ISSN 1853-9610

MENDOZA’S FREE MAGAZINE

Nº67 APRIL - MAY 2014

HORSING AROUND ARGENTINa

POLO IN MENDOZa HORSEBaCK RIDING IN ThE VINEYaRDS ThE FRENCh CONNECTION
www.wine-republic.com
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BEBER CON MODERACIÓN. PROHIBIDA LA VENTA A MENORES DE 18 AÑOS.

BEST WI N E S E L E CT I O N
WINE STORE CHILE 898, MENDOZA, ARGENTINA 0261 420 2840
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cONteNts

News Republic Winery Wine Store...............................................8 Breakfast, Dinner and Tea at Anna Bistro... 8 Accessory to Malbec............................................. 8 Horses and Wine Polo Position............................................................. 10 An Outside Chance............................................... 12 Playing Polo in Mendoza.....................................14 Horsing Around Wine Country....................... 16 French Connection...................................................18

Riding Mystic Mountain............................... 22 Out & About Bars...................................................................... 24 Dining Out......................................................... 26 Winery Guide................................................... 28 Maps and Tips Useful Information..........................................32 Map of Maipu and Chacras de Coria........ 32 Map of Mendoza City Center...................... 34

CREDITS
Issue April - May 2014 | 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: amanda@wine-republic.com Editor: Amanda Barnes Editorial Director: Charlie O’Malley Publicity and Publisher: Mariana Gómez Rus: publicidad@wine-republic.com, mariana@winerepublic.com Design: circlan.com Printer: Artes Gráficas UNION Contributing Authors: Amanda Barnes, Graham Cox, Jasmine Montegomery, Charlie O’Malley, Illustrations: Donough O’Malley, www.pencilrobot.net Contributing photographers: Amanda Barnes, Cassandra Langbien. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the editorial opinions of Wine Republic. www.wine-republic.com

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NEWS REPUBLIC
Winery Wine Store
Every wine store should be declared a national monument and kept open to the drinking public. Mendoza has one such establishment – Winery on Chile 898, located in a magnificent 19th Century mansion that evokes history and the Belle Epoque. Once the home of ex-governor Francisco Civit, this gorgeous corner townhouse with expansive courtyard slept such illuminaries as Bartolomé Mitre, Domingo Sarmiento and Julio A Roca, as well as the occasional Chilean president on a wine weekend in Mendoza. Now its sleeping guests are thousands of bottles with some 500 different labels that include the finest sparklings and late harvest sweet wines as well as wine related accessories. Located next to the fascinating Museo del Pasado Cuyano, it’s the perfect compromise for those who want culture, shopping and drinking in the one spot. Winery, Chile 898. www.winery.com.ar

Accessory to Malbec
Sawy wineries have discovered there is a rich seam to be tapped in wine accessories. Because of the impracticalities of carrying bottles home, wine bottle sales to tourists are not as robust as they used to be (Brazilians being the exception). Yet people still itch to spend some money in the wineries and take home some sort of memento of their wine spree in Mendoza. Amongst all the t-shirts, hats and tourist tat, there are some stand-out souvenirs. One is Amoras Descriptores, a neat kit with nine dinky scent bottles that contain all the main aromas we associate with Malbec and a bi-lingual booklet explaining the grape and its history. This Mendoza made product makes for a great gift for all wine anoraks and Malbec maniacs. www.amoras.com.ar

Breakfast, Dinner and Tea at Anna Bistro
Fancy a steak at 5pm? Such a simple proposition is not so simple in a country where the better restaurants only fire up their grills at 8pm and the locals dig in at midnight. The nocturnal eating habits of the Argentines are a constant surprise to visitors. Here, the locals seem oblivious to the fact that the rest of the World prefers to eat before sunset not sunrise. Synchronising your stomach to Mendocina time can have it growling with protest so instead of walking the starving streets, head straight for one of the few high-end restaurants that stays open all day – Anna Bistro. This garden eatery with flower-framed deck makes for a sublime setting for French style breakfasts with homemade pastries, indulgent lunches with ample salads, afternoon cocktails such as super mojitos followed by that beloved steak. Why wait? Anna Bistro, Juan B. Justo 161. Tel. 4251818. Open 8am to 1am, every day.

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POLO POSITIONS
Illustrations by Donough O’Malley www.pencilrobot.net

Amanda Barnes explains how money makes the World of Polo go round
Polo conjures up images of ladies in hats, men in white trousers, lots of champagne and a few horses. While the tournaments may seem VIP and upper class all the way, the game is actually a rather down and dirty sport. Broken ribs, smashed jaws and popped shoulders are common, but the adrenaline and pure rush of playing as fast and hard as you can is what keeps players completely enthralled. And it is an enthralling game to play – blending speed horse racing, daring dexterity and some pretty awesome croquet, polo is a thrill for players. Unfortunately it isn’t as much of a thrill off-field as it draws in very few spectators and is only televised in Argentina and England. With the benefits of zoom cameras and television playbacks, the on screen sport actually gives you a good glimpse into the skill of the sport and the concentrated expression of the no doubt highly-talented players. From the side of the field, you should sit back with your champagne or get a pair of good binoculars. A polo field is the size of 9 american football fields or 40,000 square meters. On field though, everyone is addicted to the game. So much so that people pay a lot of money to play. This is one of the few sports in the world that you can buy your way into playing a professional game. Teams have to balance out with handicaps so even if you (the wealthy banker turned polo player) have a very low handicap, you can hire pro players with handicaps 10

high enough to balance the team out. The best handicap to have is 10, the worst is minus 2. And that’s how the world of polo works – rich amateurs pay pros to be on their team and battle it out on the field for a small trophy. Some other – less sporty – wealthy men often want to get in on the action too, and they can participate from the field side as a patron, paying an entire team (4 players) to play on his behalf. While the free-flowing bubbly might sound like a bonus, it ain’t cheap being a patron (or an amateur player either). You can pay players anywhere between $3000 $150,000 US to be on your team, and you’ll need between 18 and 60 horses per team (not an insignificant price at between $30,000 and $60,000 a pop). On top of that you’ll need a few full time grooms, and you’ll need to accommodate your players and their families (and perhaps fly them out from a different country) for the duration of the tournament. It’s not unheard ofto spend just shy of $1m US to be a patron of a tournament. And

there usually isn’t a prize, other than a (rather much cheaper) trophy. So why do people play? “It’s the rush and the adrenaline, and basically wanting to be the best,” an amateur (rich) Australian player tells me. “You probably have known most of these players in the banking world, and now you get to fight with them on the field.” Polo is a small world. The pros all know each other, and most of the amateurs do too – because in order to be a patron or moonlight the field with pros, you need to have a fat wallet which means you are flying high in the elite club of billionaires (otherwise known as bankers, brokers and tsars). There is however another way to get a glimpse of the polo gold; either as a day experience (see page 14) or you can join the WAGS of the polo fields who stand alert on the sidelines waiting to see their sweat and dirt covered Prince Charming ride in on a stallion with his band of hired, merry men.

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Visit us!
join the new breakfasts in the vineyards enjoy beautiful sunsets in our mirador de los andes

reserve now and ask about our other programs!
roque saenz peña 5516 vistalba · luján de cuyo mendoza · argentina tel: 0054 (261) 487 72 15 · 487 70 98 tours@kaikenwines.com facebook.com/kaikenwines twitter.com/kaikenwines

www.kaikenwines.com

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AN OUTSIDE CHANCE
Charlie O’Malley finds gambling in Mendoza a long shot from home.
When people ask me what I miss most about my native Ireland, I could play the nostalgic exile and bleat about family, friends and, God forbid, that Celtic mist rolling over the mountains – rain that is. The truth is what I yearn for most is the wholesome Irish pastime of gambling on horses. Nothing warms my memory nodes more than the thought of being perched on a high stool in front of a glittering bar with a yellow headed creamy pint of stout on the bar, an untidy pile of betting slips, the newspaper open on the racing page and the muck soaked finish of the 2.15 at Doncaster on the TV unleashing a string of obscenities from an old farmer in the corner. So it is no surprise that I have tried to replicate such an experience on occasion over the past decade here in Argentina, with very limited success. The truth is that gambling opportunities are somewhat sparse here in Mendoza. You have casinos and you have lottery shops and little else, besides the sterile option of opening a Paddy Power internet account and wagering long distance. In the grand pantheon of gamblers, horse racing enthusiasts have always looked down their long noses on other spendthrifts who prefer to throw their money away on numbers rackets and one armed bandits. The art of picking a winning steed from a field of temperamental equine athletes is certainly more challenging and alluring than repeatedly picking numbers that correspond to a favourite niece´s birthday or yanking a metal bar in robotic unison with a row of zombie pensioners. Mendoza´s casinos are dour halls of gloom in comparison with the chirpy illuminations of a busy Ladbrokes. Mendoza may have one thousand wineries but it has not got one bookies. As common as corner shops in the UK and Ireland, ask a local for the directions to a bookmakers here and you´ll find yourself queuing with schoolchildren at a bookstore to buy pens and notepads. Off track gambling is inexplicably forbidden and it seems to be the one law that Argentines actually adhere to. Here you must physically go to the races if you want a flutter – a slight problem as there is only one track in Mendoza and it has a meeting once a month. Such a desolate betting landscape compares poorly with back home where a race is held every five minutes – be it horses, dogs or wife carrying. As soon as the day meetings end you have night time racing and indeed the bookies would stay open all night if allowed to and show racing in Hong Kong, Adelaide and on the Rings of Saturn. Here I must make do with the Hipodromo Mendoza – a sad, dusty, oval shaped dirt track with scruffy stands and sun beaten railings. This down-at-heel course has its one day of glory every year with the Clasico Vendimia. Held the Sunday after the Wine Harvest jamboree, thousands turn up to cheer on a bleary eyed, newly crowned Harvest Queen and wonder what her diamante purse is on for the 3 o´clock steeple chase. It is like a low key version of the Grand National back home, where even 8 year-olds can take a punt on some hopeless nag and win an unexpected fortune and are thus hooked for life.

sumar fotos hipo
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Photo by Cassandra Langbien

Tango and the Track
So Mendoza is a bust for the geegees. However Buenos Aires is another matter. The federal capital boasts two of the finest race courses in the World, one of which, the Hipodromo Palermo, is a magnificent cathedral to racing located a short gallop from the busy thoroughfares of downtown Palermo. With a capacity for 100,000 spectators and races held three times a week, this track is effortlessly accessible and with free admission, a cheap day out for the casual visitor. Built in 1908, its classical French architecture oozes sophistication and is a splendid setting, especially on its big day such as the Gran Premio Nacional in November when thousands turn out to see horses from all over the racing world compete for the one million peso prize. It also boasts the biggest gambling hall in South America, a subterranean “sala slots” with 5000 one armed bandits steadily robbing people 24 hours a day. Before you rush to book the night bus however, there is one important caveat to consider - no alcohol is served on the premises, ever. You can imagine the effect such a regulation has on an Irishman who finds it mandatory to quench his gambling thirst with something with a bit more bite than a Sprite with lemon. If white wine goes with fish, beer and whisky go with horses. The majestic splendour of the Hipodromo Palermo somewhat pales with this prudish rule and I´ll have to put on hold all fantasies of reliving the horsey life in South America. Its either that or I buy a hip flask.
Losing by a head All that madness Her mouth, her kiss Wipes out the sadness And soothes the bitterness

ilus tapa

Tango´s most famous song; Por Una Cabeza, is an artful lament to both love and gambling, where the singer compares his addiction to horses to his desperate attraction to female beauty. Even if you know nothing of tango you´ll recognise the plaintive violin strains of a song that has become the signature Hollywood tango melody used in numerous movies such as when Al Pacino dances blind in Scent of a Woman or Liam Neeson carousing in Schindler’s List. The title of the song means “by a head” and is a mournful pun on losing a close race and falling head over heels for a woman. The gamblers’s compulsion to throw it all away chimes all too well with the hopeless romantic´s reckless passion for love that is almost always unrequited. Enough of the track, no more gambling I’ll never watch a photo-finish again But if a pony looks like a sure thing on Sunday I’ll bet everything again, what can I do? The song was written in 1935 by Carlos Gardel and Alfredo La Pena, both of whom tragically died in a plane crash in Colombia the same year.

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PLAYING POLO IN MENDOZA
If you want to get a taste of polo for yourself then there is a new option for tourists visiting Mendoza to get a feel for the sport with Wines Polo. Amanda Barnes investigates.

Polo is often thought of as completely inaccessible to ordinary folk like you or I, however last year polo and wine aficionados ‘Wines Polo’ launched a polo day experience for tourists and visitors who want to get a taste of this exhilarating game without having to own 4 horses. Heading out to the Campo Mendoza polo field we met with our instructor for the day and met the very animals that would provide the vehicle for our game. The tricky thing about polo is mastering not only a horse, but also a stick and ball. Riding a horse can be challenging enough, but then doing it one-handed while balancing a rather heavy mallet in your hand takes quite some getting used to! After a bit of practice under expert guidance we were beginning to (I wouldn’t go as far as to say ‘master’ but certainly) ‘learn’ the art of riding and holding a stick. Now it was time to try hitting the ball... Fortunately the horses are very well trained and so they kind of go by themselves, making the challenge of following a ball a fair bit easier although you still have to push them along to go in the right direction. Then it was a case of swinging off the reigns, balancing while leaning on one side and hitting the ball in the right direction. All of this is an amazing workout (sort of like a super side crunch) and very exhilarating. My more experienced friends managed to pick up a bit of speed at this stage, while I sat back with my friend who hadn’t been riding since primary school at a more comfortable beginner’s walking pace – which was honestly just as 14

exhilarating. What is surprising about polo is that, while it certainly does take some time to get good at the game, it really is great fun from the very beginning. Even if you aren’t chasing the ball, just sitting on horseback looking onto the stunning Andes mountain range is rewarding enough! After a good hour of horse play, we relieved our wellworked bottoms and jumped off the horse to begin to feel all our newfound muscles letting us know that they are there. A good sense of camaraderie and a new interest in probably one of the most challenging competitive sports gave us a very united feeling at the end of a fun morning. After the polo experience, the Wines Polo team organizes the second part of your experience... wine! The winery you visit varies depending on the day but for our day we headed to other polo aficionados Bodega Escorihuela Gascon. Established in 1884 (hence the name of the renowned restaurant next door), this is one of the oldest wineries in Mendoza. When it was originally built it was in the middle of the vineyards but with the spread of the city, the vineyards were built over and now they make wines from San Martin, Uco Valley and Lujan de Cuyo. The Agrelo vineyard also has a large polo field which show’s the winery’s (and its President, Ernesto Catena’s) love for the sport. In the winery though there is also all sorts of polo memorabilia inside, and outside there is a small polo field for bike polo!

(December 2013)

What’s interesting about a visit to the winery is seeing the historical winery building where there is a beautiful enormous barrel in an ode to Bacchus, and also shows the traditional large buildings used for winemaking when they were first created in the late 1800s. Part of the visit also included visiting their on-site champaneria where we saw the entire champenoise method for making traditional sparkling wine. In 2008 half of the winery was destroyed in an enormous fire, which ended up burning down the entire production line and leaking wine into the acequias throughout Godoy Cruz. Part of the ruin has been very attractively remodeled as the tourism department, showing the old and new – and that is where we had our wine tasting. The professional sommelier took us through all the tasting steps and we tried three of their small production top wines: a buttery Chardonnay, a plummy Malbec and a funky, older Syrah. After playing with wine and cheese pairings, we finished our glasses and took ourselves to the lawn below to get back into the swing of polo for a little fun game of bike polo. Getting on a bike after three glasses of wine, and managing a stick at the same time was not easy, but good fun! We were very glad to have done the horse polo before the wine tasting though, and this fool’s play felt like a good reward after a fun and stimulating day of polo immersion. To find out more about the WinesPolo experience visit www.winespoloday.com 15

HORSING AROUND WINE COUNTRY Country
Amanda Barnes saddles up and rides the vineyards of Vistalba.
When I explained to my mum (who was celebrating a big birthday she wouldn’t like me to admit) that we’d be horse riding on her visit to Mendoza, I think it scared her off. 40 years without getting in a saddle tends to spark a bit of fear in the mind of a humble tourist in gaucho country. But within five minutes of mounting our trusty steeds at Nieto Senetiner, the smile had returned to her face, and once again we were on a pleasant jaunt in Malbec country. With some of the oldest vineyards in Mendoza, Nieto’s horse trek begins through their 1916 DOC Malbec vines and moves through the 60-year-old Syrah and Cabernet fields as our wine guide pointed out the different varieties and leaf patterns. A gaucho was leading the band and we had two sprightly dobermans guiding us along the route and keeping us all in line. Not a bad idea as mum’s horse – whose name was ‘borracho’ or the drunk had the wandering tendency. The guide pointed out all the irrigation channels which are the most essential lifeline for Mendoza. Without them there would be no water and no vines. The Huarpe Indians actually digged the first water channels before the Spanards arrived in the 1500s, making it one of the oldest irrigation systems in the Americas and earmarking Mendoza for a possible UNESCO World Heritage Site listing. Along the route we also saw some of the local inhabitants: owls, snow peas and cane plants which were traditionally used for the roofs of wineries, including Nieto’s historic building. We passed the more humble homes of agricultural workers in the area as well as the modern and impressive harems of private neighborhoods in Vistalba. As we worked our way under the tree-lined roads we started an upward climb up Mount Melon which gave us a different terrain to manage on horseback as well as a few different flowers (like the surprisingly beautiful cactus flower). Reaching the top gave us a taste of adventure with some upward climbs 16

(although all very manageable for any rider) and the reward was a rare vineyard view over Vistalba, Lujan and the back gardens of its illustrious residents. The way back down we took a gentle stroll through more vineyards, passing tempting leaf fodder for the horses, and made our way back to the winery where a full asado lunch was waiting for us. A cool glass of bubbly was presented on arrival. We then we sat in the restaurant to enjoy their great playlist of music and a parade of typical argentine cuisine. Empanadas matched with a buttery Chardonnay or their lovely Bonarda; an array of BBQ cuts (and some salad for committed herbivores) matched with Don Nicanor Malbec, and of course more bubbly and dessert to finish off the meal. Life ain’t bad as a wine schmoozing gaucho.

To book a day of horses and wine, contact Trout & Wine: Espejo 266, Mendoza. www.troutandwine.com

Illustrations by Donough O’Malley www.pencilrobot.net

Other Sumptuous Saddle Spots in Mendoza
You must decide between mountains or vineyards when choosing a horse riding excursion in Mendoza – or best of all, do both. Finca Las Lechuzas is a deluxe ranch, in the prime Malbec country of Agrelo (40 minutes from Mendoza). Here you can ride between the vines and dismount at some of the region’s best wineries such as Decero and Viña Cobos. The ranch also offers memorable sunset rides under the towering Andes. www.fincalaslechuzas. com. Tel. 261 5628223. For the ultimate mountain experience, El Rincon de los Oscuros is a ranch located in the lush, river valley of El Salto – close to Potrerillos lake (60 minutes from Mendoza). Here you can do a deep mountain ride with asado (Argentine barbecue) in the open air with stunning views of the snow capped peaks. www. rincondelososcuros.com.ar. Tel. 261 6538839. Mendoza´s own dude ranch is La Alejandra Mountain Ranch in the gorgeous valley of La Carrera (90 minutes from Mendoza). Here city slickers can immerse themselves completely in gaucho culture, be it on one day trips from the city or multi-day stays at the lovely rooms of this country inn. The setting is stunning, tucked in the mountain range of Cordon del Plata with its very own micro-climate that contrasts with Mendoza’s desert plains. For more information drop by their office on España 1512. www.estancialaalejandra.com. ar. Tel 261 423 7423.

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THE FRENCH CONNECTION

Graham Cox looks into the French influence in Argentine winemaking and that little je ne sais quoi that it brings.
The New World is a mixed bag of references. In Argentina, Spanish and Italian roots make up the bulk of the country’s Old World heritage. The language has obvious origins, and the cuisine certainly puts both Spain and Italy on the plate. However, turning towards Argentine wine, that’s where things move away from the influence of just two countries and involve a third – France. One walk around a wine shop can tell you that. French grape varieties abound: Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Argentina’s beloved celebrity, Malbec. And considering the massive production and consumption of wine in Argentina, a bit more of France is brought to the dinner table each night than you would think. Of course, it’s not all about grapes. French know-how and passion for wine came along with the people who left behind the land of bons vivants to work the vines in Argentina. The French agronomist Michel Aimé Pouget started it all by bringing the first Malbec vine cuttings to grace the Argentine soil. He stayed to aid the cultivation and teach scientific methods to improve the production. Other varieties from France slowly made their way here, not necessarily directly by French hands, but like Pouget other French did arrive to bring more to the land than just their hometown vines. What these winemakers could not ignore was the importance of terroir. The knowledge of how the aspects of soil composition, altitude and exposure influence the qualities of the grape has been a dominant part of wine 18

production in France for centuries. Now that expertise is being put to use here. Visiting Alta Vista Bodega and witnessing winemaker Matthieu Grassin’s efforts prove just that. Born in Angers, Matthieu is one of the French vignerons who has helped bring this aspect of wine production into focus in Argentina. After having completed a Master’s in Agriculture specializing in viticulture and oenology and working in a Bordeaux Château, Matthieu came to Mendoza to put his knowledge to work. With his help in the early 2000s, Alta Vista was one of the first bodegas to assess their vineyards and apply terroir-style zoning to his winemaking process. With the vineyard’s different zones plotted out, he can separate the grapes and test the qualities of each to know what he has on his hands. “The difference among the zones is an advantage,” he said. “I can control the quality and ensure the wine’s consistency. That way I can make sure that the wine has same quality through all the years of production.” After tasting the pure grape from the different zones, it’s easy to see what he has to tinker with in order to perfect Alta Vista’s bottles. Even between just two of the zones, each planted with Malbec, there is a marked difference: one is round and supple; the other sharper, hinting at flavors of the earth. That is the influence of terroir at work, and thankfully Argentina has the French presence to bring it to light. Where the technical expertise ends, the passion picks up. Spend enough time speaking with Matthieu and you’ll notice behind his wealth of knowledge is great love for what he does. When you taste his wine in front of his eyes, he’s searching you to see if you see what he sees.“I’m not trying to make the best wine in the world,” he went on. “I’m trying to make the most consistent.” The love for the profession is also found at Carinae Bodega in Maipú. The owners Phillippe and Brigette Sobre dived straight into winemaking ten years ago without any experience, just the verve to do it.

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“We bought the winery in February 2003,” Phillippe said. “The vines had been maintained and we had to take in the harvest in March. The wine that first year wasn’t very good.” Needless to say, it’s gone up from there, way up. Their story is different. After coming from Toulouse to Argentina for work, they looked around for a small home where Phillippe, an amateur astronomer, could keep an eye on the skies. The property came with a vineyard and a dilapidated winery. Instead of ignoring the potential in the back of their house, they decided to make the most of it. “It was either go to Paris for another post in the city or stay here and make wine,” Phillippe said. The decision couldn’t have been simpler in their eyes. Carinae’s inauspicious start soon changed with the help of famed French oenologist Michel Rolland’s viticulture consultants, Gabriella Celeste and Juan Manuel Gonzalez. But of course, most of the credit falls on the Sobre’s own hands-on hard work and intimacy with their production. A small boutique bodega, visiting Carinae feels more like you’re walking into their house. “Back in France, some couples choose to spend their retirement running a Bed & Breakfast out of their home,” Brigitte said. “It’s like that for us when it comes to our visitors. We just welcome them at our winery instead of a house.” It’s not far off. They have pictures of their grandchildren on the wall, and the usual jar of homemade preserves just happens to be a bottle of wine. Among the half dozen wines they produce, Octans is their hobby blend. Available only at the bodega, it is the product of Phillippe and Brigette’s personal tastes and choices. This wine is the essence of DIY, the romantic vision of making your own wine put into practice. It’s impossible to say exactly what the blend is because it changes each year. “If it’s a really good one, then we might keep in the line like we did with La Cuvée de Brigette,” said Brigette. “That was an early version of Octans we decided to continue.” If that is the criterion for making a certain Octans blend a permanent presence then the current offering from 2011 is

a sure contender. A well-tempered medley of Syrah, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon that is smooth and finishes easy without sacrificing complexity, it does justice to the centuries of French winemaking know-how and gusto behind it. Like other cultures that made it to these shores and went through transformations, the French influence certainly has its own Argentine twist. Adapting is easy when you see part of where you came from in your new land and for the French here, the difference isn’t so drastic in terms of wine. When asked about making the jump from one wine culture to another, Matthieu didn’t need to pause and reflect, “Well, the ratio between wine consumption and population is about the same between Argentina and France. So, it wasn’t a big change.” France and Argentina share the love and in doing so some of this land becomes like some of that land and vice versa. You can find it right there in the bottle. When asked about the emergence of Pinot Noir in Argentina, that famously fussy grape from Burgundy, Matthieu made sure the explanation was clear. “It’s important to note the frame of reference. A Pinot Noir from Argentina will never be good if your looking for the taste of a Burgundy Pinot. Here, that grape variety becomes a different thing. There’s really great Pinot Noir here, but it’s important not to compare it to a Burgundy. It’s an Argentine wine.” That’s how France has set roots down here so far from home, still French in origin but just little different now that it’s on foreign soil. “Oh, the Pinot Noir from Argentina is great,” Phillippe said. “Yes, I really like the Pinot you can find here,” Brigette added. Phillippe and Brigette didn’t need to explain why. Their enthusiastic responses said it all. France is present in Argentine wine, but it doesn’t need to wave its flag. They brought the vines and the knowledge across the ocean and after that, the sun, soil, and snowmelt worked its way in to bear fruit that’s a little French and a little Argentine and ultimately wonderful.

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Saturdays from 12 midday to 8pm Sundays from 4pm to 8pm

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RIDING THE MYSTIC MOUNTAIN

The Andes are a hard thing to miss when visiting Mendoza, not only for their striking physical presence but for all of the ancient history they hold. The Andes have borne witness to the unfolding of this region’s history, while having played aprotagonist role. Huge and quiet, the Andes pose an overbearing presence that echoes with a supernatural absence of the auditory senses. What better way to dominate this majestic place than on a two-wheeled steed, and by that I mean the bicycle. Reminiscent of the mounted San Martin himself leading the people to independence, riding a bike across this terrain is a declaration of your youthful independence. Like the footsteps of the Incas searching for a way through the unknown peaks, the bike is an exhilirating rite of passage that means you have earned the freedom to travel distances beyond your childhood front lawn. With the wind in your hair and your heart pumping, cycling is a heroic and ageless activity everyone can share. 10 years ago adversity forced Fabian the founder and owner of Mendoza Bikers to straddle his first seat. He was faced with a leg injury that left him with a practically fused knee, he believes cycling salvaged his mobility. A short afternoon ride with friends turned into day trips to Tupungato, turned into epic treks crossing the Andes. Today Fabian is one of the very few to hold bragging rights to have traced the steps of the famous plane wrecked Uruguayan rugby team, responsible for the gruesome motion picture “Alive”, by bicycle. 5 years later still not having satiated his need to accumulate distance on his 2 wheeled companion, he began guiding visitors from all over the world over the great range. There are a variety of cycling expeditions one can add to their itinerary while in Mendoza, but “Mendoza bikers” seems to be the force that holds the mountain to the bikers. Equipped with top of the line mountain bikes, a fleet of 8 professional guides, a medical doctor and a sports nutritionist. Mendoza Bikers submerges you in the mountainous landscape by offering extreme 6 day treks across the peaks to a variety of high altitude day trips. These organized trajectories can be experienced as a “controlled descent” fit for every level of rider or as a “challenging ascent” apt for any athlete looking to push their boundaries. Excursion Cristo Redentor: Start your downhill journey from the highest monument in South America, a bronze statue of Jesus himself, marking the divide in the ridges of what is now Argentina and Chile border. At an impressive 4500 meters above sea level you will descend a remarkable 1500 meters down twisting mountain roads. You will visit the tiny population of Las Cuevas, the area’s last inhabitants. Next you will speed down to the Aconcagua Park look out where you can catch

Jasmine Montgomery gets on her bike and checks out some of the best routes around Mendoza and its mountains.

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a glimpse of the great peak itself. Finish your day by crossing the Puente Del Inca, an awe inspiring, natural bridge the ancient Incas used to cross the Mendoza River. Excursion Paramillo: Starting at 3500 meters above sea level at the historic “Cruz de Paramillos” you will whiz past the great summit of Aconcagua while you plummet down dusty roads until you reach “El Balcon” (the balcony) an intriguing natural rock formation. Next you will begin the most breath taking descent in Mendoza down the famous “Caracoles” of Villavicencio, boasting more than 300 turns and curves this protected natural reserve is home to a host of wildlife. Observe guanacos, condors and wild hares. After your 1500 meter drop you arrive at the historic Hotel Termas and then carry on to a picnic spot where you lunch in the open air with a platter of cured meats, cheese, nuts and homemade bread. Excursion Refuge Sacravelli: You start your descent at an altitude of 3700 meters in the core of the ranges themselves you will descend 1700 meters down to the “Manzano Historico Reserve”. It is said that during his trip home, General San Martin rested beneath an apple tree (Manzano) in these very foothills. Trace the path

San Martin forged on his momentous return home from liberating Chile through the Piuquenes pass. See wide rivers and waterfalls on this adrenalin filled course. Excursion Manzano: starting at 1800 meters above sea level at the picturesque “Puesto de Manzano” a historic alpine post, a place that seems from times past, see herds of goats out to pasture and rolling glacial rivers. Behold the city of Mendoza in all its vivid glory from the heights of this attraction. Finish your ride in the quaint and trendy Chacras de Coria for a bite in the local landmark, the old San Francisco hotel. Share any of these unforgettable journeys with people from all around the globe while you pedal across the peaks in groups of 20-25 bikers. Most full day excursions range from 700 to 800 AR pesos per rider and include your bike, helmet, transportation to and from the hotel, lunch, bottled water, and personal injury insurance. Families and special requests welcome. With nothing but your bicycle as a conduit between you and the power of this magical place, indulge in an energetic ride through the mystic mountains. Let go and fall in love with the distant places our bikes can take us.

Andean stone and local desert wood recreate the simplicity of Mendoza's natural surroundings with stylish and modern comforts. Guests realise they are in the land of wine as soon as they arrive. A unique glass floor reveals an underground wine cellar made from stone. A perfect place to be seduced by Mendoza's best wines.
Book your table via this code and get a Free glass of Wine!

15% OFF *On your dinner when arriving before 7.45pm
(On food. Not Combinable with other promotions).

Gourmet Regional Cuisine in a Unique Atmosphere Dinner Service, daily from 7:30 pm on. Booking is required.

www.laresdechacras.com Larrea 1266 Chacras de Coria | Mendoza Argentina | tel/fax: 54 261 4961061 info@laresdechacras.com

/laresdechacras @laresdechacras

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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. Pubs, bars, restaurants and shops cram together from Belgrano to San Martin Park to provide you with ample bar options. 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. 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.

BELIEVE IRISH PUB

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 choose a glass from the impressive list of limited production wines. Chatting with their learned bartenders and sipping fabulous flavours makes for a truly enjoyable afternoon. Belgrano 1194, Tel. 261 438-1031. MonSat, 3pm-10pm www.vinesofmendoza.com

One of the few bars in Mendoza with a bar counter and high stools to prop yourself up on. Kelly, the English part-owner/pubmascot 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. Monday night is International night and for their packed events DJ’s rock the house. Colon and España 241. Tel. 261-429-5567.www. believeirishpub.com.ar

El MERCADITO

cAcHITAS

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

Aristides still remains the busiest night spot in town and this resto-bar has to be one of the coolest in town. El Mercadito is run by three friends and it lets the good times roll with healthy meals – including big salads, which are a rarity here – antioxidant juices, decent brekkie, fresh cocktails and a top music mix. Spend an evening here and you’ll hear a few beats from across the pond and leave with a light stomach and a few stars brightening up your vision.El Mercadito, Aristides 521.

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25

diNiNg Out
MENDOZA CITY GrIll Q
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 squid and basil stew, crispy calamari with cool gazpacho 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 or make your way here in the evening to try the Mediterranean inspired dishes including delicious pasta, fresh fish and some great cuts of meat. Chile 1124. (261) 441 1225. Avg. meal Grill Q $240 pesos. Bistro M Executive Menu $270 with starter buffet, main course, dessert buffet and glass of wine.

El mErcADITO

Grill Q

ITUZAINGO

With an attractive fairy lit patio and terrace outside, this is the perfect spot for Summer. Opened recently by three friends, El Mercadito is offering something a little bit different to Mendoza. With a cool vibe, relaxed music and attractive waiting staff, this is quickly becoming a favorite hot spot for a coffee, bite to eat or evening cocktails. Opening in the morning for healthy breakfasts and antioxidant juices, El Mercadito stays open throughout the siesta with its light menu of sandwiches, big salads and some Argentine classic meals. Chow down to big healthy salads like the ‘Langoustine’ with huge juicy prawns, fresh avocado and green leaves or tuck into one of their big toasted sandwiches like smoked salmon and cream cheese, or jamon crudo and arugula served with chunky chips and homemade BBQ sauce. As the sun goes down make sure to try out one of their yummy strawberry mojitos! El Mercadito, Aristides Villanueva 521, (261) 4638847. Avg. meal price: $ 150. Chacras de Coria: Viamonte 4961, te: 4962267.

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, 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 Francisco can delight guests with an eight course menu of Argentine flavours catered to an international palate, or simply relax with a glass of wine. This is a real place to meet the wines, food, art, music and hospitality of Argentina. 8 course menu of argentine cuisine with 3 glasses of wine and a welcome drink, or you can order sharing plates and wine by the glass. For those who like to learn more about regional culture and gastronomy Ituzaingo has the option of an Argentinean Cooking Class which is a lot of fun and educational. Prices between 350 and 480 pesos per person (wines included). Open Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat from 8.30pm. Reservations essential. Ituzaingo Resto, tel (261) 15 666 5778, cocina@ ituzaingoresto.com.ar

CEIbO

PATrONA

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: $140/(including starter, main dish, dessert+a glass of wine)

Offering one of the most complete cooking and cultural experiences in Mendoza, this intimate restaurant serves classic Argentine countryside cuisine with a contemporary twist as well as its daily cooking classes. Chef Mauricio and Sommelier Eugenia welcome you into their converted family home and offer a 3 to 4 hour cooking class whereby you learn the culture of ‘cocina de campo’ as well as trying your hand at traditional cooking techniques like cooking in a mud oven, ‘al disco’ and learning the art of the perfect asado as well as making empanadas, choripan, homemade bread and chimichurri sauce. Five courses of traditional cuisine are paired with boutique Argentine wines and you finish off making fresh herb cocktails from the patio garden and can try rolling Argentine tobacco. A fun, cultural and culinary experience to enrich your understanding of Argentina and its cuisine. The restaurant is also open every evening (except Sundays) and serve classic Argentine dishes like a variety of empanadas and roasted meats along with signature dishes from Mauricio and boast a fantastic wine list and warm environment. Ceibo, 25 de Mayo 871 (in front of Plaza Italia), (261) 420 2992. Avg. meal price $ 170, cooking class from $100US.

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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`s family restaurant started off with only six hearty Italian dishes but has grown into a popular local fixture which is always busy despite its curious lack of ambience. The pasta is the best thing here, maintaining original recipes from over 60 years ago; we recommend the huge stuffed ravioli. Check out the Brad Pitt photo for celebrity credentials. La Marchigiana, Patricias Mendocinas 1550. (261) 4230751. Avg. meal price: $130

reservations! Ruta 60 s/n 5517 Maipú. AR$ 220. Tel: (261) 496 0131. tapiz.com. Lunch, everyday, 12pm - 3pm. Dinner, Sun - Thurs, 8pm-11pm, Fri & Sat until 12am. Avg. meal cost: $370 pesos.

SIETE FuEgOS AT THE VINES OF MENDOZA

OuTSIDE cITY cENTEr 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

First there was Francis Mallman’s 1884 restaurant, now the celebrity chef has a new restaurant in town. Or rather, out of town. Set in the stunning vineyards of The Vines of Mendoza, Siete Fuegos is sure to be one of the hottest tickets in Mendoza for years to come. A leisurely lunch with not one, but seven asados. Cooking with seven different fire techniques (including burying an entire goat in the sand) this whirlwind of Argentine cuisine includes salt crusted cod, roasted lamb and ginormous dulce de leche pancakes, all accompanied by fantastic Uco Valley wines. The ultimate outdoor Argentina lunch experience. $580AR per person. www.sietefuegosasado.com

snowcapped Andes but here the focus is definitely on the plate. Gorgeous flavour combinations like sushi with Pinot Noir, and sparkling wine with salted pannecota and strawberry jus make it a delightful lunch date. If you thought you’d got bored of beef, think again - steak here comes served with a generous serving of spicy Korean BBQ sauce! Avg. meal: $450. Tel: (261) 691 9732. Lunch Mon - Sat. www. chefmun.com

LOS NEGRITOS

CHEF MuN

If you want a bit of Asian flavour, Chef Mun is the chef to go to. Korean born internationally trained, Chef Mun brings an exotic mix to the plate to spice up the usual Argentine steak. In the restaurant in Casarena winery, you’ll find a big sundeck looking over the vineyards and

Right in the middle of Las Vegas (in Potrerillos, 80kms from Mendoza) this restaurant stems from a story of a family who came to live in here one of the first weekend houses constructed in the area. They named their home ‘los negritos’ a nickname of their two young children. Many years later, one of the ‘negritos’ (Enrique) decided to leave the bustle of the city, moved to the mountains and opened a restaurant with his wife , in Las Vegas. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner every weekend and on public holidays and the cuisine is flavourful and typically Argentine with stews (such as Tomaticán and mondongo) , milanesas, humita and homemade pasta - many of the recipes used are old family recipes. The restaurant has been recognized as part of the ‘gastronomical route’ and is noted for its quality of cooking, architecture and landscape. Los Olmos ST, Las Vegas, Potrerillos. (261)155697431 . Avg: $120

ANNA BISTrO
Anna bistro has been an important restaurant on Mendoza’s food scene since it opened 8 years ago, however that doesn’t stop it from renovating itself each year. This year Jerome and his team have started smoking their own salmon and cheese to add a bit more flavour to some dishes and you can try the rich salmon on delicious brioche and go the whole hog with a pot of delicious steaming, garlicky prawns. Along with a handful of salmon dishes there are a host of different foods on the menu including classic steak, rich lamb, creamy pastas and lots of lighter options including big salads, sharing platters and vegetarian dishes. While lunch and dinner is still its main game, the beautiful gardens and restaurant are open for breakfast from 8am offering unending treats from their own French patisserie and the late afternoon is perfect for sipping your way through the extensive cocktail list or take your pick from the arm long wine list. Av. Juan B. Justo 161 Tel: (261) 425 1818. Everyday 8am till late. Avg. meal cost: $190 pesos.

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the wiNery guide
LUJAN DE CUYO

Terrazas de los Andes

The fine wine sister of Chandon Argentina is a beautifully restored bodega with well-appointed tasting room. Fav. Wine: Cheval de los Andes. (0261) 488 0704/5. Thames and Cochabamba, Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. www.terrazasdelosandes.com

operation with tour that includes a hands-on lesson in blending. Brandsen 1863, Lujan de Cuyo. 261524-4416 or 261-524-4417. www. bodegarenacer.com.ar

rocks. Fab restaurant. Fav Wine: Petit Verdot. (0261) 498 9400. Roque Saenz Peña 3135, Vistalba. www. carlospulentawines.com

Kaiken

Belasco de Baquedano

Ruca Malen

Excellent food, great guiding and first-class wines. The pairings over lunch make for an unforgettable culinary experience. (0261) 4138909 .R.N.7, Km 1059, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. www.bodegarucamalen.com

This rustic 80 year-old winery houses a new venture by the prestigious Chilean winery Montes. Big and powerful wines, destined for fame. (0261) 524 3160. Roque Saenz Peña 5516, Las Compuertas, Luján de Cuyo. www.kaikenwines.com

Gleaming modern facility with fascinating aroma room and restaurant with Andean view. (0261) 524 7864. Cobos 8260, Lujan de Cuyo. www.belascomalbec.com

Piattelli

Catena Zapata

Chandon

The original foreign investor, Frenchowned Chandon has been making great sparkling wines in Mendoza since the 1960s. (0261) 490 9968. R.P.15, Km 29, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. www.bodegaschandon.com.ar

Showcase winery designed like a Mayan temple overlooking vineyards and the Andes Mountains. Rich, complex wines. (0261) 413 1100. Cobos s/n, Luján de Cuyo. www. catenawines.com

A lovely family owned winery done in a Tuscan style. Enjoy lunch on a deck beside a pond.Fav. Wine: Oaked Torrontes. (0261) 479 0123. Cobos 13710, Lujan de Cuyo. www. piattellivineyards.com

Achaval Ferrer

Melipal

Dominio del Plata

Argentina´s most famous female winemaker Susana Balbo is creating some rich and complex wines in the heart of Agrelo. Fav. Wine: Ben Marco. (0261) 498 9200. Cochabamba 7801 Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. www.dominiodelplata.com.ar

Great Malbec and gourmet lunches make Melipal one of the most exclusive wineries to visit. (0261) 524 8040.R.N.7, 1056km, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. www.bodegamelipal.com.ar

Modern boutique close to Mendoza riverbed. Big concentrated wines. (0261) 488 1131. Cobos 2601, Perdriel, Lujan de Cuyo. www.achaval-ferrer.com

Alta Vista

Decero

The Arizu dynasty are the royal family of Argentine wine and their seat of operations is a handsome and elegant 110-year old winery. Classical architecture, ancient atmospheric cellars and rich wines such as the Finca Las Nobles range make for a fascinating visit. (0261) 498 1974. San Martin 2044, Mayor Drummond, Luján de Cuyo. www.luigibosca.com.ar

Luigi Bosca

Attractive, modern facility with spectacular views of the mountains from the cozy tasting room. (0261) 524 4748. Bajo las Cumbres 9003, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. www.decero.com

Masterful mix of modern and traditional. Tasting includes distinctive Torrontes or single vineyard Malbecs. (0261) 496 4684. Álzaga 3972, Chacras de Coria, Lujan de Cuyo. www. altavistawines.com

Mendel

Clos de Chacras

Charming boutique operation with nice history. A five minute walk from Chacras plaza. Fav. Wine: Gran Estirpe. (0261) 496 1285/155 792706. Monte Libano s/n, Luján de Cuyo. www.closdechacras.com.ar

An old style winery ran by one of Argentina’s most famous winemaker dynasties the De La Motta family. (0261) 524 1621. Terrada 1863, Mayor Drummond, Lujan de Cuyo. www. mendel.com.ar

Bonfanti

Owner of the oldest white wine in South America. Try the hand-crafted sparkling wine made from 100 year old vines. (0261) 498 0011 Ext. 27. San Martin 1745, Mayor Drummond. Luján de Cuyo. www.lagarde.com.ar

Lagarde

Carmelo Patti

Mendoza’s most famous garagista. Carmelo Patti himself is often there to show you around (in Spanish). Fav. Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon from the barrel. (0261) 498 1379. San Martin 2614, Luján de Cuyo.

A lovely winery in a pastoral setting. Up close and personal tours with the owners themselves and a tasting room set amidst the vines. (0261) 488 0595. Terrada 2024, Lujan de Cuyo.

Tapiz

Renacer

Vistalba

This Chilean-owned winery creates the label Punto Final. Small, modern 28

Tasting room where one entire wall is a subterranean cross section of the actual vineyard clay, roots and

Great wine lodge Club Tapiz, highend restaurant Terruño and an instructive wine tour including barrel and bottle tasting. (0261) 490 0202. Ruta Provincial 15, Km 32. Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. www.tapiz.com

REFERENCES Restaurant Lodging Driving time from Mendoza City Art Gallery

LOCATIONS REFERENCES Luján de Cuyo Maipú Mendoza City
filled tasting room with excellent view of mountains and vines. (0261) 488 7229 Ext. #2. Callejón Maldonado 240, Perdriel. www.bodegadanterobino. com

San Martín Valle de Uco

Norton

Old-style cellars contrast with a hightech production line. Tank and barrel tastings,and jug fillings on Thursdays are popular with the locals. (0261) 490 9700. R.P.15, Km 23.5. Perdriel. Luján de Cuyo. www.norton.com.ar

Dolium

A completely underground winery with innovative design and top notch Malbecs. (0261) 490 0190. R.P.15, Km 30 s/n, Agrelo. www.dolium.com

Caelum

Benegas Lynch

Rich history and richer wines. Lovely old bodega with lots of character. Fav. Wine: Cabernet Franc. (0261) 496 0794. Ruta 60. Cruz de Piedra. www.bodegabenegas.com

Modern, medium size winery on the main road to Chile just before the mountains and has a nice family feel to it. Fav. Wine: Rosado. (0261) 156 439564. R.N.7 km 1060, Agrelo. www. bodegacaelum.com.ar

Nieto Senetiner

The closest winery to Mendoza city, easily accessible Navarro Correas is a modern winery with great sparkling wines and fun tasting options. (0261) 4597916. San Francisco del Monte 1555, Godoy Cruz. www.ncorreas.com

Navarro Correas

Estrella de los Andes

On a leafy road in the middle of Lujan, this winery has a cool, retro diner with well presented and tasty Argentine dishes that won’t break your bank. Open all day and a relaxed atmosphere. Olavarria 225, Perdriel, (261) 464 9190. www.bodegaestrelladelosandes.com

Located in a beautiful old winery in Chacras, Senetiner was founded in 1888 and makes a great range of wines and sparkling wines and offers horseback riding in the vineyards and asado style lunches. (261) 498 0315, Guardia Vieja S/N, Vistalba, Lujan de Cuyo. www.nietosenetiner.com.ar

Cruzat

A boutique traditional sparkling wine producer with gorgeous bubbles that can be enjoyed from their terrace overlooking vines. (261) 5242290, Costa Flores, s/n, Perdriel, www. bodegacruzat.com

Septima

FINcA LA CElIA
The first pioneer of the Uco Valley, Finca La Celia has the history but after being abandoned many years the oldest vines were lost and now the vines just stretch back to 1990s. You can book ahead to visit this large winery and they can organize a rustic, countryside lunch for you in the posada with their wines, or more unique tasting programs. You need to book in advance to visit La Celia as they don’t have a full time tourism department on site, however once you get in the gate a visit here includes a trip to their vine garden where you can see and taste (in season) a handful of their different varieties against a stunning mountain backdrop. The winery itself has quite a large, industrial feel to it but once you get to the 1930 posada for a tasting you get back into the history of the place which is a Declared Heritage Site. Finca La Celia, Av. De Circunvalacion s/n, Eugenio Bustos, (02622) 451010. www.fincalacelia.com.ar

A beautifully designed winery with clear views of the mountains and a large terrace used for sunset wine events after 6.30pm on Thursdays. Owned by the Spanish experts in sparkling wine, Codorniu, they make fab sparkling wine under label Maria. (261) 498 9550, Ruta 7, 6.5km, Lujan de Cuyo. www.bodegaseptima.com

Pulenta Estate

Cool minimalist design and rich complex wines make this a winery with finesse and style. Fav. Wine: Cabernet Franc. (0261) 155 076426. Ruta 86, Km 6.5. Lujan de Cuyo. www.pulentaestate.com

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. (0261) 479 0130. R.N. 7, Lujan de Cuyo. www.vinacobos.com

Dante Robino

Founded in 1920, an atmospheric oldstyle winery with a modernist, light29

the wiNery guide
MAIPU Argentina’s biggest winery is a mix of old and new, traditional and industrial, and has the old train tracks leading up to it. (0261) 520 7666. Mitre s/n. Coquimbito, Maipú. www.trapiche.com.ar

Carinae

Trapiche

Small, charming, French-owned winery offering personal tours and well-honed wines. Surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. (0261) 499 0470. Videla Aranda 2899, Cruz de Piedra, Maipú www. carinaevinos.com

La Azul

Simple, small production winery with not so simple Malbecs and a small traditional restaurant. (02622) 423 593.R.P 89 s/n. Agua Amarga, Tupungato. www.bodegalaazul.com

Clos de los 7

Tempus Alba

Cepas Elegidas

A fine modern winery set in the rural lanes of southern Maipu. The rooftop terrace overlooks the vineyard. (0261) 481 3501. Perito Moreno 572, Maipú. www.tempusalba.com

Making real ‘vinos de autor’, US born Brennan Firth makes his limited production wines in a small winery in Maipu. Exclusive and ultra high end wines, a visit and tasting is with the winemaker himself. To visit Cepas Elegidas, call Brennan on (0261) 467 1015.

In the heart of gorgeous Vista Flores, you can visit premium French owned wineries Monteviejo, Rolland, Diamandes and Cuvelier de los andes in one visit for tastings, horseriding, art and lunch. (0261) 156 687680. www.clos7.com.ar

Familia Zuccardi

Benvenuto de la Serna

A professional, far-sighted operation. Attractive restaurant amidst the vines, famous for its asado-style lunches and generous wine pourings. (0261) 441 0000. R.P. 33, Km 7.5, Maipú. www.familiazuccardi.com

Cecchin

Rutini / La Rural

A family winery using organic and biodynamic principles where you can see the entire process from the beautiful green vineyards to the minimal intervention winery. (261) 497 6707, MA Saez 626, Maipu, www. bodegacecchin.com.ar VALLE DE UCO

Charming, family-run operation making a very decent Sangiovese under the Mil Piedras label.(02622) 420 0782. Carril Los Sauces s/n, VistaFlores, Tunuyan. www. benvenutodelaserna.com

Andeluna

Well-stocked museum with invaluable antiques like cowhide wine presses and buckets. Giant oak tanks stand in large, cavernous halls. (0261) 497 2013 Ext.125. Montecaseros 2625, Coquimbito, Maipú. www.bodegalarural.com.ar

O. Fournier

Lopez

Popular, old-style winery with two museums on the wine. Restaurant offers gourmet cuisine with a panoramic view. (0261) 497 6554. Ozamis 375, Gral Gutiérrez, Maipú. www.bodegaslopez.com.ar

Most architecturally innovative winery with rich, concentrated wines. Excellent lunches in the modernist visitor center. (02622) 451 088. Los Indios s/n, La Consulta, San Carlos. www.ofournier.com

The old-world style tasting room looks upon dramatic views of vineyards against mountains. (02622) 423 226 Ext 113.R.P. 89, Km 11, Gualtallary, Tupungato. www. andeluna.com

Gimenez Riili

Altus

Flichman

A red barn-like winery which faces a lovely adobe-style restaurant doing excellent lunches. (02622) 155 080261. Las Vencedoras, Tupungato. www.altusdetupungato.com.ar

A brand new family run affair, part of the exciting Vines of Mendoza project. This is a modern winery in a stunning setting. 0261-156317105/ 0261-153470392 - Ruta 94 (s/n), Tunuyán. www.gimenezriili.com

Atamisque

Steeped in history and tradition. Charming, pink-hued, colonial-style bodega, set in the leafy vineyards of southern Maipu. (0261) 497 2039. Munives 800, Barrancas, Maipú. www.flichman.com

Salentein

Familia Di Tommasso

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

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. (0261) 156 855184. R.P. 86 (Km 30), San Jose, Tupungato. www. atamisque.com

SAN MARTIN

Officially the second oldest winery in Mendoza and still run by Argentine hands. Their charming and rustic restaurant looks onto the vineyard, just two steps away. (0261) 524 1829. Urquiza 8136, Russell, Maipú. www. familiaditommaso.com 30

Finca La Celia

Familia Antonietti

One of the valley’s oldest wineries. They conduct excellent tours and tastings. (02622) 451 010. Av. de Circunvalacion s/n, Eugenio Bustos, San Carlos. www.fincalacelia.com.ar

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. (0261) 4390964/155688905. Pizarro s/n esq. Zalazar, Chapanay, San Martín.

ArgENTINA WINE AwArDS
This year the Wines of Argentina awards invited a guest panel of some of the ‘heavyweight’ journalists to judge the wines. A week of tasting in February saw the likes of Steven Spurrier from England, Jorge Lucki from Brazil and Patricio Tapia from Chile spitting and swirling some of Argentina’s finest wines. They awarded 58 gold awards, 256 silver and 276 bronze out of the 650 wines tasted. There were also 12 trophies on the night which are the big category winners and most coveted awards. Matias Riccitelli took home two trophies for best Malbec, making him one of the big winners on the night. Other show stopping winners were the regional trophy winners: Fincas Notables Malbec 2011 from Bodega El Esteco took home the North trophy; Patagonia’s prize went to a Cabernet Franc (2010 Fin Single Vineyard) from Bodega Fin del Mundo; San Juan’s big winner was the Paz Blend 2012 from Finca Las Moras; and Mendoza’s trophy went to Monteviejo for their Lindaflor Malbec 2009. As well as tasting and giving awards, the judges shared their thoughts on Argentine wine and its future with an audience of people in the industry at a seminar and tasting on Friday morning 21st February. Canadian journalist DJ Kearney encouraged Argentina to focus on terroir. “Regionality is very important, we want to know where the wine comes from,” she said. “We want to feel a sense of place.” While tasting she was particularly impressed with the red blends, and with one red variety in particular: “Cabernet Franc is absolutely thrilling.” Sweden’s top sommelier Andreas Larsson also said that he was particularly fond of blends. “I believe wine is better with blending, and Malbec is a variety that does very well with blending.” Most of the judges mentioned the improving diversity of the wines that they had tasted this time. British wine expert Steven Spurrier said that he was very encouraged by the new generation of Argentine wine makers and that these were exciting times. “There is a lot of energy here, which is great.” A full list of award winners is available at: www.winesofargentina.org

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USEFUL INFORMATION
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 (171, 172 or 173) from Catamarca and Rioja to Urquiza street (see below) 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 will do your hairdo right. Paso de los Andes 997 (esq. Julio Roca), tel (261) 641 6047

MAP OF MAIPU
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Aquarium St. Francis Basilica Conference Center Malvinas Argentinas Stadium Mendoza Zoo Craft Market Central Market Monumento al Ejercito Libertador St. Francis Ruins Department of Tourism Independecia Theatre Bus Terminal

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Anna Bistro Antares Bar Believe Irish Pub Patrona Restaurant Café Martínez Hyatt / Grill Q Restaurant Rojos Elegantes wine store La Reserva Pub El Mercadito Por Aca Don Mario Restaurant Queen Disco Blah Blah Bar Cachita´s Bar

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Trout & Wine Tours Currency Exchange Dentist: Dr. Rodrigo Martinez La Nave Cultural Intercultural CELE - Facultad deFilosofía y Letras Argentina Rafting Wine Republic Tours Hotel Argentino Cordón del Plata Bike Rental Estudio Megazzini Wine Institute Herzt Rent a car Wine Flite Greenfields Language School

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