Friday, September 29, 2006

Domaine St. Diego

Domaine St. Diego is one of the more picturesque bodegas in the Maipu region sitting at the base of terraced foothills that one can leisurely stroll through on a self-guided tour among an alternating stamds of grapes and olive trees. When Peter and Zoe were in town we took them out for the tour -- well worth the effort (it was killer we had to drive about 20 minutes from our house on a beautiful day and then spend an hour walking through a beautiful vineyard).

The famed Mendocino oenologist Angel Mendoza (I read somewhere that he is famous) and his son Lucas (not yet famous) have focused their attention on small harvests from only the best vines and produce a well balanced and smooth tinto vino. They also produce the famed Angel Mendoza Damajuana (a damajuana is a big jug of wine) Domaine St. Diego uses the riddling process, hand turning each bottle to produce a wonderful sparkling as well. This bodega is one of our favorites to visit in the spring and summer especially as the terraced fields and walking trails are in full bloom during that time of year.

Peter and Zoe took some time out from the arduous trip to sit on the bench that the Familia Mendoza has built from old vines -- they are such newlyweds (they still call each other "honey" and "sweety" -- that will wear off). And, then we were off to see the Tapaus Distillery -- not wine, but made from grapes -- more on that soon.


Monday, September 25, 2006

BBQ Pizza

BBQ Pizza is a delicacy in some small towns in the US, but it takes on a whole different meaning when you are actually cooking the pizaa on a BBQ (or parilla if in Argentina) instead of adding some BBQ sauce to a chicken pizza. I find it hard to imagine anything much worse than chicken and BBQ sauce on a pizza – not so with pizza made on a parilla. David, one of the partners at Vines, was the chef -- In addition to the pizza David made some of his famous hamburgers – just in case the pizza didn’t work out.

While the first couple came out a bit on the well done side (I have included a photo to the right to give you a sense of what it looked like). Once David got the technique down the pizzas were quite good. OK, so that is not a picture of the pizza – it is the cover of an AC/DC album – but you get the point. Not that I am complaining.

The night also logged the end of a long day for some of the staff who were giving a tour to a pair of architects from the US who are helping the team design the Vines Resort. John & Hadrian, the architects, had spent the day touring the countryside to get a feel for the Mendoza lifestyle – so they were a little bit tired from the long day (and not being used to Argentine scheduling, they were probably ready for bed when we started cooking at 10:00 PM).

And on that note, I am out like the lights.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Zoe - Guest Blogger Eats Way Through Mendoza

Aiy aiy aiy! Where to start? We've been visiting Vince, Jan, and Amelia for a few days. It's amazing how much we've crammed into a very short time--we've been drenched by the only rainstorm in the last nine months, seen snowflakes in the Andes one-quarter the size of my hand (the Andes!!! Mi dios! Holy vaca! Que lindo!!!!), giggled with Mia for hours in the backseat of a long car ride (ok, Peter was in the front seat, but still...), tasted Pablo's Torrontes (do not pass go, do not collect $200, order mucho of this vino from the Vines immediately), visited the most beautiful vineyard ever and had a private tour from the owner's son who taught us about the tears of the wine (not its legs like we say in the US), and ate ourselves silly.

Have you ever recuperated from a carne coma? Jan and Vince threw us an asado the other night--con choripan, morcilla (that's blood sausage to the uninitiated), grilled queso (mmmm, the queso!!!) {Editor's Note: We call that Provaleta -- she is correct it is great}, lomo, bife, pollo, y mas, y mas, y mas. And then the postres. I think there were some veggies too, but who really cares about them {Editor's Note: there was a vegetarian citing at the Asado -- scary, we are going to have to fumigate}. We ate and ate and ate, then ate some more {Editor's Note: They ate just as much as she claims - it is the first time anyone has ever eaten four servings of provaleta}. As a result, we spent all day yesterday recuperating from the meat hangover {Editor's Note: Isn't that a vision you want in your mind -- meat hangover}. Perfecto!

Monday, September 04, 2006


All right then -- no word on my old computer. And, to be honest I don't really expect any. As I left the Mendoza Police station the officer called out to me that they would call me when they found something. The only problem with that was they didn't ask me for a phone number. They didn't expect to need one, and i don't expect to hear from them.

Luckily for me some friends were in the states and I now have a new computer. One with a nifty little camera right in the screen. What do you think of this photo I took of Amelia? Gotta love this technology stuff. Next trick will be video Instant Messaging -- anyone want to be the test case?

Now if I can just keep this computer from being stolen all will be good in Mendoza once again.