The picturesque city of Mendoza Argentina is known for its Spanish colonial architecture, Plaza Independencia, incredible thermal pools like Termas de Cacheuta, and of course famed Malbec wine regions. A short two-hour flight from the buzzy capital Buenos Aires – beloved for its European architecture, vibrant nightlife, and the best culinary scene in South America – Mendoza is mellow and the wine flows easily. Enjoy your journey through Mendoza’s delicious reds.
Malbec Wine Region
Malbec is the most celebrated grape in a wine region, exploding in popularity in the early 2000s, despite its complex and difficult history. Guides and local winemakers are eager to tell their personal stories. The Malbec grape’s unique need for lots of sunlight makes Mendoza, located 3000-4000 thousand feet above sea level on a high plane beside the Andes mountains ideal for wine-growing. The high altitude has a unique and important impact on the grapes, so much so that many of the 1,500 wineries display signs proudly stating their specific altitude. Try to plan your visit around the Vendimia Festival, a two-week celebration that runs from the end of February into early March. Parades, music, dancing, and fireworks mark the beginning of the Mendoza harvest season. The excitement and pageantry draw thousands of visitors every year.
Mendoza Argentina Wineries
With over 1500 wineries stretching across three wine regions in the Providence of Mendoza – the area is an endless stretch of vineyards, mountain peaks, clear skies, and some of the best architecture in the world. With renowned estates like Zuccardi Piedra Infinita winery, Bodega Las Toneles, and Salentein it’s no wonder Mendoza is considered one of the nine wine capitals of the world.
Lujan de Cuyo
Located 40 miles south of Mendoza this region is dominated by Malbec. You’ll also find great Chardonnay and Torrontes but it’s their Malbec that helped put Argentina on the world’s wine map. Most of the wineries require reservations so a bit of pre-planning or joining a tour is encouraged. On the can’t miss winery list are Ruca Malen, Dona Paula, and Catena Zapata.
With its breathtaking views, Uco Valley is becoming one of Argentina’s best-known regions famed for its high altitude (3000ft), dry climate, and award-winning Malbec. Our favorite stops include Andeluna, Bodega Azul, and Atamisque, but be sure to make a reservation in advance.
The closest wine region to Mendoza, Maipú is your best bet for a spontaneous adventure. Many of the wineries are located closer together, don’t require reservations and you can bounce between them on a bike (vino in hand). We recommend visiting Trapiche, Bodega La Rural and Finca Agostino.
Tribe tip: Getting to the wineries or activities in the Andes often involves a short drive (up to about 90 minutes) out of the city. Renting a car is highly encouraged not only for convenience but also because the scenery is stunning.
If you can’t decide which of the region’s vineyards to visit, try a full-day tasting tour. All you have to do is select your Mendoza wine region: Luján de Cuyo, Maipú, or Valle de Uco, and let the experienced guides and wine connoisseurs do the rest. Escaping into the Andes to go whitewater rafting, horseback riding, or paragliding is also part of Mendoza’s allure and be sure to explore the museums like the Museo del Vino and Museo Fundacional.
The Spas In Mendoza
Mendoza is known for its incredible spa resorts hidden in the vineyards and throughout the city. Cavas Wine Lodge is one of the most romantic options, each guest has their own private lodge hidden in the vineyard. The spa’s Moorish-Roman architecture creates a space that feels intimate while the treatments feature products created from local crops like grape seed extract. Entre Cielos is also on our best spa in all of Argentina list, with its sleek minimalist concrete design, unique treatments like grape seed body scrubs, wine baths, heated indoor pool, and hammam.
The Culinary Scene in Mendoza
Mendoza is also a foodie destination with restaurants and specific dishes created to highlight the wines. Much like the rest of Argentina steaks are something of a religion in these parts. The bright acidity of a great Malbec pairs impeccably with slow-roasted fire-grilled steaks. Many of the wineries like Andeluna offer elevated culinary experiences by talented chefs with wine pairs. Our not-to-be-missed advice for foodie travelers is to make time to visit Siete Fuegos at the Vines of Mendoza in Uco Valley. The Andes serve as the backdrop to a true gastronomy experience featuring a boutique wine list and their famous 9-hour ribeye. It’s well worth the drive out of the city.
Gauchos and Adventure Travel in Mendoza
While Mendoza is known for its food and wine, it is also an exciting destination for adventure travelers. Hike the Cerrado de la Gloria trail for stunning views of the Andes on one side and the city on the other. Or get the best of both worlds, an authentic Groucho adventure combined with great food and wine with a horseback ride led by Argentinian cowboys through the Andes stopping mid-ride to prepare a delicious meal.
Best Hotel to Stay in Mendoza
Casa de Uco Hotel, is a chic, industrial style, eco-friendly resort in the heart of the Uco Valley, occupying a 320-hectare estate. Just 90 minutes from central Mendoza, it’s a wine lover’s dream with enormous floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor pool surrounded by sun loungers, and a menu focused on ingredients from the herbicide and pesticide-free estate gardens.