Mendoza, Argentina

Journey through Mendoza, the Great Argentine Winemaking Province


Parra Sea
A plain full of vines between the Catena Zapata winery and the Andean pre-mountain range.
Accurate aroma
Jaquelina Ascoetti tastes a wine in a small wine shop in the center of Mendoza.
Nightfall at Cavas Wine Lodge
Dusk highlights the facade facing the mountains of the pre-Andean mountain range of the wine hotel Cavas Wine Lodge.
Raw material
Large bunch in a vineyard at Cavas Wine Lodge.
Finca Flichman Cellars
Welding worker in the barrel room of the Finca Flichman winery belonging to the Portuguese company Sogrape.
Eno-Inheritance
Aged corner of a winery in Lujan de Cuyo.
Hard choice
Visitor examines bottles stored in the winery.
Wine, tapas and cheese
Cheese board prepared by the wine hotel Cavas Wine Lodge.
villa in vineyard
Villa at the Cavas Wine Lodge hotel, lost in a vast expanse of vines on the outskirts of Lujan de Cuyo.
Finca Flichman Style
Exquisite decoration and lighting from the Finca Flichman winery.
Saffron flavored conversation
Friends chat at a table at Bar de Viño Azafran, in Mendoza.
San Martin Tower
View of Mendoza with the emblematic Torre del Pasaje San Martin in the foreground.
Pre-Andean Vineyards
It was planted at the foot of the mountains of the pre-Andean mountain range, near Lujan de Cuyo.
winery circle
Barrel room at the Catena Zapata bodega.
aged wine
Cellar filled with dust in a tasting shop in the city of Mendoza.
Wine in pesos and on sale
Wine showcase at the Azafran bar in Mendoza.
Winery meeting table
Catena Zapata winery meeting room.
In the XNUMXth century, Spanish missionaries realized that the area was designed for the production of the “Blood of Christ”. Today, the province of Mendoza is at the center of the largest winemaking region in Latin America.

“Well, then you know. Cross the first sector of the vineyard and see your villa at the bottom on the right”!

Cecília Diaz Huit directs us, still somewhat apprehensive due to the obvious visual abyss that separated us from the other guests, almost all wealthy South American executives or vacationers, dedicated to wineries.

It had only been a year and a half since we met this enterprising Argentine. On her first visit to Mendoza, we found her as Marketing Manager at the local Hyatt hotel. He had already suggested to us then that he was preparing more ambitious flights.

To date, most visitors to the province of Mendoza have stayed in the homonymous capital. They set out to discover the vast winemaking domain spread across the endless surroundings of Godoy Cruz, Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo. Vast areas, if we take into account that the province of Mendoza is almost the size of Portugal.

Cecília and her winemaker husband Martin Rigal understood the gap. They did not hesitate to resolve it.

When we returned to the area, they welcomed us to their newly opened wine hotel, located in a corner of Lujan de Cuyo's vine-green sea, isolated by the immensity of the landscape. In fact, among several wineries with whimsical architecture.

Villa at the Cavas Wine Lodge hotel, lost in a vast expanse of vines on the outskirts of Lujan de Cuyo.

And a view of the snowy mountains of the pre-Andean mountain range.

They were not, by far, the first to take advantage of the sunny fertility of those parts.

The Long History of Enology in the Province of Mendoza

The first Spanish colonists noticed, shortly after arriving there, the dryness and irrigable aridity. They also noticed the great thermal amplitude in the region. It was they – especially the Catholic missionaries – who planted the first experimental vineyards.

Wine production remained for a long time creole and localized. In the XNUMXth century, the intensification of the immigration of Italians and Spaniards – also French and others – made oenology begin to be taken seriously.

From then on, competition between family wineries led to a process of maturation of the wine industry that the construction of the railway between Mendoza and Buenos Aires, in 1884, favored.

Despite this progress, until three decades ago, despite being the fifth in the world in terms of quantity, Argentine wine was not exported. It was considered too inferior to the one imported from Europe by the French-style mansions of Buenos Aires.

Eno-Inheritance

Aged corner of a winery in Lujan de Cuyo.

By that time, winery owners found that beer already occupied a significant part of the national alcoholic beverage market. And that the annual per capita consumption of wine had dropped from 25 liters in 1960 to less than 10.

They were forced to redouble their efforts. They resorted to foreign investors and winemakers. Its entry into the scene meant that, in a short time, the best Argentine labels were spotted and recognized around the world.

Catena Zapata. A Successful Eno-Producing Family. Among So Many Others

The Catena Zapata family, arriving from Italy in 1898, has become one of the biggest owners of vineyards in the region and a case of enormous success.

When we visit its winery and headquarters, we are dazzled by the sumptuous grandeur it has endowed with, designed with influence from the Mayan pyramids of Tikal.

The welcoming yet pragmatic posture and pompous speech of Nicholas, the heir to the throne of this wine dynasty, also impresses us.

Barrel room at the Catena Zapata bodega.

Nicholas Catena Zapata sits comfortably atop one of the hundreds of kites in his eccentric cellar. The slender, elegant figure fits in perfectly with the basement environment, yet refined that surrounds us.

"I'm glad it impresses you!" whisper to us as we stroll in disbelief through the building's sumptuous round barrel room. “We spared no effort to build a seat worthy of family history. As you may already know, my predecessors have great responsibility for everything that Mendoza has become.”

The miracle that allowed the Catena Zapata clan and so many others of European origin to take advantage of an almost desert so that it would generate 70% of Argentina's wine production today has few secrets.

Raw material

Large bunch in a vineyard at Cavas Wine Lodge.

The Geological and Climatic Particularity of Mendoza

The province of Mendoza is located, in Argentina, at approximately the same latitude as the capital Buenos Aires but at the opposite longitudinal end of the country.

It appears in an inhospitable and sandy expanse, at the foot of the Andes mountain range which, here, is shared with neighboring Chile, stands more imposing and colorful than anywhere else in South America.

It is crowned by the highest elevation in the Western Hemisphere, Mount Aconcagua (6962 m).

Mendoza's continental location shelters the region from moisture from both the Pacific and the Atlantic. Provides an absolute predominance of sunny days and strong daytime thermal amplitudes.

But if the water only very rarely falls on the flat areas of the province - which often happens in the higher mountains - it ends up sliding over them in flows fed by the melting and the slope, more or less voluminous depending on the time of year,

It was these rivers and streams that the Spanish settlers learned from the Huarpes Indians to channel in a complex network of canals and aqueducts in order to irrigate a sea of ​​vineyards that grew over the centuries.

Parra Sea

A plain full of vines between the Catena Zapata winery and the Andean pre-mountain range.

This engineering also enabled the development of the region's homonymous capital.

Homonym City, Soul and Heart of Mendoza

Mendoza – the city – is famous for an incredible density of huge plane trees that protect it from the harshness of the contrasting climate. Its urban trees are irrigated by countless dimples (open-air canals) that follow the wide avenues downtown.

This is the case of the pedestrian Avenida Sarmiento, where the esplanades dominate the shade and allow residents to enjoy the inevitable picadillos e moon averages (croissants) as they debate the nation's favorite themes and traumas.

As dimples they can, however, do nothing against the tectonic movements observed in the area. As a precaution, the city of Mendoza was endowed with large squares.

Its primary function, the refuge of the population in the event of an earthquake, is somewhat vanished by the improvised picnics, by the Naps and other forms of leisure that the Mendocinos have perfected over time.

Mendoza is not what is expected of a capital.

The vines are long gone but the green remains and predominates. So dictated the landscape design of Frenchman Carlos Thays, author of a surprising work, recognized around the world as one of the most brilliant urban expressions of an oasis.

Founded in 1561 by the Spaniard Pedro del Castillo, as we have already seen, in an area of ​​great seismic activity, the city would soon pay for its ignorance or, worse, its negligence. It was razed by a strong earthquake and only in 1863 did it receive a new layout.

Today, its buildings are rare and homes with more than 4 or 5 floors.

View of Mendoza with the emblematic Torre del Pasaje San Martin in the foreground.

Naturally, the local commercial activity is also organized, to a large extent, in terms of wine.

As Wineries and the Wine Tastings of the Eno-Argentine Province

There are located many of the agencies that organize visits to the wineries more tourist-oriented. Cases of the Escorihuela or La Colina de Oro.

Wine

Cheese board prepared by the wine hotel Cavas Wine Lodge.

Or La Rural, the winery that houses the largest wine museum in South America, where we can find on display the tools used by the region's settlers in planting the inaugural vineyards.

There are several single-storey buildings in the center that house small fitting rooms, little concerned about their insignificance compared to the pomp of their counterparts on the plain.

We walk down any street when Jaquelina Ascoetti recruits us to join the bodeguita what is your work. And tasting a series of Argentine wines that he is in charge of promoting and selling.

Accurate aroma

Jaquelina Ascoetti tastes a wine in a small wine shop in the center of Mendoza.

In a gentle and gentle way, the young Mendoza serves us a little Malbec, Cabernet, Syrah, Pinot and Torrontés, in some of the samples, refined combinations of these varieties.

“What do you think?? As old as Europe may be, we have already produced some wines to match yours, don't we?” We cannot disagree. We are grateful for the hostess's dedication.

We say goodbye for a long walk to the famous Azafrán wine bar. That night, we had a tapas dinner with Argentine culinary gestures.

Friends chat at a table at Bar de Viño Azafran, in Mendoza.

And we drank a few more glasses of the invigorating nectar of the gods of Mendoza.

Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
San Ignacio Mini, Argentina

The Impossible Jesuit Missions of San Ignacio Mini

In the century. In the XNUMXth century, the Jesuits expanded a religious domain in the heart of South America by converting the Guarani Indians into Jesuit missions. But the Iberian Crowns ruined the tropical utopia of the Society of Jesus.
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Salta and Jujuy, Argentina

Through the Highlands of Deep Argentina

A tour through the provinces of Salta and Jujuy takes us to discover a country with no sign of the pampas. Vanished in the Andean vastness, these ends of the Northwest of Argentina have also been lost in time.
Mendoza, Argentina

From One Side to the Other of the Andes

Departing from Mendoza city, the N7 route gets lost in vineyards, rises to the foot of Mount Aconcagua and crosses the Andes to Chile. Few cross-border stretches reveal the magnificence of this forced ascent
Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
El Calafate, Argentina

The New Gauchos of Patagonia

Around El Calafate, instead of the usual shepherds on horseback, we come across gauchos equestrian breeders and others who exhibit, to the delight of visitors, the traditional life of the golden pampas.
Ushuaia, Argentina

The Last of the Southern Cities

The capital of Tierra del Fuego marks the southern threshold of civilization. From Ushuaia depart numerous incursions to the frozen continent. None of these play and run adventures compares to life in the final city.
Beagle Channel, Argentina

Darwin and the Beagle Channel: on the Theory of the Evolution Route

In 1833, Charles Darwin sailed aboard the "Beagle" through the channels of Tierra del Fuego. His passage through these southern confines shaped the revolutionary theory he formulated of the Earth and its species
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
Iguazu/Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Great Water Thunder

After a long tropical journey, the Iguaçu River gives a dip for diving. There, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, form the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the face of the Earth.
El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

A Farm at the End of the World

In 1886, Thomas Bridges, an English orphan taken by his missionary foster family to the farthest reaches of the southern hemisphere, founded the ancient homestead of Tierra del Fuego. Bridges and the descendants surrendered to the end of the world. today, your Estancia harberton it is a stunning Argentine monument to human determination and resilience.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
Safari
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
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A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Adventure
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
The Crucifixion in Helsinki
Ceremonies and Festivities
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
Nigatsu Temple, Nara, Japan
Cities
Nara, Japan

Buddhism vs Modernism: The Double Face of Nara

In the 74th century AD Nara was the Japanese capital. During XNUMX years of this period, emperors erected temples and shrines in honor of the Budismo, the newly arrived religion from across the Sea of ​​Japan. Today, only these same monuments, secular spirituality and deer-filled parks protect the city from the inexorable encirclement of urbanity.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Meal
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
khinalik, Azerbaijan Caucasus village, Khinalig
Culture
Chinalig, Azerbaijan

The Village at the Top of Azerbaijan

Set in the rugged, icy 2300 meters of the Great Caucasus, the Khinalig people are just one of several minorities in the region. It has remained isolated for millennia. Until, in 2006, a road made it accessible to the old Soviet Ladas.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Sport
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
forms of payment when traveling, shopping abroad
Traveling
Travel does not cost

On the next trip, don't let your money fly

Not only the time of year and in advance with which we book flights, stays, etc. influence the cost of a trip. The payment methods we use at destinations can make a big difference.
Vanuatu, Cruise in Wala
Ethnic
Wala, Vanuatu

Cruise ship in Sight, the Fair Settles In

In much of Vanuatu, the days of the population's “good savages” are behind us. In times misunderstood and neglected, money gained value. And when the big ships with tourists arrive off Malekuka, the natives focus on Wala and billing.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
History
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Singapore, Success and Monotony Island
Islands
Singapore

The Island of Success and Monotony

Accustomed to planning and winning, Singapore seduces and recruits ambitious people from all over the world. At the same time, it seems to bore to death some of its most creative inhabitants.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Winter White
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
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Literature
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso, Brazil, Véu de Noiva waterfall
Nature
Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso, Brazil

In the Burning Heart of South America

It was only in 1909 that the South American geodesic center was established by Cândido Rondon, a Brazilian marshal. Today, it is located in the city of Cuiabá. It has the stunning but overly combustible scenery of Chapada dos Guimarães nearby.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
Natural Parks
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
U Bein Bridge, Amarapura, Myanmar
UNESCO World Heritage
u-bein BridgeMyanmar

The Twilight of the Bridge of Life

At 1.2 km, the oldest and longest wooden bridge in the world allows the Burmese of Amarapura to experience Lake Taungthaman. But 160 years after its construction, U Bein is in its twilight.
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Characters
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Beaches
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Bathers in the middle of the End of the World-Cenote de Cuzamá, Mérida, Mexico
Religion
Yucatan, Mexico

The End of the End of the World

The announced day passed but the End of the World insisted on not arriving. In Central America, today's Mayans watched and put up with incredulity all the hysteria surrounding their calendar.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Society
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Curieuse Island, Seychelles, Aldabra turtles
Wildlife
Felicité Island and Curieuse Island, Seychelles

From Leprosarium to Giant Turtles Home

In the middle of the XNUMXth century, it remained uninhabited and ignored by Europeans. The French Ship Expedition “La Curieuse” revealed it and inspired his baptism. The British kept it a leper colony until 1968. Today, Île Curieuse is home to hundreds of Aldabra tortoises, the longest-lived land animal.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.