Wine Tour, Mendoza
I just got back from an Amazing Trip to Mendoza, Argentina. We spent a week in Mendoz at the Park Hyatt Hotel (great great hotel) and enjoyed many wonderful activities. I would recommend that if you are in Mendoza on a Wednesday night that you go to The Vines of Mendoza's Wine Makers Night on Wednesdays from 7-9 on Calle Espejo. We really enjoyed the Wine Makers night and learned a lot!
We also went on a three day wine tour with Malbec Symphony Wine Tours (www.malbecsymphony.com). The first day we spent in Maipu visiting La Rural museum, Trapiche Winery (great Trapiche Iscay), and ended the day with a lunch at Zuccardi (the meat here is amazing!!!) The second day we went to Lujan de Cuyo for a second round of great wines. In Lujan we went to Mendel Winery, then Catena Zapata, and ended with my favorite Ruca Malen fora 5 course meal!!!! After our tour Malbec Symphony organized a City Tour which brought us up through the park to Cerro de la Gloria. We ended the day with an amazing meal at Ocho Cepas. Our third day of wine tours in Mendoza was in Valle de Uco. Salentein was our first stop followed by Andeluna which is owned by Herman Ward Lay of Frito-Lay Company :). For lunch we went to La Tupina for a generous meal!
Overall we had an amazing time in Mendoza and really enjoyed working with Malbec Symphony Wine tours.
Mendoza is worth a visit!!!
When i arrived to Mendoza I couldn´t not to try to visit some wineries. As Mendoza it´s paradise for people who like wine. I had problem to choose which tour I should pick up that will incluide the wineries which I like to see it. And finaly I found one tour which give you chance to choose your own wineries plus we could have lunch in one of the wineries. We had a bit problem, because here are LOTS OF great wineries and we had to choose only four. But the guy in the tourism agency recomend us good wineries and I must say that was good choice! After the great day at wineries we wanted to try another tour - a bit diferent wine tour. It was by bike and as well at Lujan area where are the one of the best wineries in Mendoza. And as well the trip was really good. We had great time, great views, great wine and wineries were amazing...
I spent an afternoon, on a tour, visiting bodegas (wineries) in the Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu, suburbs of Mendozas. Different tours go to different bodgas and some I've visited included San Felipe ("La Rural") where the bodega is traditional and it has its own vineyards. There is also a wine museum (Museo del Vino) to visit, which summaries the the region's wine industry.
My name is Emily and I just wanted to let you know about my trip to Mendoza wine region!
I was there for three days and I must say, it was absolutely terrific!! I toured around Luján de Cuyo, known as the land of Malbec, Maipú, where the first wine-making families from Europe settled at the end of the nineteenth century, and the Uco Valley, where high altitude wines are produced. During each tour, we visited four wineries, between traditional and new remarkable ones. Also, we enjoyed superb wine tastings and gourmet lunches!!
As it was the first time we were in Argentina, and of course, in Mendoza, we were a little concern about touring around by ourselves. That’s why, searching the web I came across with Mendoza Holidays, a boutique travel agency, who specializes unique, high quality, intimate wine tours at the most prestigious wineries in Mendoza. Thanks to them, we made the most of our time in Mendoza! So, if you are thinking about traveling to the land of the sun and the good wine, don’t doubt to contact them! They know about thing you won’t find in a guide!
I hope you enjoy this review!
I worked with Mendoza Holidays (www.mendozaholidays.com) in designing a special program of wine tasting to help celebrate a milestone birthday. I was impressed with their follow through after I had contacted them for a price quote, which was extremely fair. They spent hours with me on the phone and via email creating and re-adjusting the plan for my husband and I. They were flexible all the way from planning the trip through to the end of our wine tasting day. I would highly recommend Mendoza Holidays to anyone visiting Mendoza wine country (Argentina) who values customer service and prefers something other than your every day private winery tour.
All the best from sunny Brazil !
There's no doubt Mendoza has plenty of options for wine tasting! There are 3 main regions and up until arriving, we had trouble getting an understanding as to what vineyards were in what area. Here's a quick snapshot:
1 ) Lujan de Cuyo. About 1 hour west of Mendoza. Lots of large international and well known bodegas including Chandon and Ruca Malen.
2) Maipú. Region south of Mendoza, also about 1 away from city center with fewer bodegas, but includes La Rural who is one of the largest producers in the region.
3) De Uco Valley. Further south than Maipú by another 1/2 hour. Home to brands, such as Salentein and O Fournier, which have received attention from various publications, including Food and Wine.
Many tour groups only offer expeditions with certain vineyards, but we were able to create our own itinerary, which included a mix of small and large bodegas. Here was the schedule we set up with a great tour company, Viajes y Expediciones (see my other tip):
Day 1 - Lujan de Cuyo:
Catena Zapata, Dominio de la Plata, Dolium, Carmelo Patti
Day 2 - Maipú:
La Rural, Familia Zuccardi
We actually wanted to check out De Uco Valley on Day 2 instead of Maipú for but there was a local holiday (very typical!). And in the end it worked out better because we had an amazing 3 hour 5 course lunch at Familia Zuccardi. We even missed our 3rd bodega reservation because it was so relaxing.
As you may have read in other reviews, going wine tasting in this region has some guidelines and it is best to call ahead at least a day in advance to confirm your name will be at the gate with security before arrival.
Luckily my friend and I speak English and Spanish, and while we initially preferred to speak with the guides in English, we quickly realized it would be more beneficial to interact with the native speakers in their natural language.
All the vineyards spent time giving 30 - 45 minute tours of the land, the process of wine making and what makes their property unique. While I expected after the 3rd tour, I would be hearing the same thing over and over, I was pleasantly surprised to learn quite a few different things about the wine making process.
Good weather is a very large factor in achieving success year after year and we ended up in Maipú while there was a rain and hail storm approaching. The government and vineyard owners actually have planes that bomb the sky to clear the clouds away during these storms and protect the grapes. It was a wild experience to hear these loud blasts up above us and then see the unique cloud formations that are left behind...
Mendoza is famous for the wine. Because of the climate the production rises up to the 70% of wine production in the country! There many wineries all over the province and you can visit some of them that are near the capital.
You can take a map of the wineries from an agent and hire a bicycle and start your tour on your own. Some of them don’t allow entrance without a call in advance. The good thing is that every winery gives free sample at the end of the tour in the winery so I’m not sure how you will drive the bicycle back through the dangerous roars to the city! An organized tour is much better idea. They call this tour BODEGAS and there are two options, half day tour for 45pesos(9euros) and full day tour. I think half day is enough, it was enough for me. cheers!
They took me to a big winery first, where they had a tour inside and explanation in English and Spanish about the wine production process, the history of winery etc You can see the big machines they use to crush the grapes and then the places where the wine stored (some large metal barrels and then at large wooden one for years). The taste of the wine depends on the wood of the barrel(most of the times is oak but I’m not sure), how old is the wood and for how long you will leave the wine inside there.
Then we had are free sample(just a sample of two wines, one red, one white) and we continued to the second winery that was a small winery with really great wine. Of course you can buy the wine you like. I’ve heard that some wineries push hard to buy something but it didn’t happen to me. The third and last stop was for olives! Here, we’ve heard about the olive history and of course at the end of the tour we had olive free tasting. I wish I had those olives before while I was drinking the wine! lol
The Mendoza region has many fine wineries to visit. Most require reservations in advance, which are easy to arrange by phone. My Mendocino friends took me to the Valle de Uco, south west of the city of Mendoza, to Bodegas Salentein. This large, recently built winery complex is as sophisticated as anything you will find in Napa, California, with the beautiful backdrop of the Andes. There is an excellent restaurant and an art gallery to complement the winery tour and make for an eventful day trip.
Salentein wines are very high quality. You can also buy wines from two other lines within the Salentein family that are not as expensive, giving you a good range of price and quality.
Winery visits in Mendoza are not casual affairs. There's no just turning up at a cellar door at your own convenience such as we are used to in Australia, tasting some (or all) of the wines as you please. Every winery requires you to book and you will only gain admittance if the guy on the gate has you in his book! (photo 1). Following that there will be a tour of the wine making process - through the different rooms of the winery, past gigantic steel tanks of whites and high stacks of barrels of reds (photo 2), your guide reeling off lots of facts and figures as you go. Some visits will be very formal, no wine tasted until the tour is over and you're back in the tasting room where you'll be offered finished vintages. Others are more relaxed and you'll tap into barrels (photo 3) as you go, maybe tasting wines at different stages of their development as you make your way through the winery to the final tasting.
We visited three vineyards in one day and each offered a very different experience. There's a tip on each one to follow this general introduction.
We had a hire car and drove ourselves around. If you're doing it this way, it's a good idea to really suss out just where the wineries are and plan your visits to follow logically as the vineyards do cover a very large area and not all roads are well sign-posted. Tours start at a set time and can include different language groups so you really don't want to be late. Don't try to visit too many wineries in one day - 3, or 4 at most, is ideal.
Your hotel or the Vines at Mendoza Tasting Room will be able to help you plan the day and make your bookings. Your hotel will almost certainly be able to provide you with a map and winery information . Alternatively, if you want to let someone else do the driving, there are any number of wine tour companies operating in Mendoza or you could hire a car and driver for the day - the charge should be very reasonable.
Early on the morning of our first full day in Mendoza, our pre-booked tour (just the two of us and our guide) involved a short drive outside Mendoza to visit one of the many wineries in this part of Argentina. Bodega y Cavas de Weinert (Weinert Winery) was first built in 1890 but was then abandoned in 1940. However, in 1975 it was purchased and revitalized by Bernardo Weinert, who was born in a German colony in southern Brazil. He was able to introduce new grape varieties and techniques to produce very high quality wines, especially Malbec.
The type of soil in this region, combined with it's altitude and micro-climate in the 'rain shadow' of the Andes makes this one of the world's great wine-growing areas. The early Spanish settlers were not long in recognizing the possibilities and they introduced the first grape vines to take advantage of the situation. Today, the main varieties of wines produced here are Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Chenin and Rieslins for 'whites' and Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Bonarda and Pinot for 'reds'. In 2003, Argentina, the world's 5th largest wine-maker, produced 1,400 million litres, which has translated to US$225 million in export earnings. The main customers are UK (28%), USA (22%), Canada (9%) and Brazil (8%).
We were taken through and beneath the building in the photo, which houses the Weinert offices and grape processing equipment.
A wine tour is great if you are a wine-lover!
But I have to give two advices :
-don't do it on a Sunday : all wineries are closed! Don't believe the guide of the tourist office if he says that a winery is opened on Sunday!
-don't do it with a bike : even if the wineries are about 15kms away from town, the roads are very bad and polluated! They are also straight and boring and dangerous and long!!! They killed me!
So don't do like us : take a bus or an organised wine tour and get good informations on the winery you want to visit (schedule, opening hours).
Several places in Mendoza rent mountain bikes, and this is a great way to visit the surrounding wineries of Mendoza.
In terms of wine, I can recommend Malbec, especially the Trapiche and the Terrazas ones.
Mendoza is a viticulturist zone per excellence. It has numerous wineries for the production of fine wines of the highest quality that are exported to the whole world.
In the Mendoza region the most widely produced varieties are malbec, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and barbera among the reds, and chardonnay, riesling and chablis among the whites.-
You can visit a lot of these wineries and try its wines.-
YOU SHOULD DO THE WINES TRIP.GO AND CHECK THE EXCITING ANDES MOUNTAIN, RIVERS, LAKES.OF COURSE YOU HAVE SHOPPING MALLS,DISCOS, RESTAURANTS,CASINOS,ETC.-
YOU WILL KNOW HOW A GOOD WINE IS MADE, ALL THE STEPS TO BE THE BEST IN THE WORLD.IF YOU ALREADY KNOW THE BEACH YOU WILL HAVE AN IMPRESSIONABLE EXPERIENCE SEING THE ACONCAGUA MONTAIN AND OTHERS.
Mendoza it's very famous because of it's wines. If you are in Mendoza you cannot miss it's wineries!