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Lunching in wineries is definitely one of the great highlights of spending time on Mendoza’s wine routes. There are dozens of excellent restaurants in wineries which offer everything from seven-course tasting menus to more relaxed a la carte dining. Some wineries in Mendoza are creating new and interactive culinary experiences that go beyond your usual winery lunch. Here are some of the most innovative culinary experiences in Mendoza at the moment.
A private soiree behind closed winery doors
Diamandes winery in the Uco Valley has a renowned restaurant, Diam’s, under the guidance of chef Santiago Orozco which serves a wine paired menu at lunch. The innovation at Diam’s though, is that the winery is now opening its doors in the evening for a private soiree for guests to enjoy an evening of delicious bites, live music and wine.
This exclusive evening out in the Uco Valley is the ideal option after a long day touring wineries, as the food (think of a tapas menu rather than full-blown dinner) is light, colourful and interesting and each different bite is paired with one of Diamandes’ excellent wines. Add a cocktail reception on the rooftop at sunset, a private tour of the cellar and sultry live music throughout the night, and this is a soiree to remember.
Cooking your own
Argentina’s cuisine is world renowned. Grilled steak, empanadas, chimichurri… they are staples that are quite simple to execute once you know the right tricks and tips. The ideal way to get to grips with mastering Argentina’s cuisine is through a cooking class, and there are several wineries that will guide you along your way in a delicious cooking class followed by lunch or dinner (eating what you’ve prepared!)
Try Alpasión in the Uco Valley for a private class with chef Héctor Ordenes and killer views over the Andes mountains; try the intimate experience at Finca Adalgisa’s farmhouse style home and boutique winery in Chacras de Coria with chef Cristina Brino; or try one of the original cooking classes in a winery — ‘Let’s Cook’ with Santa Julia and Zuccardi wineries in their Casa del Visitante in Maipu.
Mendoza’s cuisine is all about fire. Everyone cooks on an open flame - whether you are making stone baked pizza or empanadas, spit roast goat, roasting squash, or flashing a couple juicy steaks. In most wineries you’ll be able to see the BBQ lit and roaring as the chefs work over it, however, there if there is one chef who openly encourages the guest to be part of the fire show — it’s Francis Mallmann.
Argentina’s most famed and celebrated chef, Mallmann is renowned for his firework. He has restaurants across South America, including at the winery of The Vines of Mendoza. It’s here, at Siete Fuegos, where you’ll perhaps get the most spectacular fire show in Argentina — seven courses each cooked using fire in a different way (over fire, under fire, in fire, buried with fire and suspended by metal chains over fire to mention a few!) All paired with the different wines of The Vines’ community of winemakers.
By Amanda Barnes