South America

A Malbec for Mother’s Day

May 5, 2011
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...
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Ten Things to Know Before You go to Chile

November 5, 2010
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...
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South America memories

October 15, 2010
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...
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Aiming high in Argentina

October 13, 2010
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...
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Hola, Argentina!

October 8, 2010
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...
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Wine at the bottom of the world

October 7, 2010
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...
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Travels in France

Lovely Languedoc

  I don’t think six weeks is a long time to take to put together a slideshow on my visit to the Languedoc, do...
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Carcassonne: A Fairy Tale City

The ancient walled city of Carcasonne had me before hello. Just driving up to the fantastically fairy-tale expanse of walls, turrets and towers was...
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Languedoc dogs

Look out, winery dogs of Napa Valley. Yes, I know you’re cute and featured in all sorts of books and articles, but let me...
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Swept away by cassoulet

Ever get annoyed by people who go to the South of France and proceed to rave over the victuals? Well bite me, because today...
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Top 5 differences between hiking in Berkeley and the South of France

Somewhere between the vegetable gazpacho and the duck confit, I realized my hike in La Clape, part of the Languedoc wine region of France,...
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Party like a paparazzi at the Cannes Film Festival

Two things are vital if you want to chase stars at the Cannes Film Festival. First, you need to know a clued-in and friendly...
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