The South American wine industry is booming…

South America has actually been making wine since the 1500’s. Back then, the wine was crap. Franciscan Monks planted Mission grapes (including Pais and Criolla Grande) to make wine for religious purposes.

Read more here via winefolly.

Image via Winefolly
Image via Winefolly

Argentina: Dos and Don’ts from a 1st-time Visitor

The $100 Argentine peso. PHOTO: Gina Vergel

via Sounds and Colours:

I traveled to Argentina for the first time recentl and I’ve come up with a to-do list for aspiring Argentina travelers:

DO detox beforehand, and I’m not talking about alcohol. (According to most guidebooks, and what I personally experienced, Argentina is not a get pissed drunk kind of place.) What I was referring to was your diet. You’re going to eat meat. Lots of it. (If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll have to eat lots of pasta or find the very few vegan eateries). But just give in and eat it. Every day. Maybe, even, twice a day. It’s what they specialize in. If you can find a host family, or hang out with some cool Airbnb hosts, pray that they have a parilla at their home and treat you to a typical Argentine asado cooked on their special parilla grills. It will be the most amazing slowly barbequed meat you’ll ever eat, I can guarantee it!

DO NOT just visit Buenos Aires. If you’re a wine enthusiast (or just a plain wino, like me,) you must visit Mendoza for it’s small city charm and plentifulbodegas. (Think: complimentary and lengthy tastings.) I’m fortunate enough to have family in San Juan, a province about two hours north of Mendoza. It’s a must-visit gem. You’ll find farms and vineyards tucked in rolling hills and a picturesque set of mountains surrounding the place. The El Dique (the damn) de Ullum is a must visit. The spring and summer draws scores of Argentines, who relax, chat (they’re big on chatting!), and drink their beloved mate. (Read about this special drinkhere. There are rituals to it, as I found out after trying it. I’m sorry, prima!)

El dique of Ullum, San Juan, Argentina.
El dique of Ullum, San Juan, Argentina. PHOTO: Gina Vergel

Read more here.

Pablo Escobar, Alf, and E.T., on the Argentine peso

Drawings on the Argentine peso by El Fafero.
Drawings on the Argentine peso by El Fafero.

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Don’t worry, the country isn’t officially paying homage to the likes of Alf. It’s a guerilla (but not viral, considering he’s not using technology) art campaign by Argentine artist, El Fafero.

Other bills feature Diego Maradona, Robocop, and Marlon Brando. Check out El Fafero’s Twitter page here, and the full story (in Spanish) via Mundo Fox.