras (Monte Libano, Chacras (accessible by bus from city centre- see map on p32) www.closdechacras.com. ar, The Vines Wine Bar, Espejo 567, www.vinesofmendoza.comand Ayllu, Ruta Panamericana 8343, Chacras.
THE LIST 2011:
City Sights: Cerro de Gloria by Amanda Barnes
And Cut! Cine Universidad by Michael Holder
What’s our top sightseeing tip in Mendoza? Walk up Cerro de Gloria. Located at the end of the endless San Martin Park, this easy walk takes you up a small mount to a beautiful monument to (guess who?) San Martin. A chance to spot some condors, look over the city and bask in the sunshine before coming back down again. Cerro de Gloria, Parque San Martin
Whether it`s recent Hollywood, arthouse, or non-English language cinema you`re after, Cine Universidad has a diverse programme of movies on offer every night for only around 12 pesos. Being a University cinema means the audience is often made up of hip-young things, but the changing monthly season makes it possible to see movies such as Black Swan, Yellow Submarine and Trainspotting all in the space of a fortnight. Subtitles in Spanish. Cine Universidad, Lavalle 77, city Arty Types: MAMM centre. $12 entrance. (261) 420 4550.
by Madeline Blasberg If you’re looking for modern art in Mendoza, you are literally going to have to go underground. Tucked away beneath Plaza Independencia, sits this tiny art gallery featuring a varied collection of modern Argentine art. Built as an emergency hospital for earthquakes, it’s a slightly dingy space, but the rotating exhibitions, concerts and theatre keep it interesting. MAMM, Plaza Independencia, Tues – Sun, 9am to 8pm. $8AR, free Wednesdays The List 2010 Winner: ECA was our top pick last year and still remains another favourite for its attractive multi-level space with quirky international exhibitions. 9 de Julio and Gutiérrez.
Picnic Power: Parque San Martin by Amanda Barnes With lots of sunny days and long siestas, Mendoza is the perfect place to picnic. Our favourite spot is the little island (accessible by bridge) on the lake in Parque San Martin. Grab a rug, a couple glasses and your favourite bottle of Malbec! Parque San Martin
Shop till you drop: Ayllu by Madeline Blasberg If you’re looking to bring home something other than a mass-produced argentine trinket, Ayllu offers high quality, authentic artisanal goods that you won’t find in the usual tourist traps. Friendly staff can guide you through an impressively large array of handcrafted goods from Central and South America, ranging from painted pottery, embroidered weavings, woodcarvings, leather belts, homeware, and jewellery. And before you take the 30min bus ride back to downtown, stop by the in-store café for a coffee and sweet treat while you double check you got something for everyone on your list. Ruta Panamericana 8343 Chacras de Coria – Mendoza. Open Mon – Sun
It takes two to tango: Tajamar by Amanda Barnes When you think of Argentina, you think of steak and tango. There is one place where you can get both: Tajamar, a restaurant-cum-bar-cum-live music venue. With regular tango performances and a weekly milonga you can take your pick between just enjoying the music or getting to your feet and trying it out for yourself. Tajamar, San Martin 1921, Alameda
Live Music: Casa Usher by Amanda Barnes Mendoza isn’t the most exciting city for live music, however if you walk a little north of the city you’ll find Alameda – a bohemian neighbourhood with live music spilling out of the bars onto the sidewalks. And one of the best bars for live music is Casa Usher. With something on almost every night it varies from rock to folk and flamenco, with music to hit the spot for most tastes. Casa Usher, San Martin 2259, Alameda Late night special: If you can stay awake until 2am, there is a new music venue in town that is the word on everyone’s lips: La Mala (the bad thing!) A grimy club with no windows and a big stage, it’s perfect for late night live gigs and is attracting some big names from across South America. La Mala, Alameda y Maipu
Where to chat up the locals: Anywhere! by Amanda Barnes We tried to get a definitive answer from our facebook crew, but it turns out you can chat up the locals just about anywhere! For those looking to chat up some beauties at the bars, head to Aristides, for those who still want to wear their trainers and hoodie when they are on the pull the best place is the Irish Bar, and for those on a budget you can pick up a few locals by hanging out by the lake in Parque San Martin where all the kids sit on their cars with music pumping while stealing flirty looks at each other.
Where to shake it: Rumbo Perdido by Amanda Barnes Getting to a club in Mendoza is difficult for tourists for a number of reasons: a) they all start at 2am, b) most of them are at least a 30 minute taxi ride away, and c) they all start at 2am…. But if you can keep your eyelids open, or at least open until you get to the first sofa, then our favourite club in (or near) the city centre is Rumbo Perdido. A low key reggae/latina/funk bar where the focus is more on having a good time dancing rather than pestering college girls. Best enjoyed with a bucket of Fernet. Rumbo Perdido, San Martin 631, Godoy Cruz (10 min bus from city centre)
Everyone needs a weekend away once in a while – Amanda Barnes checks out new territory as she heads to San Rafael for a weekend of wine, mountains and sunshine. Not so different from Mendoza then? Waking up for my earliest Saturday morning rise since Christmas Day, we left a dark Mendoza, heading South to San Rafael for a weekend trip. After about a 3 hour drive (and a beautiful sunrise warming up the mountain scenery), we arrived in San Rafael. Honesty, it doesn’t really look much different to Mendoza – wide roads with acequias, lots of trees and the same modern buildings – but it’s already got a smaller, more local, feel to it. San Rafael itself can claim a couple hundred wineries, so of course no trip would be complete without trying some of the local juice! As always weekends tend to see a lot of the smaller operations shut, so we first of all headed to perhaps the most famous and tourist-equipped winery in the region – Bianchi. A red carpet awaits visitors as they walk up to a mini White House, and you can jump on a free tour every 20 minutes or so where you do a circuit of the winery and champaneria (where they make fizz). It’s a big tourist operation (for locals and foreigners alike), but perfectly pleasant and an educative experience in charmat and champanoise methods – and a small glass of fizz is always welcome at 10am! Just down the road we stopped at Murville, a smaller family operation, making more sparkling wine and also a few organic wines with a more informal tour and family style restaurant. San Rafael – like much of Argentina – is an attraction for its great outdoor landscapes, in this case canyons. Locals compare the Canon Atuel to the Grand Canon in the US. I haven’t been to Colorado, but I get the impression this is one of those typically ‘tall’ Argentine tales. The Grand Canyon it is not, but its jagged ruggedness with bright blue
glacial waters and endless blue skies are appealing all the same. You can do a whole host of sporting activities – perhaps even more than in Mendoza – including rafting, kayaking, fishing, horseriding, hiking, climbing… the list goes on. But being rather lazy, we opted to sit by the gushing river rapids in the sunshine with a picnic. Perfect. Following the winding road back towards the city, we stopped 15km short of the centre to check into our lodge for the night – the gorgeous Algodon Wine Estates. This luxurious ranch-chic lodge is tucked away in the vineyards and boasts a boutique bodega, 9 hole golf course, 10 tennis courts (including clay courts), a swimming pool and a good restaurant – practically a mini break in itself. After terrorising the members by racing around the golf course in our own personal buggies, we settled in to unwind in the lodge for a while and enjoy all the special touches – kaftans for guests on cooler nights, personal fireplaces, hand crafted furniture, heated towel rails, an evening turnover with chocolates left on your pillow… Nightlife in San Rafael all revolves around ‘El Boulavard’ – a stretch of road on Hipolito Yrigoyen (the equivalent of Mendoza’s Aristides) where you can find bars, restaurants and cafés aplenty. There were lots of typical brightly lit parillas and a few funky watering holes, the locals’ favourite hangouts being El Bulivar and La 5ta. But the real place to head at night, or otherwise, is for the infamous ice cream at La Delicia – whose oh-so-creamy helados are well known in the region. The three hour drive is practically worth it for the ice cream alone – we recommend the Marscapone for its creamy but sour goodness.
After a restful sleep and massive breakfast with dulce de leche irresistibly thick enough it may as well be called dulce de heart attack, we took the again buggy for a tour around the boutique Algodon bodega. This attractive winery is a great introduction to wine making as you can see all the processes of wine making on a smaller scale. Algodon also has a unique project for those who want to be a bodeguero without the actual burden of a bodega: in their ‘buy a barrel’ programme you can own your own barrel, have your wine made to your tastes and have your personalised bottles shipped to your home. And, going by the Algodon wines, your barrel is in good hands. Our wine tasting showed some fantastic wines at great prices – particularly their Chardonnay, fermented in the barrel and only $35AR, bargain.
and mobile fuel tanks through the wilderness on our return - it really did make us feel like it had been quite a road trip! That’s the thing about Argentina, it takes you about 20 minutes to drive out of any city into the wild and beyond that there is a massive country to discover. San Rafael is another one to add to the infinite list of beautiful places to visit in Argentina. Details: San Rafael can be reached from Mendoza by following Acceso Sur towards Ruta 143, it is around 200km south. Bianchi Champaneria: Ruta 143 and Calle Valentin Bianchi, (2627) 435 600 www.vbianchi.com. Murville: Av. H. Yrigoyen 5800, (2627) 430 095.
After a good lunch we moved on to drive back to Mendoza along the scenic route through mountain foothills, bleached out dunes and vineyards. Bumping into a rally race with dirt bikes
Algodon Wine Estates (bodega, lodge, golf course, tennis courts and restaurant): Ruta Nacional 144 km 674, Cuadro Benegas. (2627) 429 020 www.algodonwineestates.com
THE LIST 2011:
Mountain Escape: Andes Tour, Trout and Wine
Spa Retreat: Entre Cielos
by Michael Holder
by Amanda Barnes
Visiting all of the significant places nearby in the Andes mountains in just one day makes this tour a must for anyone short on time in Mendoza.
To really escape from it all, there is nothing better than indulging in a little spa time. Our favourite spa near the city is Entre Cielos in Vistalba, a newcomer on the scene which last year opened South America’s first hammam. Take yourself through a circuit of different rooms where you can scrub, sweat and soak all your stress away. Entre Cielos, www.entrecielos.com (261) 154 855055
Or indeed anyone interested in sitting back in a minibus while a local English-speaking guide takes you through awe-inspiring sights such as Portrellos Dam, Puente Del Inca and of course the big one they call the White Sentinel - Mount Aconcagua. Oh, and there´s wine and an asado thrown in for good measure too. Trout and Wine, Espejo 266, (261) 425 5613 or (261) 15 5413 892, www.troutandwine.com
The List 2010: The Termas Cacheuta Hotel and Spa is still one of our top recommendations for a day in the stunning mountains dipping in and out of hot and cold thermal pools, and undoing all that good work with a huge buffet lunch! www.termascacheuta.com
Weekend Away: Chile Take a hike! Potrerillos by Amanda Barnes
Everyone loves a weekend away – and for Mendocinos the most popular weekend away is another country, Chile. Just a hop, skip and a jump and you are over the Andes and soaking up the sunshine, shellfish and pisco on a beach in Chile. But be warned – everyone else is thinking the same thing, so if you have a long weekend be prepared to spend most of it waiting at customs on the border…
by Amanda Barnes Living right next to one of the world’s biggest mountain ranges gives you plenty of options for a good hike, getting up there however is a little trickier… Our panel of facebook fans made it quite clear that if they are feeling lazy, their favourite place for a walk is Parque San Martin, but if they have the ganas (desire), Potrerillos is top of the list. With a big sparkling blue dam, lots of beautiful mountainscapes and plenty of room for impromptu asados – this area is a sure bet for a Sunday walk.
WineMaker’s Night - 15 June.
UPCOMING EVENTS For more information on events in the city and to see our cultural calendar, check out www.wine-republic.com/events
Another chance to enjoy the weekly Winemaker’s Night at The Vines wine bar. A local Argentine winemaker graces the cosy patio with a handful of greatwinesto try and a Q&A session. $40AR, The Vines, 567 Espejo, (261) 438 1031.
Independence Day - 9 July. If you will be waving your own blue and white flag at home you may as well do it at Grill Q in the Hyatt. During a special lunch you can try lots of regional food for $130 each (exc. drinks). Grill Q, Chile 1124, (261) 441 1225.
Milonga 900 - 22 July. A weekly milonga night at Tajamar where you can glide across the tread boards to the accompaniment of live musicians and orchestras, or simplysit back with a glass of wine and watch the locals do their stuff! Every Friday night at Tajamar, Paseo Alameda 1921, (261) 425 6165
The Winery Guide The Best Places to Visit
Overall Winery Experience
LUJAN DE CUYO
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. 4200800 www. pulentaestate.com 40 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. Thames and Cochamaba, Perdriel. Tel. 4880704/5 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. Ruta Provincial 15, Km 32, Agrelo. Tel. 4900202 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. 490 9700. www.norton.com.ar 30 min
Renacer This Chilean-owned winery creates the label Punto Final, one of Mendoza’s best value Malbecs. Small, modern operation with tour that includes a hands-on lesson in blending. Brandsen 1863. Tel. 5244416/17. www.bodegarenacer.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. 562 8357. www.bodegarucamalen.com 30 min
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. 490 9968. www.bodegaschandon.com.ar 30 min
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. 498 9200 www.dominiodelplata.com.ar 40 min
Driving Time from Mendoza City Decero FABRE MONTAMAYOU Attractive, modern facility with spectacular views of the mountains from the cozy tasting room. Bajo las Cumbres 9003, Agrelo. Tel. 524 4748 www. decero.com 40 min
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. (261) 496 1285 / 155792706 www.closdechacras.com.ar 20 min
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. 4981974 www.luigibosca. com.ar 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. 498 0011 Ext. 27. www.lagarde.com.ar 15 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. email@example.com. Tel: 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. 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. 524 8040. www.bodegamelipal.com.ar 30 min
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 498 1379. 15 min
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. 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. 153 023 491 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 479 0123. www. piattellivineyards.com 30 min
Achaval Ferrer Makes the highest scoring Argentine wine. Modern boutique close to Mendoza riverbed. Big concentrated wines. Calle Cobos 2601; Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 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 4964684 www.altavistawines.com 15 min
Sottano 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 153535506 www.bodegasottano.com 30 min
Mendel An old style winery ran by one of Argentina’s most famous winemaker dynasties the De La Motta family. Terrada 1863, Mayor Drummond. Tel. 5241621 www.mendel.com.ar 30 min
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. 488-0595.
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. 4411134 www.bodegalurton.com
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. 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) 422108 www. bodegalaazul.com
Dolium A completely underground winery with innovative design and top notch Malbecs. Ruta Provincial 15, Km 30 s/n, Agrelo Tel: 4900190 www.dolium.com 30 min
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) 451010 www.fincalacelia. com.ar 90 min
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. 4410000 www.familiazuccardi.com 30 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. 4972013 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. (261) 497 2409 www.bodegaslopez.com.ar 20 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. 4-887229 (extension #2). www.bodegadanterobino.com. 30 min
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) 4200782 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.155080261 www.altusdetupungato.com.ar 90 min
Andeluna The old-world style tasting room looks upon dramatic views of vineyards against mountains. Ruta Provincial 89, Km 11, Gualtallary, Tupungato. Tel. (02622) 423226 ext 113 www.andeluna.com 90 min
Aconquija A down-to-earth, family-run affair with good wholesome Malbecs. España 1094, La Consulta, San Carlos. Tel. (02622) 4700379 www.aconquija.com 90 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. Lujan de Cuyo. Tel. 479 0130. www.vinacobos.com 30 min
VALLE DE UCO 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) 429500 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/ 451088 www.ofournier.com 100 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, (261) 15 685 5184. 90 min
MAIPU Trapiche 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
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. 4972039 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 our home is open to our guests, homemade food made with family recipes that can be enjoyed among vineyards in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Urquiza 8136 - Russell. Tel 5878900 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. 4990470 www.carinaevinos.com 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. 481 3501. www.tempusalba.com 30 min
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. 156439564 www. bodegacaelum.com.ar
dining out mendoza city FARRAH
With a fresh and funky approach, Farrah is sure to be popular with locals and visitors. The three Farro sisters and their brother transformed this 1934 family house into an eclectic restaurant with differently themed colourful rooms, a large terrace and a wine aroma table (with wine glasses filled with fresh fruits, flowers and spices). The ladies welcome you as if into their own home - Nati as your host, Pam as your personal sommelier and Belen is the creative mind in the kitchen. The food is modern Argentinean with a focus on lighter, flavourful dishes playing with sweet and sour combinations which include tasty homemade pasta dishes such as sorrentinos stuffed with wild boar, carrots, almonds and cheese in a delicate basil cream, and luxurious home baked ciabattas - we recommended trout with sage and lemon butter, blue cheese, tomato, pistachio and chive cream. All paired by Pam with some great wines, artisan beers or classic cocktails. The attention here is in the detail and you are sure to remember it. Tues – Sat from 9pm. Paso de los Andes 1006, tel (261) 423 9981. Avg. meal: $70 pesos.
As the oldest Italian restaurant in Mendoza, La Marchigiana has alot of history and perfected pasta sauces. Somewhat of an institution in Mendoza, this big pasta house is home to great ravioli, delectable fish dishes and its greatest treasure: nonna Maria Teresa. Now in her mid 70s Maria Teresa has been making pasta since she was a toddler and after many years of experience she and her restaurant have it down to a fine art. Downtown: Patricias Mendocinas 1550. (261) 423 0751 lamarchicentro@ marchigiana.com.ar or Marchigiana Palmares: Ruta Panamericana 3200. (261) 439 1961 firstname.lastname@example.org. Avg. meal cost: $75 pesos 30
El Palenque has a rustic charm to it - honest food, honest prices and a warm atmosphere. Three friends opened the resto-bar seven years ago as a meeting place to enjoy a penguin of wine (an old-fashioned penguin shaped jug) and simple, homemade food. It serves its renowned empanadas, pizzas and lomos along with some heartier ‘gaucho’ style fare. Casually decorated with quirky pieces of furniture and pictures, the bustling, intimate restaurant is a great setting to enjoy real Argentine food and a good Malbec from their extensive list. Low key, cosy and fun this place is clearly doing something right as it usually fills up by 10pm, prompting even the locals to come out early for a table. Aristides Villanueva 287. (261) 154 548 023. Mon 12pm - 2am, Tues - Sun midday - 2am. Avg. meal $55 pesos.
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 juicy watermelon, watercress, ginger, mint and corn salad as a saintly starter; or the indulgent mushrooms with cheese (proper parmesan), thyme and garlic croutons. There is a nice variety of mains – our favourite was the delicate white fish of the day with rocket, courgette and a hint of mint, citrus and pepper – elegant and succulent. 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. Everyday, 6pm - 12am (serves early dinner also). Avg meal $105 pesos.
El Patio de Jesus Maria
When you need to wrap your carnivore lips around a good piece of meat, El Patio de Jesus Maria is a BBQ-lover’s paradise. This Cordobastyle parilla is one of the most popular places for carne in the city. Inside the restaurant you will find a friendly atmosphere, good service and pleasant elevator music playing on the speakers, but it is the huge barbecue outside on their attractive patio where the sacred ritual takes place. The hearty slab of quality, local meat is flashed on the grill above a pile of hot, smoky firewood and then brought inside on a steaming plate along with all its beautiful aromas. Corner of Boulogne Sur Mer and Aristides Villanueva. (261) 429 6767. They also have locations in Chacras, Dalvian and Cordoba.
Located in the elegant Park Hyatt Mendoza, Grill Q serves up traditional regional cuisine at a Five-Star level. Wood floors and cowhides combine with expansive windows and sky-lights to create a welcoming, modern atmosphere. The restaurant aims to provide visitors with an authentic Argentinian dining experience. Key features, mendocinean artwork , and a “parilla a la vista” grill that allows patrons to view the chef at work. They´re famous for their grilled meats and vast selection of regional wines. Other exceptional options include traditional favorites such as locro, a classic stew that hails from Argentina´s “Independence Days.”. Conclude your meal savoring a quince and cheese terrine, this establishment´s gourmet take on a unique regional desert. Chile 1124. Tel. (261) 441 1225. Wed - Sat 12:30pm - 3:30pm, 8:30pm - 12am Sunday 12.30pm - 3.30pm. Sunday buffet lunch $115 . Avg. meal cost: $95 pesos.
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: $70 pesos
Vinos, Olivas y Sabores
Wine, olives and flavours: VOS’s name pretty much sums itself up. This vinoteca-cumrestaurant is ideal for wine drinking with a tasty bite on the side. The intimitely lit bar is tastefully decorated with brocade wallpaper, mismatched chairs and a quirky wine glass chandelier. The select menu features traditional Argentine dishes served with finesse. A picada of assorted flavoured cheeses is accompanied by an array of, sometimes unusual, Argentine delicacies: light and fluffy rabbit pate, juicy sundried tomatoes, marinated hare, delicious carpaccio of carpincho (the world’s largest rodent) and, of course, empanadas. Main meals include a great version of ‘carne a la masa’ with large, tender chunks of slow-cooked beef swimming in juice and topped with a crispy pastry. If you fall in love with anything you eat or drink - you can buy it at the deli, vinoteca or they can keep you in supply by shipping the wine home for you. Aristides Villanueva 451. Tel: (261) 420 2020, www.vinosolivasysabores. com, Tues – Sun, 11am till late. Avg. meal cost $65.
outside city center Casa de Campo
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 small but 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. Tel: (261) 481 1605. casadecampomza.com. Everyday 12pm - 6pm.
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. Tucked away in tranquil Chacras, 20 minutes from the centre, the restaurant is an attractive, warm red with 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 the delightful sweet and salty, bright green, melon gazpacho with crispy ham; and another wonderful Spanish remake of moist Spanish omelette wrapped in tender red pepper with a drizzle of parsley oil – the aim is to play with appearance, aromas, flavours
and textures. Most courses innovate with a vegetarian menu but you can also tuck into one of Mendoza’s biggest, juiciest steaks with mojo rojo (red sauce). Paired with O Fournier wines or BYO. Open daily from 8.30pm, Italia 6055, Chacras de Coria. (261) 496 1731. Avg. meal: $105 pesos without wine.
Terruño-Club Tapiz Resort
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: $140 pesos.
Police, Fire Department and Emergency Medical Dial 911 Bus Terminal Tel: 431-3001 Av. de Acceso Este and Costanera. Bus Routes: Maipu, Linea 10 N° 171, 172, 173, Rioja street and Garibaldi. Chacras, N° 115 or 116, 25 de Mayo and Montevideo. Airport Tel: 5206000 Accesso Norte s/n. El Plumerillo. Shipping Wine Ordinary post will not ship wine and a courier can cost at least U$ 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
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