Taking a Wine Tour in Argentina
One of the most popular Argentina vacation packages for international travelers is a trip to Argentina’s famous wine country. Argentina has a rich wine history, with the country producing a variety of wines such as Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Bonardo, and Malbec. In fact, Argentina is known for creating some of the best Malbec wines in the entire world.
If you are planning a trip to Argentina to taste the country’s wine, make sure you visit the Mendoza wine region. This is the largest, most important wine region in the country and is where you will find 75 percent of Argentina’s vineyards. Nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, many of the region’s vineyards sit at altitudes as high as 6,000 feet above sea level. The altitude, combined with the region’s dry climate, creates a range of unique wine varieties that can be sampled by tourists on a wine tour of Argentina and this very special region.
When Should I Visit Mendoza?
If you are considering one of the many Argentina tour packages that focus on the Mendoza wine region, make sure you take into account the time of year that a wine tour is offered. Many tour guides will tell you that it’s possible to visit Argentina wine country all year long, thanks in large part to the Andes Mountains blocking most of the rainfall and creating a pleasant, temperate climate. However, seasoned travelers know that autumn (from March to May in the Southern Hemisphere) is really the best time of year to visit if you want to enjoy the various harvest festivals that take place in wine country during the fall season.
The 3 Major Wine Producing Areas In Mendoza
Mendoza is made up of three major wine-producing areas: the Uco Valley, Maipu, and Lujan de Cuyo. Each of these growing areas produces slightly different grapes and features regional specialty wines. In addition, the landscape of each area creates a unique feel that sets each one apart from the others. To see all three areas during your wine tour of Argentina, plan to spend a minimum of five days exploring the countryside. (But a week or more would be ideal!)
Here’s a breakdown of Mendoza’s three major wine-producing areas and their most popular wineries to help you pick from the many Argentina vacation packages that you have to choose from:
The Maipu Valley
Located in and around the city of Mendoza, this is the easiest Mendoza wine region to visit. Most wineries in this region can be visited without a reservation and welcome walk-in visitors. An added bonus is that the wineries in this region are located close to each other, making a bicycle tour from winery to winery an option for the more adventurous!
Here is a list of recommended wineries in Maipu Valley:
- Clos de Chacras – this family-owned winery offers wine tastings and tours for a fee. It also has a restaurant that serves lunch and dinner, and is well-reviewed by visitors!
- Templus Alba – this winery offers free, self-guided tours with no reservation required. They also offer private tours, a restaurant, and wine tastings at their wine bar.
- Bodega la Rural – owned by the Rutini family, this vineyard has been producing wines since 1885. They offer tours of the winery and their on-site wine museum, which contains 4,500 historical artifacts related to the production of wine.
- Trapiche – this winery is one of the most famous ones to tour in Maipu Valley. It is also one of the largest exporters of premium brand wine in Argentina.
Lujan De Cuyo
The Lujan de Cuyo region lies south of the city of Mendoza and is about a 30-minute car ride away. To visit this area, you will need to rent a car or hire a private driver. Many wineries in this region require you to make a reservation in advance of your visit. But don’t worry – if your trip is part of one of the many Argentina tour packages available in the region, your reservations will be made for you!
Here is a list of recommended wineries in Lujan de Cuyo:
- Archaval Ferrer – this beautiful winery has been open since 1995. They recommend making reservations for their tours and tastings, as they are in high demand. One of the highlights of touring this winery is the barrel tastings.
- Carmelo Patti – the owner of this winery will take you on a tour of his facility, although the tour will be given in Spanish! Such personalized touches have made this a favorite stopping point on many wine tours in Argentina. Don’t miss this experience!
- Ruca Malen – if you want to sample traditional Argentinian cuisine, visit this winery for an exquisite five-course lunch with wine pairings. Meals are served al fresco so that you can enjoy the view of the mountains in the distance.
- Catena Zapata – this unique winery is designed to look like a Mayan pyramid! It draws scores of visitors each day, so make sure you make your reservation in advance.
Located 75 minutes from Mendoza, Uco Valley is home to altitude wines. Visiting this region will help you understand the importance of altitude and allow you to discover new tastes influenced by the local soil and climate. You will need to rent a car or hire a driver to take you along the winding rural roads of this region. On a sunny day, you can enjoy views of the Andes Mountains on your drive.
Here is a list of recommended wineries in the Uco Valley:
- Andeluna – this modern, state-of-the-art winery offers you the option to taste grapes right off the vines during harvest season or a tour of the winemaking facilities that ends with a wine tasting. Make sure to make your reservations in advance!
- Bodega la Azul – although small and unassuming, this winery is worth a visit! The winery offers a five-course lunch complete with wine pairings. Tours, tastings, and dining require advance reservations.
- Salentein – this winery boasts one of the most impressive wine cellars in the Mendoza wine region and is one of the biggest producers of wine for export in the region. A tour of the facility includes tastings, but reservations are required.
- Domaine Bosquet – this small, family-owned winery offers tours as well as five-course meals with wine pairings in their restaurant. Like the other wineries in this region, reservations are required.
Visit For the Wine, Stay For The Experience
Argentina vacation packages to the Mendoza wine region have been growing in popularity. This is the fastest-growing wine-producing region in the world and is Argentina’s most popular tourist attraction. Take a wine tour of Argentina to visit the vineyards that are irrigated with runoff from glaciers in the Andes or stay for any of the other activities the province is famous for! Whether sipping a glass of Malbec in the shadow of the Andes or road-tripping to the Chilean border, there’s no doubt that you will have an amazing time in Mendoza.