Wine, Steak and a Closed Mountain Pass: Mendoza

Mendoza, Argentina
6/5-6/11

Wine

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Photo credit.

Argentina has been in the international wine scene since the 1990s, when smaller batches of high-quality wine started being produced over larger batches of low-quality wine. Bonarda, Malbec, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are all produced in this dry-arid region. There are over 1,500 wineries and the list of wine is endless…

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Photo credit. Mendoza’s wine regions.

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Domiciano Vineyard in Maipú. We had two days in Maipú- unexpectedly- and two days of wine-tasting at Domiciano- also unexpectedly, which did happen to have amazing wine. We first did a DIY bike-tour through Maipú, which is not the beautiful, lush green, mountain vista vineyards that you would imagine yourself biking through when someone says “bike + wine + vineyard”. More like disheveled-stray-barking-dog type of thing, where you can’t actually FIND the vineyards. But alas, we decided for a second try and booked a 5-hour shuttle tour for the next day, going to two vineyards in Maipú- Domiciano again and a smaller winery- an olive oil factory and a chocolate factory.

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Olive oil tasting at an olive production factory. The chocolate in Argentina? Not as impressive.

Steak

So why does Argentina have so much (amazing) steak? The Spanish + the geography + the invention of refrigerated trains in the 19th century. Once again, we found ourselves eating “the best steak we have ever had”.

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La Barra. Our favorite steak dinner was at Cordillera Vinos y Fuegos.

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Provoleta. A provolone parrilla. Who doesn’t love a melted-grilled cheese??

A Closed Mountain Pass

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Did someone say “Cancel class and close the pass”? A famous quote by Tim Loes. 9′ of snow on the Argentinian/Chilean border, Libertadores. We had planned to spend two nights in Mendoza and move on to Chile, however 9′ of snow on a pass in Chile doesn’t get plowed very fast. And did I mention Argentinian airline workers decided to strike on the very two days we were trying to leave? So two nights turned in to six nights in wine country…

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Termas de Cacheuta. A day at the thermal bathes outside of Mendoza.

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Cacti outside Termas de Cacheuta.

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Happiness soaking in thermal hot waters.

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One of the five main plazas in Mendoza: Plaza Independencia, Plaza España, Plaza Italia, Plaza Chile and Plaza San Martín.

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The new city-center of Mendoza can be seen to the right- a main square (big green) with four squares surrounding, created after the 1861 earthquake, which killed 1/3 of the population at the time.

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Plaza San Martín.

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This guy is making us the “best steak of our lives”. Parrilla in Argentina.

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Hangar 52 brewery. Amazing beer! Amazing atmosphere.

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Time to get on a bus- anywhere between 18 and 30 hours “con suerte” (with luck)- our only option for getting into Chile to meet our schedule. We will travel way south in order to get north. South America. Next stop- Santiago!

 

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One thought on “Wine, Steak and a Closed Mountain Pass: Mendoza

  1. Very cool! Strikes do happen, but you could be stuck in a much worse place. I only had 3-4 days in Mendoza and I did a few excursions while there (white water rafting, horseback riding, waterfall rappelling, ziplining) and some winery tours. Those thermal baths look awesome- wish I had known about those. Looks like a great time!

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