South America

A Malbec for Mother’s Day

Sometimes you meet people who make you feel like you should be trying just a little bit harder. At least that’s how I felt after I spent some time with Laura Catena and her mom, Elena Catena, third and fourth-generation members of an Argentine-Italian winemaking family. Catena is an ER physician at the UCSF Medical…

Ten Things to Know Before You go to Chile

Ten things to know before you go to Chile 1. Passport. Here’s the link to the U.S. government page. 2. As always, pack as lightly as possible. If you can get everything into a carry-on and shoulder bag, do. Think black knit and roll everything up, stuffing underwear into shoes and then putting shoes in a bag…

South America memories

  Back home again today _ so weird to hear everyone speaking English! _ and still processing the many things I saw, learned and experienced on my trip down south. Here are some highlights. Sunset in the Mendoza, that was a magical moment as the sky slowly turned golden and a chorus of frogs tuned…

Aiming high in Argentina

The high desert of the Mendoza wine region is not the Napa Valley. But winegrowers in both places share a similar idea: Higher is better. In Napa, that means planting grapes on the slopes of the valley’s gentle hills. In the Mendoza, it means getting a little closer to the Andes. The theory for both…

Hola, Argentina!

  Friends, you know what’s a good way to introduce yourself to Argentina’s wine country? Riding through the vineyards of Mendoza on horseback. Yes, I couldn’t be more surprised myself, but that’s what happened. My horse, named Socket, for reasons I was unable to determine, was a teensy bit self-willed, but we got on tolerably…

Wine at the bottom of the world

In ancient times, map-makers wrote “Finis Terrae,” world’s end, on the spot now known as Chile. With the Earth being flat, clearly this was where the unwary traveler would go a step too far and fall off. Luckily, nothing like that has happened to me, yet, although there have been some rather complicated turns involving…