Friday, March 5, 2010

Fiesta de la Vendimia

So this weekend, you can find us at Mendoza's annual Fiesta de la Vendimia... what does that mean, exactly? I'll tell you what it means- the world's biggest wine festival, this weekend. Unfolding before our very eyes. Our timing on this trip could not possibly be better.

We got into Mendoza on Thursday morning after a very pleasant busride- apparently 'sin servicio' on AndesMar buses actually means a ton of snacks, movies, and beverages. Which makes me really curiously about their high-end buses. I can't even fathom the level of luxury they'd offer.

A quick recap from me on Chacra Millalen- it was absolutely amazing, an almost laughably picturesque little farm, tucked away in a lush mountain valley, with an incredible garden with any fruit or veggie you could want (really, it was astonishing), a fantastic group of people to work with (and Wes is right, Josephine is the coolest lady ever. She's an extremely impressive woman and person), and the best library ever. I managed to get through a ton of Oscar Wilde (finally read Dorian Grey, and I loved.. okay, really liked... it), a book of short stories by Julio Cortozar, a famous Argentine author (which were crazy, and written like poetry) and about 200 pages into Anna Karenina, which I was really enjoying and very sad to leave behind. I also had to patch up a big hole in my sleeping bag (uh oh!) and noticed the tent is a little worse for wear, weird since we're taking really good care of it, and its only about three months since we bought it. Funny thing though, there were two other groups at the farm who owned it (it's the REI quarterdome). So that was funny.

Wes and I bought a few jars of dulce before we left (we decided the jam we were eating before just tastes like sugary jello in comparison) and a recipe book, which I for one am very excited to use. I also picked up some great recipes from other wwoofers (a great one for latkes, brace yourself, Bari) including some amazing crust recipes for pies and crumbles. Basically all sugar and butter, but what do I care. So yeah, very excited about our new prospects for eating. All in all, it was definitely an experience I hope to repeat, because it was lovely- if you're ever in El Bolson, I highly recommend Chacra Millalen as a place to visit for a week.

Okay! Back to Mendoza now! The festivities begin with a big parade tonight- the White Way Parade of the festival's princesses (18 total, one from every province)- lots of floats and excitement, and the parade will be all lit up with white lights (against the dark, as it begins at 10 pm). Then tomorrow is the carnival-ish parade, with lots of noise and color and free food being thrown at the bystanders (whoo! free food!). And then tomorrow night is the coronation of this year's queen- we're rooting for the princess from our next farm's province (Tunuyan) so keep your fingers crossed.

Not to use the word laughably twice in the same post, but this weekend is turning out to be almost laughably perfect- we've being staying in a private room with a private bathroom in a hostel, and tomorrow we're moving to one with a pool, all for super cheap. The weather is around 80 degrees F and sunny everyday, and we're spending our time in the gorgeous plazas around the city, which is the most beautiful one we've been to yet. The wine is the cheapest it's ever been, the food is far cheaper than anywhere else we've been (so we're going to a nice restaurant tonight!); and all we do is sit around, read, and drink coffee and eat croissants/drink wine and eat empanadas/drink more wine and eat steak, depending on the time of day. I feel like we're on a vacation from our vacation. It's awesome. So yeah, we'll be back soon with photos and stories of the Wine Festival! Besos!


  1. I would love a peek at any jam/pie crust/any other great recipes!

  2. Jeanne! I can definitely make that happen- I'm bringing lots of recipes home in May, maybe we can have a sisters/nieces pie and jam baking/making day. I think limiting our sugar-fests to one annual get-together is definitely something to be reconsidered.