Mendoza: Season of the Kvetch

The timing of my arrival at this particular edge of the Western winemaking world may have been especially unfortunate-- too close to the Holiday Season, which dovetails right into Summer vacation & is celebrated with leisurely, wine-soaked, late night asados-- featuring huge chunks of beef grilled in the backyard or the balcony-- as the sweltering, lingering heat of the evening finally cools down. This lifestyle might account for difficulties in casually setting up meetings--& my growing sense of a general unavailability in people.

I wonder if it's not a stretch of social psychology to look at the way class structure & rural conservatism might intensify the more general Argentino passive-aggressive traits to a particularly frustrating pitch in the Mendocino character--
One might unspool the theory of a provincial tendency-- pressure, even-- to be friendly & welcoming, that, hemmed in & compromised by harsh economic realities, results in inner conflict & dissonance, projected as fictionalizing self-aggrandizement...

It seems nearly everybody I meet has a cousin, an uncle, an ex-fiancé or former classmate in the wine industry. Sommeliers, waiters & waitresses & anybody else having dealings at any level with the business of wine warn me about how clannish & mercenary the big players are.

Everybody thinks my project-- co-branded small batches of minimally interventionist wine, marketed through a protected, streamlined 'supply chain' of emigrated Argentinos, & used to fund a network of cafés dedicated to linking diverse migrant groups' cultures--
is inspirational-- complex, but ultimately doable-- even of possible great social & economic import!
-- so people sign up on the idea emotionally, & generously bring their suggestions & solutions to the conversation-- but nobody calls back, nobody comes by with their friend as promised, nobody sends the introductory email linking me to the recommended key player that could, might, should help put the pieces together...

But maybe it's just me-- maybe my meagre, near-autistic social skills are not up to juggling the subtle negotiating complexities of such a multi-faceted undertaking-- least of all in a place like Mendoza, with its Byzantine, post-colonial socio-economic layering...