Following The Caminos Del Vino In Mendoza
If you are a wine lover, Argentina and wine is the perfect pairing for an incredible vacation. Argentina is home to some of the best wines in the world, and the Mendoza wine region produces more than 60 percent of Argentine wines. The region also offers spectacular mountain views, delicious food, and fantastic weather that is perfect for Mendoza vineyard tours.
Mendoza has more than 1,500 wineries divided into three main growing areas: Maipú, Uco Valley, and Luján de Cuyo. Wine production and wine-related tourism are Mendoza’s largest industries! Although the region is located 650 miles from Buenos Aires, it’s easy to hop a plane from the capital and fly into Mendoza City Airport. This makes Mendoza wine tours from Buenos Aires a popular option for visitors who want to visit the region but are short on time.
Where Can I Find Wine Tastings In Mendoza?
If you are planning to tour Mendoza to check out the region’s many wine tastings, you will most likely come across these three terms: bodegas, wineries, and vineyards. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they do denote different aspects of the wine-making process. Here’s the rundown on the three locations:
- Vineyards are simply places where grapes are grown to grow wine. Many offer tours of the grounds, lunch and dinner, and wine pairings with meals.
- Wineries are the places where wine is produced. (However, some vineyards have wineries on site, to produce wine from the grapes grown on their land!) You can learn about wine production on a winery tour, as well as participate in wine tastings.
- Bodegas are simply places to store (and purchase) wine. They function essentially as wine cellars or wine shops. Many offer wine tastings for visitors.
Locals may use these words interchangeably, so it is important to see what services each offers before you plan your visit so that you will not be disappointed!
The Best Way To Explore Mendoza’s Wine Regions
Mendoza is divided into three sub-regions that each focus on wine production: Maipu Valley, Lujan de Cuyo, and Uco Valley. Each region grows different grapes and produces different wines, which are influenced by the terrain, altitude, and climate of the specific regions. The Caminos del Vino, or Wine Road, passes through the Mendoza region and is a very popular route followed by Mendoza vineyard tours.
There are many ways to explore the Mendoza wine region, with or without a guide. Here a four popular ways to tour Mendoza during your visit:
- Organized wine tours – The most popular way to add on Mendoza wine tours from Buenos Aires is through an organized tour. The tour guide takes care of all the arrangements, so you don’t need to make individual arrangements for lodging or book a flight. Some of the organized tours include a private wine tour with a gourmet wine-paired lunch; a small group, one-day tour to several vineyards; and d guided bike tour through wine country with your own personal sommelier.
- Self-guided bike tours – The beautiful backdrop of the Andes Mountains makes touring vineyards and wineries by bike a popular option for tourists. If you want to take a self-guided bike tour through Mendoza’s wine country, there are many places to rent bikes! Maipu is the best region for bike tours – it sits just a few miles south of downtown Mendoza and is easily accessible for tourists. Plus, it is home to Argentina’s Malbec wine!
- Self-guided Mendoza vineyard tours – This type of autonomous tour is perfect if you have your own car or are willing to hire a private driver for the day. Self-guided tours are a budget-friendly alternative for many tourists, as long as you do your research, set your itinerary, and make your reservations well in advance! Plus, with a self-guided tour, you can include an olivicola on your trip to sample local Argentina olives.
- Single vineyard visits – If you prefer quality over quantity, consider simply visiting one vineyard as you tour Mendoza. Choosing a single vineyard to visit can provide a more relaxed and immersive experience. It also offers you a chance to take an in-depth tour of the vineyard, experience an extended wine tasting, and treat yourself to a wonderful meal at the vineyard’s restaurant to end your day on a relaxing note.
- Free wine tastings in Mendoza City – you don’t have to leave Mendoza’s city center to experience local wines. The city has many bodegas that offer free wine tastings to all! Although the experience won’t be the same as one in the country’s actual wine region, this is a great option for those exploring the city center and who may not be able to travel into wine country.
Tips For Your Best Wine Tasting Experience In Mendoza
A proper vineyard tour is not as simple as downing glasses of wine at each stop along your way. There are, in fact, some very simple tips to follow to guarantee a good experience for everyone on the tour!
- Limit your vineyard visits to 2 or 3 per day. Try to soak in the ambiance of each destination and enjoy the full experience of each vineyard and wine tasting!
- Hire a driver for your Mendoza vineyard tours. It will give you peace of mind and allow you to sample local wines. (Drinking and driving limits are very low in Argentina, so take this advice seriously!)
- Do not plan a vineyard tour for Sunday. Sundays in Argentina are family days, and many vineyards will be closed that day.
- Most vineyards offer wine-tasting tours in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Check their schedules to find a tour that suits your language needs!
- Make your reservations at least a day in advance, if not more. During peak tourist season and weekends, vineyards and winery tours are extremely crowded. You don’t want to be disappointed when you arrive.
Mendoza wine tours from Buenos Aires can be a wonderful add-on to your trip to Argentina. The country’s wine region is easy to access from the capital city and offers visitors a chance to enjoy the relaxed pace of wine country and the beauty of the Andes Mountains. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy a glass of wine … or two. Salud!