In 2012 several restaurants in Peru, Mexico, and Brazil inched their way up the World’s Best list and countless superb new restaurants opened. Last month I met with Noma founder Claus Meyer in Copenhagen and his words were “I think South America is the next continent.” He was talking about food and restaurants and the sheer amount of opportunity there for haute cuisine. There is much to look forward to…
After naming the grill master and author of the book Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way the executive chef of Siete Fuegos, the restaurant at the Vines Resort & Spa in the Uco Valley, Vines took the famed chef on a whirlwind tour of several US cities to celebrate with a menu of grilled sweetbreads, five hour rib eye, skirt steak, and a salt crusted salmon infiernillo with aioli. Everything was paired with Recuerdo Wines, now available in the US, which are produced at the Vines of Mendoza’s vineyards.
Michael Evans was a political consultant working with John Kerry and Rock the Vote, then went on vacation to Mendoza, Argentina in 2004. A year later, with co-founder Pablo Gimenez, he began Vines of Mendoza, a wine entrepreneurship program in the Uco Valley where owners, with help from Argentina’s most acclaimed viticulturalist Santiago Achaval, learn winemaking and create their own superior quality wine. In a few short years the project has grown to encompass a wine club, online wine store, tasting room in Mendoza, and soon a resort and spa.
Aesthetically, I have come to appreciate O. Fournier maybe more than any other winery in Mendoza. The dramatic architecture, cutting edge technology, glass enclosed restaurant, and art filled wine cellar have made the bodega here one of the most recognizable in Mendoza. During a visit to their Uco Valley winery in 2010 I found the team there to be surprisingly down to earth and approachable. Co-founder Jose Manuel and his wife Nadia Haron, the executive chef, were out chatting with the guests. Their daughter helped wait tables. This combination of elements all becomes reflected in the wine they produce.