Source: La Nacion
(this article has been translated using Google Translate)
SAN RAFAEL - This is another Mendoza. The landscape of vineyards and olive groves the allied with the region surrounding the capital, but San Rafael has its own seal.
In a rural environment, the trees intertwine their glasses on the avenues and streets with ditches forming an endless green roundabout. The city appears as an extension of the surrounding agricultural enterprises, some of the wealth of the area, not only producing wine and olive oil, but also a wide variety of fruits.
When going through their particular urban layout, with avenues Hipolito Yrigoyen and San Martin as axes, one wonders: what is the center? But formally, San Rafael has no center. Even the main square-tidy with this renowned passion for clean-Mendoza reaches the civic center profile so common in every city in the country. All is peace and quiet in this beautiful place, with a surprise unthinkable: a Wi-Fi system in the open and under a gazebo, an Internet audience.
Along the main streets are lined up all kinds of shops, restaurants and hotels. In the so-called Kilometer Zero boutiques are concentrated and well-known local brands.
Much to discover, in a vibrant and industrious. No doubt his circuit of wine tourism is one of the most popular. It has important wineries like Goyenechea Lavaque, rock and Bianchi, who receive visitors. The route invariably starts with a pass through the Bee, the oldest, founded as San Rafael by French Rodolfo Iselin in 1883. Are still preserved along with the imposing original buildings house the soaring ceilings and huge wooden barrels, a symbol of the era, along with a modernized center of recent wine tasting in the cellar.
There are also a number of new establishments, especially boutique, with limited edition wines to know. Intimayu on the walls, is one of the most recognized. Original 30, was acquired in recent years by the family Radijoy, Slovenian farmers tradition. They set about the vineyards and the winery that has won major prizes in international competitions.
Another site to keep out is Wine Estates & Champion Cotton Club, enjoy the day special for wine tourism combined with excellent cuisine, and for golf fans the possibility of a drive at the 18-hole course which winds through vineyards and design small gaps. The complex also has a lodge, a house decorated in an elegant country style with every comfort imaginable. For those who like there are bubbles of the Champagne and Mumm Winery Bianchi, the group Pernod Ricard, which provide two rich foaming.
Flavors, calves and secrets
Fans to experience new flavors in San Rafael will find various options to enjoy the place and also to take home. The region, a major producer of fruits and vegetables, especially peaches, has specialized in the subject premises, as Tastes, family company with long experience in agriculture. In what was for many years his home, Juan Manuel Martinez offers a colorful display of packaged products which are blended sweet and hot peppers, vegetable antipasti, grilled or smoked eggplant, like sun-dried tomatoes and pasta. News like buckets of garlic and shallots pasta with traditional black and green olives are just some of the many options in their extensive exhibitor.
Two other sites are offering a wide range of Calves and Cuesta Secret of the Andes. The olives, a typical product of the area, visible in the number of olive trees that comes along in any way, are the soul of extra virgin olive oils that can be found in the city. As the traditional Yancanelo that on Yrigoyen Avenue site has its own tasting.
Smoked lovers should shop around Secretos del Monte, Raul and Marilín site Bianchi installed some years ago in what was once an old butcher shop. There you will find in pieces, feteadas, vacuum packed, canned and even whole pieces of smoked meat at low temperature with a special process and flavored with salt and natural spices. There are to choose between wild boar, deer, salmon, pork, pheasant, rhea. They also produce a rich selection of cheeses with the same treatment.
By Marta Salinas
To THE NATION
In this scenario could not miss good places to eat. The offer is great, especially of simple restaurants and grills. For good palates is a restaurateur, warm atmosphere in recycling an old building opposite the plaza. There, Ana Paula Gutierrez, known chef and trainer of chefs, has a menu with dishes recipes recovered from the province, as tomatic, which prepares itself against the people, the rhythm of which is naming a cueca ingredients. Worth trying the traditional meat ravioli dough or dried tomatoes and olives, among other delicacies, which proposes the menu, accompanied by wines from the extensive cellar of the house.
Nearby is General Ramos, who remembers the old corner store in the field, lined with wooden shelves and displays with a complete collection of products in the area. Famous for its generous bites served on tables, with selection of smoked fish and cheeses, which can be tasted in some table on the sidewalk. In the restaurant Tierra Mora, a modern and comfortable boutique hotel opposite the leafy park H. Yrigoyen, Lucian shows off his young chef, with a letter prioritizes recipes rich in fish and Malbec on Yrigoyen, eat the best homemade pasta in town. Prices in these areas covered range from 30 to 50 dollars without wine.
Adrenalin, the other ingredient
During the winter months, San Rafael is filled with colorful costumes passengers warm, stop here way to Malargue and Las Lenas, but from November to May, the best time of the region, along the beautiful circuit of Valle Grande , Atuel Canyon and El Nihuil, where water has a starring role. On Route 173, and half an hour away, the circuit goes into the spectacular canyon of towering walls, up to the Valle Grande dam, a huge emerald green lake, with its villa surrounded by hotels, lodges and campsites.
Towards the dam's Nihuil take a road where the red-white landscape contrasts with the Snow Hill and the circuit is filled with yellow, pink and green, until the surprising Wax Museum, where they appear as sculptures that nature carved over countless years, which one can discern figures carved animals, hanging gardens, processions of professors and even ... Rivadavia's chair.
The road continues between walls of rock and rises to the heights of the plateau from there to enjoy the beauty of the immense body of water formed by the dam's Nihuil, punctuated by the colors of many candles of surfboards. The find adventure tourists in Valle Grande proposals to choose from: hiking, rappelling, canopy, canyoning, paragliding and others. But without doubt the most exciting is going rafting on the rapids of Atuel. Listed as a Level II on a scale of VI in rubber boats with oars for four people or doky, only two, previously equipped with appropriate equipment provided by the company, embarks on a thrilling journey through the intricacies of the murmuring river, marches and countermarches, ups and downs where to test the ability to master the constant swirl.
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