Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mendoza, Argentina for Wine Festival

 Many people asked me how I got vortexed into Mendoza, Argentina for 2.5 weeks.  Its not the most fun city.  There's no night life like Buenos Aires and Cordoba.  Its so friggin hot at about 38 degrees on a bad day.  But I found this city quite charming.  The Wine Festival was going on and there was lots to see and do.  And about five times I made delicious asado with friends from the hostel.  Always I was the Asador (the cook).  In Mendoza, rather than using Carbon, they always use wood which you light on fire and wait an hour for it to turn into coals.  Sometimes the process of starting the fire and cooking the meat can take up to three hours.  One Asado we didnt even eat until 1am.
 Me and my French Canadian Brother Jules.  Jules visited Oshawa, Ontario for work last year.  He loves Canada and often wears his Canadian Hoodie.  He is in Mendoza for the next six months to study.  We both showed up to the same hostel on the same night and after that Asados and good times galore.  I am wearing my Mickey Mouse Golf Club Shirt.  Its not a real Golf League, just a Mickey Mouse League.  But I am an official member.
 Ampy from Usuya.  Works in a refugio near Mendoza.  She invited me up to the refugio for a couple days with her friends.  Very relaxed.  Drank fernet and cooked asado and had dance parties in the refugio until wee hours of the early morn.  Unforuntately there was lots of clouds so I couldnt see too much of the mountains.  Vallecitos Mountain REfugio is the name of the place.
 On the walk out from the Refugio beautiful trees, rivers and streams...oh how i love you Argentina.
 Back to Mendoza and the Wineries.  This one is famous and has been around for more than 100 years.  Very good high quality wines if you get a chance to drink them.  They wanted 80 pesos for the tour and the tasting but in the end we didnt pay... Nieto Senetiner you just got out-gypsied.  You have to try their Tardia Semillion which you can buy in the grocery stores in Carrefour.  Their Malbec is to-die-for as well... of course.
 Family loaded up in back of truck to head down to Plaza Independencia and check out the free concert.

Here is footage of the party:


 Just Relaxing in the Carrefour Grocery store having a picnic in the lawn furniture section with my friends Yohan (france), Clara (BsAs) and Lea (France).
 Here at Lopez Winery, the trucks roll up with grapes and are weighed.  The driver is paid for how many grapes he brings.

 The Door to Bodega Lopez.  Huge winery and 100% of the wine is dranken here in Argentina.
 Just a few of the grapes.
 These casks full of wine can hold up to 15,000 Liters.
 Here the wine is bottled by robots.
A street protest one fine Friday in Mendoza.  Lots of these, the people in Argentina are so political.
 24/7 non stop electro techno pool party beginning at Noon.  Unfortunately the hostel staff kicked us out from behind the bar.  This was at Banana hostel.  A great place in Mendoza with nightly dinners, a pool and very friendly and fun staff.
 The beer truck sits unnattended for anyone to come up and steal the beer.  This proves how safe of a place Argentina is.
Bike Lanes are not made for pigeons.  Not the most bicycle friendly city in Mendoza.  Not too many bike lanes.  A decent place for skateboarding though.  Everything is on a slight grade and you can cruise until your hearts desire.

What to do when the hostel beer is too expensive and nobody has the energy to go on a wine tour.  Make youur own tasting day.  Everyone brought a bottle and we sampled many different delicious wines.  Fabian on the right is a professional wine Maker from Switzerland so naturally he was our Tasting Leader.

All in all, Mendoza is a great place.  Imagine the Okanagon of BC in a giant Metropolis with rich history and beautiful parks, plazas and archictecture.

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