ISSN 1853-9610

MENDOZA’S FREE MAGAZINE

Nº75 October - november 2015

Mendoza
Winery
Guide

Maipu
Renaissance

Water Works

Irrigation was never so fascinating

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www.wine-republic.com

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contents
News Republic
Big Mountains, Big Air.......................................... 6
Will She Blow............................................................ 6
Wine Advocate Argentina................................... 6
Are you vegetarian?
Survival guide to Mendoza ................................. 8
WishList
Vegan-friendly wines........................................... 11
Water Works
Irrigation was never so fascinating. ............... 12

Maipu Rennaisance
The giant eastern wine district ......................... 24
Out & About
Dining out................................................................ 26
Winery Guide......................................................... 28
Bars............................................................................ 31
Maps & More
Useful information............................................... 33
Maps of Maipú and Chacras de Coria............ 33
Map of Mendoza City Center...........................34

Potrerillos Dam

CREDITS
Issue October-November 2015 | 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: mariana@wine-republic.com
Editor: Charlie O’Malley
Assistant Editor: Emilie Giraud.
Publicity and Publisher: Mariana Gómez Rus:
publicidad@wine-republic.com,
mariana@wine-republic.com
Design: Circlan.com .
Jona Conti. jona@circlan.com.
Printer: Artes Gráficas UNION
Contributing Authors: Emilie Giraud, Mariana
Gómez Rus.
Photos: Emilie Giraud, Mariana Gómez Rus. Jona Conti.
Illustrations: Donough O’Malley,
www.pencilrobot.net
Opinions expressed in this magazine are not
necessarily the editorial opinions of Wine Republic.
www.wine-republic.com

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NEWS REPUBLIC
Big Mountains, Big Air
Kite surfing takes off this month at Potrerillos lake
with the annual Kiteboarding Tour 2015, organised by
the Argentine Association of Kite Surfers. Some of the
best local and national riders will be competing in the
Freestyle, Big Air and Race categories. You can also
try your hand at this rising sport by taking part in the
instruction classes. After the event there is an “after
beach” party by the lakeside. The dates are October 10,
11 and 12. facebook.com/WachauPotrerillos

Wine Advocate
Argentina
Robert Parker’s love affair with Malbec continues with

Will She Blow?

the recent release of Wine Advocate’s Argentina 2015
tasting results. A whopping 400 wines were awarded 90

Argentines and Chileans are notoriously bad neighbors

plus points – double what the venerable wine magazine

and have a long history of quarrels and crossed

awarded Argentina in 2009. Top of the list is Gran Enemigo

words. The most recent spat occurred when the

and Catena Zapata with 98 points and though the list was

Chilean geological service announced unusual seismic

dominated by Mendocinian wineries, there was some

activity around Tupungato volcano and the strong

notable exceptions such as Noemia from Patagonia and

possibility that this historically dormant peak could

Colome from Salta. Some 1,056 wines were tasted from

erupt. Tupungato is 110 km south west of Mendoza

200 wineries. Big names dominated with only 30 wineries

city and just 75 km east of Santiago de Chile. Its 6,570

achieving the coveted 90 plus ranking. A more interesting

meter snowy summit can be seen from Mendoza city.

analysis is when you compare the price with the points

An eruption of Tupungato would cause an economic

ratio, wines scoring around 90 come out as the best value,

catastrophe to the wine industry here, especially in

with Alamos Malbec, Chardonnay and Torrontes topping

the prestigious Valle de Uco area, and shut down all air

the red and white list (both 90 points). Susana Balbo’s

traffic in and out of Santiago airport, a major airway

Crios red blend and Torrontes also gives good bang for

hub.

Such dire warnings by the Chileans caused

your buck (also 90 points). Top of the price versus points

panic amongst tweeters and bloggers and forced the

list however is a 93 point Chenin Blanc from Uco Valley ,

Argentine authorities to declare that they see no such

Gen de Alma JiJiJi. A bargain at $130 pesos. But for how

eventuality. So the question is: Who is right?

long? (Information courtesy blog.winesofargentina.com).

Tupungato. 6.570 meters above sea level.

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A VEGETARIAN´S
SURVIVAL
GUIDE TO
MENDOZA
By Emilie Giraud cannot

b

Argentines love meat. The locals eat on average
100 kilos of meat per year compared to 75 in the
US and 66 in France.
Argentinians are beef eaters above all. Their
beef consumption is twice as high as the world
average. They chew through as much as 62 kg
of beef, 29 kg of poultry, 7kg of pork and 2 kg
of lamb per person per annum.
They blissfully ignore nutritionists’ advice,
eating 4 times more than the recommended 500
g of meat per person per week.
Unsurprisingly, vegetable consumption in the
Land of Asado is proportionally way below the
average. The typical Argentinian consumes
three times less fruits and 8 times less greens
than what health specialists recommend.
It’s no coincidence that Argentine Malbec is
often described as “meaty” and that 90% of all
the back labels of wine in Argentina make meat
pairing suggestions.
No need to tell you that it is quite a challenge to
survive in Mendoza as a vegetarian wine lover.
But it is not impossible.
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How to Avoid Hunger
As a vegetarian, you will have to put your ego
to one side and accept to be seen as an outcast.
Don’t get offended if you are asked to justify your
dietary preferences. You are sure to be considered
either quite crazy or quite hippie.
Don’t hesitate to give details of what a vegetarian
diet is. The fact that chicken, fish or even ham
are not vegetarian-friendly is not as obvious as you
think.
Revise your concept of “salad”. In most places
and homes the portion of salad served is very small
and generally not really creative. Expect tomato,
onion and lettuce. It might not make your lunch.
Bring your own vegetables to asado nights.
Argentinian social life takes place around the
“parrilla“ and a traditional dish consists of 80%
meat 15% bread and if you are lucky, 5% salad. For
you not to feel excluded, bring some aubergines,

zucchinis, red peppers and potatoes to add some special treat ordering “primavera pancho”, the
colour to the barbecue.
veggie hot dog option at Mr Dog’s - bread with
“Vegetales asados“ are delicious, but sadly quite mayonnaise, ketchup and potato chips.
overlooked in the asador’s regular agenda.
How to Avoid Thirst
Alert travel agencies and tour leaders of your
dietary requirements.
Bring your own bottle to vegetarian places, or
Many places don’t have a regular vegetarian drink before.
option and need extra logistics to satisfy your The problem with many veggie places in
needs. It is a good idea to announce your Mendoza is that they don’t offer wine or they
vegetarianism in advance for you not to be have a very poor wine list. Check before if you
served a mix of side dishes.
can bring your own bottle. You might only have
to pay a corking fee.
Pizza Muzzarella, Pasta with white sauce,
risotto and empanadas capresse are going to Explain your specific needs to the sommelier.
become your best friends.
Not all wines are vegan or even vegetarian
friendly.
Don’t freak out, against all odds, there are Wine is not always only fermented grape juice.
vegetarian and vegan places in Mendoza
Before being bottled, many wines are clarified
I am still not quite sure whether it is an anti- and stabilized. The purpose is to eliminate yeasts
inflation trend or a real change in social habits and molecules in order to make the wine look
- but quite a few vegetarian places have opened clear, to lower the risk of unwanted flavours
in Mendoza in the last years and they happen during its ageing in bottle and to eliminate harsh
to be even packed at lunch. But the veggie diet tannins so the wine tastes smoother at a younger
seems to be mainly acceptable as a midday age.
option, as the vast majority of these places are This process called fining can involve some
closed at night.
animal-derived products like fish bladders
These little green havens work according to the (isinglass), gelatine, fish oil, shells (chitin), milk
buffet system. You compose your own plate, protein (casein) or egg whites (albumen).
weigh your food, heat it in the microwave and Bentonite, a clay alternative is frequently used
eat.
as a replacement. Some wineries try not to
There you’ll be able to taste corn or basil, use fining agents and to filter the wine only by
tomato and cheese empanadas, canelones, slow gravity decantation. The wine becomes
veggie noodles, vegetable croquettes, or the clearer on its own, but the process requires extra
traditional milanesa made of soya, aubergine production time.
or zucchini. If you are lucky, you’ll get to try If organic and biodynamic wines generally do
tomatican, an egg and tomato special.
not use animal-derived fining agents, more and
more wines from traditional wineries do not
Plan your night
either. But better to be prepared before asking
At night, even in a fancy restaurant popular the sommelier. For a selection of vegetarian and
among foreign tourists, a vegetarian diet causes vegan friendly wines, see the wish list in this
the waiter a bit of a head ache. The regular WR edition.
menu can be very diverse but proposes only
one vegetarian main course – normally a simple Come with some pairing ideas.
vegetable wok. Like it or starve. Later at night, Otherwise you might be recommended some
after 12, the problem increases drastically.
traditional and rather boring pairing. Many
In one case of extreme food emergency, waiters will advise you to pair your vegetarian
Mendocinian vegetarians give themselves a food with dry white wines but in reality lots of
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vegetarian food go very well with reds, and
intense ones as well. A local sommelier gave
me some tips that are a good starting point for
pairing food and wine in Argentina.
According to her, humita, a vegetarian northern
Argentinian specialty made with corn, matches
very well with local Salta’s wine like a dry
Torrontès or even a potent Tannat. In the case
of grilled vegetables like asado vegetable
or aubergine lasagna, because the veggies
are slightly caramelized, she would suggest
a Malbec or a Cabernet aged in barrel. the
vegetables are not grilled or if they are prepared
with soya sauce, she advises to pick a young
Pinot or a very light Merlot. A spicy white or
Syrah would perfectly balance a spicy dish.
For desert, late harvest whites pair well with
white fruits, peaches or apricot-based desert and
late harvest reds with black and red fruits, dulce
de leche, chocolate and hazelnuts.
In some, very few places, you might even
just feel perfectly normal as a vegetarian
wine lover.
Winery restaurants are making a more
concerted effort to provide adventurous
vegetarian fare. However in too many cases
the vegetarian option remains a second class
option, when it is not directly an improvised
mix of side dishes.
Melipal winery in Lujan de Cuyo decided two
years ago to put vegetarianism at the very
center of its gastronomic agenda proposing an
entire wine pairing vegetarian menu.
The intimate 25 Couverts restaurant is a
soothing experience for any vegetarian person.
Sat in front of a landscape of vines overlooked
by the majestic Cordon del Plata, you can
relax and not stress anymore explaining
your diet in broken Spanish. The vegetarian
menu is designed to match with the vegan
friendly wines of the winery, and you have
even different alternatives to chose from. The
seasonal five-course menu has a very nice
palette of aromas, textures and colours. Not
only did Chef Lucas Bustos and his sous chef
Juliana Millàn think about the pleasure of your
palate, they manage to make vegetarian food
look glamorous.
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Melipal

WISHLIST

Vegan-friendly wines
Cepas Elegidas Torrontés 2014
Cepas Elegidas or “ selected grapes “ is
the very exclusive project of winemaker
Brennan Firth. This 2014 edition of
2,550
bottles expresses the typical
characteristics of Torrontes from La
Consulta, Valle de Uco. Fermented with
indigenous yeasts, it is clarified using cold
and gravity. This soft Torrontès reveals
tropical notes and lush minerality. To
balance its good acidity, try it with a salad
of lentils, beet, green onions and balsamic
vinegar.
90 pesos in Sol y Vino vinoteca

Entrelineas Viognier 2013 Finca la
Escarcha
Finca la Escarcha was born from scratch
in 2004 in Tupungato, Valle de Uco. This
1,400 bottle Viognier edition comes from
hand selected grapes in the vineyard
and aged for 11 months in French oak
barrel. Fresh and unctuous, it expresses
herbaceous notes and a hint of smoky
aromas, has great acidity and great
structure. Clarified with clay based
agents. 208 pesos

Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon
2012
This Cabernet Sauvignon from the
renowned Kaiken winery spent 12
months in French oak barrels and was
clarified with clay based agents. The
potion is a very juicy, mineral and
somehow buttery wine, with spices and
a sweet finish. It has a very silky texture.
Accompany with spicy food. 190 pesos

Lilen Syrah Organico 2009 Bodega
Andalhue
Andalhue or “ land of the clear sun
“ is an organic winery located in
Ugarteche, Lujan de Cuyo. Fermented
with indigenous yeasts and no use of
clarification agents, this Syrah expresses
intense aromas of blackberry marmalade
and a hint of truffle. Nice with salted and
seasoned vegetables.. 120 pesos

Melipal Late Harvest Malbec 2011
Sweet tooths will love the traditional
Malbec from Agrelo in its late harvest
version. It is pretty incredible with hints
of dark chocolate, banana and dulce de
leche. Its aromas are of black fruits, dry
plums and vanilla.. Clarified with clayderivated agents. 155 pesos.

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Water Works
Emilie Giraud divines
the importance of water
in Mendoza and how its
abundance cannot be taken
for granted anymore
Potrerillos Dam

When I arrived in Mendoza, what first caught
my imagination was the drastic transition
between the dry desert surroundings and the
green, luxuriant city. Mendoza’s parks, plazas,
fountains, trees and its labyrinth of “ acequias “
lining every street belie this province’s parched
existence.
In the city center, you can live with the illusion
of water abundance for a while, but a trip to
the borderland quickly confronts you with the
reality. There you’ll find a latent fear of drought,
transmitted from generation to generation.
Rare are the truck drivers who do not offer a
bottle of water to Difunta Correa, a popular
saint who died in the badlands of San Juan. Her
newborn was found alive, clinging to her breast.
The desert highways are lined with little
sanctuaries heaped with plastic bottles, each a
plea for safe passage without incident or thirst.
The oasis of Mendoza is a drop of water
squeezed from the desert by the stubbornness,
creativity and constant effort of its settlers. It is
just 5% of the province. The remaining 95 % of
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the provincial territory is desert, mountain and
wild scrub.
If Mendoza is relatively close to the Pacific
Ocean, the gigantic Andes, home of the highest
summit in the Americas - Mt Aconcagua, act as
a natural barrier. The clouds coming from the
Pacific have no choice but to discharge their
humidity in the mountain while those coming
from the Atlantic go out in a puff in the Sierras
of Cordoba and San Luis.
It rains only 200 mm per year here, 4 times
less than other wine regions like Burgundy and
Bordeaux and 6 times less than in New York
City.
Ironically, the ability to steer water from
the mountain has been the cornerstone of
Mendoza`s geographical, economic and social
development. Irrigation is its identity, and
the good management of water represents a
challenge for the future.

The First Drops
The acequias (street canals), which are so much a
part of Mendoza’s identity, had been introduced
to the region by the native people the Huarpes.
According to accepted wisdom, the huarpes used
pre-existing geological faults to help water circulate
and irrigate their crops by flooding. The places
where they settled and grew crops were always
a little bit inclined in order to allow for a better
irrigation of the low lands. In the 1480’s, the Incas
and their high level of hydraulic knowledge arrived
in Mendoza and are said to have consolidated and
extended the irrigation system developed by the
Huarpes.

Irrigation.

Courtesy: Bodega Kaiken.

Upon the arrival of the Spanish around 80 years
later, there were four main acequias in what is now
Mendoza urban area. To indicate their importance,
they beared the names of the Indian chiefs and
would deteremine the territory of different peoples.
From the Spanish foundation of Mendoza in 1561,
the colonialists copied and extended the original
system of irrigation.
Interestingly, the Spanish colonial urban model “ la
cuadricula” had to adapt itself to the natural reality
of the region and integrate with the Indian channels.
The plan of the city, including the orientation of the
streets was affected by the rationality of water. In
the new map, the preexisting ditches and acequias
became the new limits of urban and rural sectors.
Only the names changed, reflecting who dominated
the territory.

The “Canal”.

Courtesy: Press Mendoza.

By the end of the 18th Century, the control of water
was concentrated in very few hands. A powerful
Mendocinian establishment appropriated for
themselves the best land with access to water. The
poor were relegated to the margins of the oasis. This
geography of poverty and affluence stills prevails
in contemporary Mendoza - the greener the place
the richer.
An Italian Genius
The end of the 19th century was a momentous
period in the development of the modern water

Potrerillos Dam

Courtesy: Diario Los Andes

Rudolf Steiner

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system. The creation of the railway linking
Mendoza to Buenos Aires in 1884 meant the
massive arrival of migrants. The oasis needed
to adapt its water distribution network to deal
with this new situation and the resulting growth
in crop production.
The very same year the railway was inaugurated,
the governor Bermejo created the Water Law
and the General Department of Water (DGA,
then DGI ) in order to normalize the rights
and duties of those who received water, the
irrigation infrastructure and the distribution of
water.
By 1885, the majority of houses had access to
drinking water. However, a year later, Mendoza
was plagued with cholera. The reason being that
the acequias served for everything - irrigation
of the streets, the fields, sanitation and drinking
water.
The arrival of the Italian engineer César
Cippoletti,
would
mark
a
profound
reorganization of the water supply. Cippoletti
was brought by the Mendocinian government
in 1889 with the object of “ taming the waters
of the American Summit ”. At the time, he
was world famous for being a pioneer in using
hydraulics to generate electricity, the inventor
of a gauge to measure better the distribution of
water and the creator of major water systems in
Europe and Egypt.
For Cippoletti :
“Water is the future, anyone who understands
that will sow progress”.
Cesare Cipolletti

Over the 8 years he spent in Mendoza, he
designed and supervised the construction of
the first water dam in the country in Lujan de
Cuyo which was completed in 6 months and
nowadays bears his name Dique Cippoletti.
This dam is the main point of distribution
of mountain water from the Rio Mendoza to
the oasis through the use of floodgates and
overflows that ensure a better water flow.
Inside the oasis, Cippoletti improved the
irrigation system and opened up thousands
of hectares of desert to cultivation. He also
created a separate network for potable water,
made the drinkable water canals more hygeinic
by covering them, and created a filtrating plant.
The eminent engineer become very powerful
in many different Mendocinian institutions
linked to water. So much so he provoked
jealousy and rivalry. At one point he got
expelled by the Mendocinian establishment
under the pretext that he had too many official
posts, that he did not speak the language and
did not enrol his son in the army.
After completing 18 dams in Argentina, and
numerous other irrigation works in San Juan,
Tucuman and Neuquen, political instability
with Chile forced him to return temporarily to
Europe. On his way back to Argentina, he died
in voyage.
History now recalls Cipolletti as a visionary
that was “born in water, dedicated to water
and died inwater “. In 1971, his remains were
finally brought back to Mendoza and buried
near a statue of him looking over Cippoletti
dam.
Dam the Future

César Cipolletti
November 11, 1843,
Rome.
January 23, 1908.
Was a water engineer
of Italian origin who
worked in Europe
and Argentina.

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In the mid 1920’s hydraulic engineers in
Mendoza came up with another plan. The idea
was to create an artificial reservoir of water in
the mountains, on the Rio Mendoza, in order
to control the water flow better, creating a
stock of water for irrigation and enabling the
production of electrical energy.
Potrerillos Dam was finally built 80 years later
and opened in 2003. 30 kms from Mendoza,

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it covers a surface area of 1300 hectares and
submerged the historical village of Potrerillos.
Nowadays, the magnificent expanse of water
with its lost village has become a favored weekend escape for locals.
The water from the dam also feeds two
hydroelectric plants and covers 20% of the
annual electric consumption of the province of
Mendoza.
The water is distributed through two historical
canals, Canal San Martin and Canal Cacique
Guaymallen, each of them replenished every 4
days according to the volume of water stored
in the dam. Those canals are then divided into
secondary, tertiary and quarterly canals. A
huge network of floodgates help to block or
release the precious liquid to the different parts
of the city. Mendoza now boasts 5000 km of
waterways and around 11,000 wells.
The Water Judge
In the growing oasis, there is fierce competition
for water. Nowadays, 81 % of the total quantity
of water is used for agriculture, 17 % for the
domestic network, 1% by other industries and 2
% for public irrigation.
The biggest consumer of water is the agricultural
sector which relies entirely on irrigation to
survive. It rains on average 200 mm of water
per year in Mendoza and a plant of vine needs a
minimum of 500mm of water per year. A square
meter of vineyard absorbs at least 300 litres of
water per year to survive.

tomero for 20 years. He explains to me that there are
two types of tomero, one is in charge of releasing
the water from the big channels, and the other, like
him, who works in secondary branches of the canal
and is responsible for cleaning, maintaining and
releasing the right quantity of water to the different
farms
To manage the logistics of irrigation, the Water
Ministry has created appointed water times, whose
timing depends on the surface under cultivation of
each farm. In the 700-hectare territory worked by
Carlos, the rule is to give 20 minutes of water per
hectare at a speed of 320 litres per second.
The responsibility of the tomero consists in checking
the level of water in the nearby dikes, opening the
sluice gates at the entrance of the network and
controling and cleaning the waste thrown into the
open acequias to prevent flooding the streets.
When the volume of water is normal in the
reservoir, each farm gets access to water every 12
days on average.
But when the level of water in the reservoir is too
low, irrigation is way less frequent. In that case, the

The same traditional method used by the huarpe
to water their land is used today. They get water
from the acequias and circulate it by flooding
small channels ploughed in the vineyard.
Two traditional Cuyo characters are in charge
of water distribution – the Water Flow Inspector
and the Tomero.
The latter is so important that there are popular
songs dedicated to the blessed Tomero. To
understand better this very unique, regional
career, I went to meet 39-year-old Carlos from
Colonia de Junin. He has been working as a
16

Meltwater

17

tomeros cut the flow of water in the irrigation
system for a week every two weeks.
Sometimes such a time lapse can endanger the
plant.
Luis, a peach farmer, told me that once his
orchard did not see water for 28 days. It was
so harsh on the plants that he decided not to
cultivate one part of his property.
Carlos the tomero confesses that when he started
working 20 years ago, the water was never cut.
It was always circulating in some part of the
system, except for the Christmas holidays.
“But now the cuts are very frequent“.
According to him, there is fundamentally less
water and many small farmers that have no
access to wells have abandoned farming in the
last years and sold their property to real estate
agents.
In this harsh context, I ask him if people were
sometimes so desperate that they would steal
water from others. He laughs and adds :
“Sometimes, no. All the time. Being neighbors.
Can you imagine the conflicts over water ?”

The “Toma”
Courtesy by
Emilie Giraud.
..

“People use a lot of little tricks to steal the
water“ he adds. like putting sticks below
the sluice gates to prevent them from closing
entirely. With pressure, they get a very nice flow
of water”.
When you catch someone doing that, what do
you do ? I ask him. He replies wisely that he
doesn’ t get too involved.
“You can’t do much, They even break padlocks.
They are terrible. Here you know, if we don’t
have water, it’s complicated, and people do
things out of desperation”.
The next neighboring farmer who gets less
water because of theft can report it.
“When it is his turn, he is the owner of the water,
so it is his responsibility to report if he is being
robbed.”

18

Irrigation.
Courtesy: RucaMalénWinery .

19

A little amused, he adds :
“It is considered a serious crime. People
reported for stealing water can get a criminal
record. If they do it again, they can theoretically
get into serious trouble. But in reality, nothing
happens. This is Argentina. You need to report
an offence, to bring witnesses and then not much
happens”.
The tomero is offered lots of bribes. People
regularly give him peaches, aubergines, spinach
for a minute more of water.
In the past, the tomero wasn’t paid by the DGI,
each farmer would pay him.
”Can you imagine how it worked ? Men would
meet him at the sluice gates with a shotgun ”
There is no doubt, Water is definitely a question
of power in the Province.
The DGI even wanted at some point to give to
the tomeros the tittle of Water Police.
Carlos doesn’t approve of the name. He prefers
I call him the Water Judge.
Crisis! What Crisis?
The scarcity of water is worrying people.
Last summer, bill boards that have since been
covered by political propaganda, were warning
the population that Mendoza was in a “Hydric
Emergency”, and it was quite common to have
the water cut in your house and hotel between
10 am and 10 pm
Eduardo Sosa, founder of the Mendocinian
environmental NGO OIKOS, explains to me
that since the foundation of the city up until
20 years ago, there was enough water for
domestic, industrial and agricultural use. Since
then Mendoza has expanded in population,
and has required more land for agriculture and
urban development. That requires more water.
Currently the oasis does not entirely satisfy the
demand for water.
He states ”We lack investment in water
distribution and a purification network. For that
reason there is a poor efficiency. There is water
but the system has collapsed ”.
20

Courtesy: Emilie Giraud

According to the INA, two thirds of the water
distributed for irrigation and domestic use is lost
because of overflows or leakage. Only about 5 %
of the network has been waterproofed and it’s not
rare to find Mendocinian streets full of water due
to big waste blocking the acequias. Carlos the
tomero told me that people get rid of “everything
you can imagine” in the acequias. One day he
even found a mattress blocking an acequia.
There is also a lot of waste and contamination in
the use of water both in the agro-industrial and
domestic sectors.
“In general, the typical Mendocinian winery
requires 3 litres of effluent for 1 litre of wine. It
is way above what is practiced in other countries.
In France, they use half a litre of effluent for 1
litre of wine”, says Eduardo. “ The DGI says that
seven out of ten wineries have problems with the
treatment of effluents”.
According to him, the majority of the traditional
wineries in Mendoza are more focused in selling
than thinking about sustainability. Unless
consumers show interest in the water print of

21

wine, probably little is going to change.
As for the domestic consumption of water, the
price of potable water has no relation to what is
actually consumed. The bill is calculated by the
size of the house and the number of people in
the household. This creates little concern about
unnecessary waste. Consuming more or less
water does not impact your wallet.
From a social perspective, the contamination
of water increases inequality and tension. As
Eduardo explained to me, the underground
reserves of water have been contaminated
little by little and nowadays, only people or
companies with good financial backing can have
deeper wells and access to good quality water.
The small producer who doesn’t have access
to copious amounts of water must decrease his
production. He gets poorer and eventually sells
up to richer owners, concentrating the land in
few hands.
Apart from the lack of efficiency in the water
system, global warming studies show that the
scarcity of snow in the high mountains is an
even bigger threat.
In her thesis, French doctor in geography
Emilie Lavie explains that 95 % of the water in
the oasis of Mendoza comes from snowfall in
the Andes. 85 % comes from the yearly snows
and 15% from direct rain or glaciers
Her concern is that with climate change, there
will be less mountain snow to feed the river.
Mendoza is living on its reserves -the glacierswhich according to many different scientific
studies are rapidly losing their volume. One
of the two main glaciers that provides water the Juncal glacier - is said to have retreated 7
km, losing 25 km2 of its surface and 33% of
its volume in a century. That’s 1200 millions
square meters of water.
Experts expect the total disappearance of the
glaciers in this area by 2100 and more alarmist
studies predict this will happen by 2040.
The relationship between Mendocinians and
water used to be very intertwined. That closeness
has been lost with the fast urbanization of the
city. The survival of the oasis will depend on
people thinking long term and reconnecting
22

with Cippoletti’s idea that water is fundamental
for the future.
I leave the last words to Eduardo.
“In 20 years, I imagine there will be more
conflicts concerning access to water. If we
make good decisions such as promoting a
change of crops that better protect the soils
and improving the use of the water resource,
we will diminish our vulnerability to climate
change. “Everything will be played out in
the next few years. We must start to think in
ecological terms, and that starts with oneself”.

Cipolletti Dam
Courtesy: estrategiasymercados.com

Water Treatment Plant
Courtesy: Diario Los Andes

23

Charlie O’Malley
discovers
Mendoza is
no longer just
history.
Photos courtesy: AMP Cavas,
Tapiz, Trivento, Roggerone, Don
M. Villafañe, El Enemigo, Finca
Agostino and Mariana Gomez
Rus

In 1884 two young SwissItalian stowaways crossed the
Atlantic seeking fame and
fortune. They ended up in
Maipu, Mendoza where they
started a winery that became by
the 1920s the biggest winery in
the World. Giol employed five
24

thousand people and produced
60 million liters of wine. It
was so big it transported its
wine by pipe to the local
railway station where it was
shipped in rail tanks to Buenos
Aires. The two adventurers
became filthy rich, married
two beautiful sisters and built
two palaces next to each other
near Maipu plaza.
In many ways Gerónimo
Gargantino and Juan Giol
happened to be in the right place
at the right time. Mendoza was
booming, shipping tankers of
wine to the thirsty metropolis
of Buenos Aires. Maipu was
the epicenter of that boom and
a long list of mostly Italian
winemakers operated from this
wine district, 30 minutes east
of Mendoza. Toso, Lopez,
Vicchi, Frugoli, Borbonese,

Longoni, Trapiche, Cerutti,
Rutini, Cavagnaro, Palazzo,
Falco, Bertona and Furlotti
are all household names in
Argentina. Maipu was their
base of operations.
Sadly the 20th Century did
not live up to the promise of
the 19th. A crisis enveloped
the Argentine wine industry,
wine consumption plummeted
and a whole raft of wineries
went bust. Modern Maipu is
now scarred with a multitude
of abandoned wineries and
warehouses, testament to its
faded glory. Giol, the king of
all vintners, was taken over by
the government in the 1930s
and became a huge corrupt
wine monster run by political
appointees who knew nothing
about making wine, and less
about running a business.

To pay wages it would dump
cheap plonk on the market and
it eventually tottered towards
bankruptcy in the 1990s. The
winery is still there, and looks
like an abandoned oil refinery.
An inauspicious end to such a
star performer.
And so Maipu faded. Even
when the wine boom returned
in the early 20th century, the
focus was to the south and
west, to the higher regions of
Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de
Uco where altitude and malbec
became the new buzzwords.
Accepted wisdom among wine
aficionados was that if you
wanted quality you headed for
the hills, and leave low lying
Maipu to the budget bikers and
tetrapak lovers.

But those budget bikers were
on the right track as they
experienced the charming Old
World vibe of wineries such
as Rutini and DiTommasso.
Trapiche, the natural heir to
Giol and the largest winery to
South America, refurbished
its main building and created
a prize winning wine tourist
facility. Another wine giant
Trivento opened its doors and
vineyards to the discerning
wine tourist, many of them
on bike.
Family owned
operations like Tempus Alba,
Domaine St. Diego and
Carinae attracted a steady
flow of wine lovers, the former
making wine overseen by
Michel Rolland. Zuccardi
became the first to open seven
days a week and offer what is
now a famous winery lunch.

Maipu is not just about history.
Young, innovative winemakers
like AMP have started food
and wine pairings at Casa
Coupage.  Club Tapiz have
combined fine dining with olive
oil tastings. Alejandro Vigil of
Catean Zapata fame has begun
a bohemian culinary wine
adventure at his idiosyncratic
winery El Enemigo.  Cecchin
have become leaders in organic
wine production.
New operators like Finca
Agostino and Villafañe have
invested time, money and
expertise in creating wine that
rivals the best from Lujan de
Cuyo and Uco Valley. No
longer is Maipu the ugly sister
but should be an essential stop
on every wine lovers Mendoza
itinerary.

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 $250 pesos. Bistro
M Executive Menu $280 with starter
buffet, main course, dessert buffet and
glass of wine.

El Mercadito

Grill Q

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: $150/(including starter, main dish,
dessert+a glass of wine)

26

With an attractive fairy lit patio and
terrace outside, this is the perfect spot
for some lunch time sunshine or al
fresco dining. Run by three friends,
El Mercadito has a cool vibe and
relaxed music making it a favorite.
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.

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: $170

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.

Anna Bistro

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 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: $385 pesos.

Katharina Restaurant.

Suspended between Heaven & Earth,
in an idyllic setting that resembles
a zen garden, Katharina Restaurant
at the luxurious Entre Cielos Resort
is now open for breakfast, lunch, tea
time or dinner. Argentinian classics
are revisited with an international
touch and all the ingredients are
organic and locally produced with lots
of vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Creamy ginger and pumpkin soup,
succulent sweetbreads with malbec
jam and a very tender grilled lamb
with orange flavored chimichurri. A
talented mixologist is on hand to serve
Prickly Pear Cocktail made with the red
fruits of cactus grown on the property.
Thursday and Sundays are asado
nights and cooking cooking classes
are available conducted by the chef
himself.
katharina@entrecielos.com /
Entre Cielos – Guardia Vieja 1998 Vistalba / +54 261 498 33 77

Finca Agostino

Elegance, history and the perfect
marriage of food and wine is what
you’ll experience by dining at the
restaurant of Finca Agostino winery.
Ancient vines with stems as thick
as tree trunks look in upon a light
filled, stylish interior with enough
space to dance a tango. The overall
vibe is polished and handsome. The
food is equally majestic - 5 courses of
well thought, imaginative dishes that
are paired exquisitely with all the
wineries wines - often explained and
described by the chef Sergio Guardia.
The menu is seasonal with much of
the ingredients freshly picked from
the property’s organic vegetable
garden and orchard. Creamy pumpkin
soup was the starter when I dined
there and the main course a choice
between prime beef or Mendoza kid
goat. If you have time make sure to
take a tour of the property which
includes an art gallery and replica
plaza of Plaza España in Mendoza city.
Cookery classes are available where
you get to pick your own ingredients
and prepare and cook bread on an
open fire, empanadas, humitas and
asado. Carril Barrancas 10590, Maipu.
tel 2615249358.  Avg. meal price $400
pesos.
www.fincaagostino.com

Los Negritos

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

La Marchigiana

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.
Avg: $135. Los Olmos ST, Las
Vegas, Potrerillos. (261)155697431.
bodegonlosnegritos@gmail.com. Fri
to Sun and holidays. From 12pm to 4
pm / GPS: S 33013370 - W 69272293

Katharina

Los Negritos

27

the winery guide
LUJANDE
DE
CUYO
LUJAN
CUYO

Nieto Senetiner

Dante Robino

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

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) 496 9099, Guardia Vieja
S/N, Vistalba, Lujan de Cuyo. www.
nietosenetiner.com.ar

Founded in 1920, an atmospheric oldstyle winery with a modernist, lightfilled tasting room with excellent view
of mountains and vines. (0261) 488
7229 Ext. #2. Callejón Maldonado 240,
Perdriel. www.bodegadanterobino.com

Clos de Chacras

Melipal

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

Great Malbec and gourmet lunches
make Melipal one of the most exclusive
wineries to visit. (0261) 4790202. R.N.7,
1056km, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. www.
bodegamelipal.com.ar

Luigi Bosca

Mendel

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

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

Terrazas de los Andes

Viña Cobos

Septima
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

Bonfanti
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.

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

Pulenta Estate

Tapiz

Norton

Great wine lodge Club Tapiz, high-end
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

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

Belasco de Baquedano

Benegas Lynch

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

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

Catena Zapata

Piattelli

Navarro Correas

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

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

Cruzat

Caelum

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

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. (261)156992890. R.N.7 km 1060,
Agrelo. www.bodegacaelum.com.ar

Renacer
This Chilean-owned winery creates
the label Punto Final. Small, modern
operation with tour that includes a
hands-on lesson in blending. Brandsen
1863, Lujan de Cuyo. 261-524-4416 or 261524-4417. www.bodegarenacer.com.ar

Kaiken
This rustic 80 year-old winery houses a
new venture by the prestigious Chilean
winery Montes. Big and powerful wines,
destined for fame. TEL (0261) 476111114 INT 113 / Movile (0261-153 530 789) /
Movile (0261-155 509 453) Roque Saenz
Peña 5516, Las Compuertas, Luján de
Cuyo. Open from Mon to Sat from 8 AM
to 6:30 PM/SUN and holidays from 9 AM
to 1 PM. www.kaikenwin es.com

Alta Vista
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

28

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

REFERENCES
Restaurant
Lodging
Driving time from Mendoza City
Art Gallery

LOCATIONS REFERENCES
Luján de Cuyo

San Martín

Maipú

Valle de Uco

Mendoza City

Chandon

Ruca Malen

Achaval Ferrer

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

Excellent food, great guiding and firstclass wines. The pairings over lunch
make for an unforgettable culinary
experience. (0261) 5537164 - 2614540974.
R.N.7, Km 1059, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo.
www.bodegarucamalen.com

Dolium

Dominio del Plata

Decero

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

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

Lagarde
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

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

Casarena

La Madrid/Durigutti

A beautiful mix of old and new, this winery
mixes tradition and modernity in an
old style winery with a super modern
restaurant with splendid views of the
vineyarsd and mountains. Brandsen 505,
Perdriel. www.casarena.com.
Tel 2616967848.

Tucked away in a restored winery in
Las Compuertas, you can taste single
vineyard and terroir blend wines from
both of these ambitious projects from
under one roof. Walk-ins welcome.
Roque Sáenz Peña 8450, Las Compuertas,
Luján de Cuyo. (261) 562 9134/35.www.
durigutti.com www.lamadridwines.com

Ojo de Vino
A modern winery in Agrelo, notable
not just for exceptional wines such
as the Malo Blend, but also the fact its
owner is the Godftaher of Techno, Swiss
musician Dieter Meier. The winery
restaurant Ojo de Agua, has a delighful
setting next to a vineyard lake.
Bajo Las Cumbres S/N. Agrelo. Tel
2615731688. hospitality@ojodevino.com

Estrella de los Andes

Vistalba
Tasting room where one entire wall
is a subterranean cross section of the
actual vineyard clay, roots and rocks.
Fab restaurant. (0261) 498 9400. Roque
Saenz Peña 3135, Vistalba. www.
carlospulentawines.com

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

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

Maipú
Trapiche
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

El Enemigo
One of Argentina’s most talented
winemakers Alejandro Vigil opens the
door to this colorful and unconventional
boutique operation. Boisterous, gourmet
lunches offered.
Videla Aranda 7008, Maipu. Tel.261 697
4213

Finca Agostino
Elegant and picturesque winery with
ancient vines and walled orchard. Offer
superb lunches and cookery classes.
Carril Barrancas 10590, Maipu. Tel.
2615249358. www.fincaagostino.com

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.

Familia Cassone
A charming, family owned winery in a
beautiful setting. Try the jasmine tinted
rosé amidst the pastoral splendour of the
owner’s expansive garden. Anchorena y
Terrada. (261) 424 6301.
www.familiacassone.com.ar

29

the winery guide
Don Manuel Villafane

25

Modern winery in the wide open
vineyards of southern Maipu. Intense,
complex wines.
Ruta 60 s/n, Rodeo del Medio. Maipu.
Tel. 2615083067. www.dmvwines.com

Trivento
Located in the bucolic splendour of
southern Maipu, Trivento is owned
by the Chilean Concha y Toro. This
modern winery has a beautiful deck
set amidst the vineyards and offers
bicycle excursions within the property.
Ruta 60 y Canal Pescara, 5517 Maipú,
Mendoza. Tel: 0261 413-7156. www.
trivento.com

Flichman
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

Familia Di Tommasso
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

Familia Zuccardi
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

Cepas Elegidas
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.

AMP Cava
Premium wines made from different
terroirs but all by renowned winemaker
Karim Mussi Saffie. Technical tastings
and a close proximity to the city
make it a recommended visit. Gómez
Adriano 3602. Coquimbito. Maipú - (261)
4813201/4668048

Rutini / La Rural
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

Cecchin
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

Carinae
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

Tempus Alba
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

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.
Facebook/Bodegas Lopez Oficial

VALLE DE UCO
Andeluna
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

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

Finca La Celia
One of the valley’s oldest wineries. They
conduct excellent tours and tastings. (02622)

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451 010. Av. de Circunvalacion s/n, Eugenio
Bustos, San Carlos. www.fincalacelia.com.ar

Salentein
Designed like a temple to wine, this ultraconcept 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

Clos de los 7
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

O. Fournier
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

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

Bodega Masi
Fascinating Italian job in the heart of
Tupungato with commanding views
and commanding wines, especiially the
Amarone inspired varietals and unusual
blends. Tel. (0261) 156539573. www.
masitupungato.com

Domaine Bousquet
Another French transplant to the
Andean foothills of Valle de Uco, this
sizeable operation produces high altitude
Chardonnay, Merlot and Malbec and
now has a popular restaurant serving
excellent tasting menu lunches. Ruta 89.
Tupungato. www.domainebousquet.com
Tel 2615274048

The Vines of Mendoza
There are not many wineries that can
claim 300 different labels, but then again
The Vines is no ordinary winery. It is best
described as a cooperative of wine lovers
around the World who have all bought a
vineyard plot each in Uco Valley and are
making their own wine in a central winery
with experts such as Santiago Achaval
overseeing. Add to this a fabulous 5-star
hotel and Francis Mallman restaurant and
Uco Valley will never be the same again.
Ruta 94, Tunuyan. Tel 261 461 3900

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.
MATIAS DOWN TOWN
Victorian style decor and multiple ales to choose from is
enough to soothe the nostalgia of any barfly foreigners.
Downtown Matias is part of a successful beer chain starting
in Buenos Aires in 1973 and now with bars as far as San
Martin de los Andes in Patagonia. Mendoza’s version is right
in the heart of beer street and ideal for a sidewalk stop-off or
some serious high stool imbibing inside. Aristides 198.
ANTARES BAR
Aristides street would not be very complete without its own
micro-brewery bar. Antares is the real deal and a pioneer
in this respect with bars located across the country since
before it became trendy to brew your own grog. Its long
bar displays tempting casks of great quality beers such as
Scottish ale and Irish stout. This expansive bar packs them
in at night and serves decent pub grub too. Antares Bar.
Aristides 153.

Velvet
This hip new club and bar is located 15mins away from
Mendoza in Chacras de Coria. Boasting good cocktails and
great music, spread over a lounge bar and downstairs club
room, this is the best ticket in town for good times on a
Friday and Saturday night. Mision Alfoz, Viamonte 4961,
Chacras de Coria (261) 467 433.
BELIEVE IRISH PUB
One of the few bars in Mendoza with a bar counter and
high stools to prop yourself up on. Kelly, the English partowner/pub-mascot is almost always there to share a chat
and a smile with the crowd; which is most likely a factor
in its notable popularity among expats and travelers. On
the menu is a great collection of draught beers, bottled
beers (try the Warsteiner) and surprisingly decent pub
grub. TV screens hang in every corner airing hit musicvideo 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
Black Sheep
Just off the Alameda strip, the Black Sheep is an Americanstyle sports bar with big screen TVs and decent bar food
like nachos, homemade burgers and hot and spicy chicken
wings. While especially popular during sports matches, The
Black Sheep is one of the few bars to stay open everyday
from 12 till 4am so you can grab a pint whenever you like!
Maipu 131, Mendoza (261) 561 4283.

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USEFUL INFORMATION
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, Carinae and certainly Trapiche. 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. 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. CHANGING DOLLARS - “Cambio, cambio” shout the arbolitos (money changers) outside Galeria Tonsa (San Martin
1173), the place to go if you want the best street rate. Larger denomination notes are preferred. To make sure you are not getting ripped
off check the current rate of the “dolár informal” on www.ambito.com. The Mendoza rate is generally 30 centavos less.

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