The Mendoza wine region is one of the world’s fastest-growing wine-producing regions in the world and should be on every wine aficionado's bucket list. Famed for its incredible Malbecs, world-class restaurants, architecturally-stunning wineries and spas, Mendoza and its vineyards are currently some of Argentina’s most popular travel spots for all wine lovers out there.
The vineyards are irrigated with waters from the melted glaciers of the Andes and you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning backdrop of soaring mountains behind lush vineyards and wineries.
If you love Malbecs and savoring delectable Argentian steak, then Mendoza is the right place for you. The problem is, planning a food & wine experience in the Mendoza area can be quite an overwhelming ordeal. The sunbathed region at the foothills of the Andes is dotted with hundreds of wineries and restaurants, making planning a trip a little confusing.
Explore the Mendoza valleys on our Uncorking Argentina Food and Wine Tour.
Wine Producing Regions
There are three wine-producing areas in the Mendoza wine region that you need to visit. If you’re planning on visiting all three of them, we recommend two to three days minimum for enough time to explore everything they have to offer. Visiting the wineries and actually seeing how wine is made will give you a new perspective and appreciation for it.
Now, keep on reading to learn about our recommended wineries in each region and the best restaurants offering incredible food and wine.
The regions are:
- Maipu Valley
- Lujan de Cuyo
- The Uco Valley
The Maipu Valley
The Maipu Valley is the closest to the city of Mendoza and is the easiest one to visit if you’re looking for a short half-day wine tour. Another major advantage is that most wineries there can easily be visited without having to book well in advance. You can also tour the entire area on a bike, and much of the valley is actually situated right in the middle of the town of Mendoza. You’ll be cycling along tree-lined streets from one winery to another.
Some of the area’s top food & wine experiences include:
Bodegas Lopez, Maipu
Argentina has been making wine as early as the 1800’s (long before the malbec boom) and Bodegas Lopez is solid proof of that. The winery was founded in 1898 and is only one of two wineries in Argentina that uses 10,000-litre French oak casks.
What makes this winery extra special is the tour they offer. It will feel like you’re traveling back through time as you walk past the preserved trucks that date back to the 1920s, observing the collection of memorabilia and the wooden presses.
Bodega La Rural
If you’re a history buff, then you’ll love Bodega La Rural. Their museum offers an excellent display of wine production antiques and they have wines that are exclusive to the region. Chances are, you’ll probably taste wines you’ve never heard of.
The Trapiche brand has been up and running since 1883, and the winery owns a staggering 1,255 hectares of vineyards. It’s worth visiting just to get an idea of the historical qualities that made it one of the most unique wines out there (that has also won plenty of awards), finishing the tour in their tasting room.
I would solely recommend Bodega Tapiz in Maipu for the horse-drawn carriage ride around its vineyards.
El Enemigo - Bodega Aleanna
El Enemigo was created by Alejandro Vigil, Chief Winemaker from the Catena Zapata winery. He created his own world and winery with La Divina Comedia. Alejandro holds the highest rating ever given to a pure Cabernet Franc wine by Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, awarded to El Gran Enemigo Cabernet Franc from Gualtallary, Mendoza. A visit to El Enemigo combines well with a tour through the Chacras de Coria area.
The Uco Valley is the most picturesque of the three regions. It’s absolutely stunning and boasts magnificent vistas and the best quality wine in Argentina. Some of the top wineries there include:
O. Fournier Winery
O. Fournier blends modern, marvelous architecture with scenic views, award-winning food, and great wine. Despite the fact that it’s one of the furthest wineries from Mendoza, it’s well worth the drive. They make some of the best red wine in Argentina, all made from the tempranillo grape harvested on their land.
The Vines Resort & Spa
This resort will be unlike anything you’ve ever visited. After Michael Evans and the renowned Argentinian winemaker Pablo Gimenez Riili joined forces, The Vines Resort & Spa came to life and has quickly become one of Argentina’s best havens of laid-back luxury. Enjoy this unparalleled resort catering specifically to all wine lovers from around the world. You’ll spend your time indulging in cultural, culinary and wellness activities along with all types of wine-making adventures. Make sure you eat at Francis Mallmann’s Siete Fuegos, the resort’s restaurants that uses chef Mallmann’s signature open-flame grilling techniques.
Salentein stands out with its massive underground wine cellar that can hold up to 5,000 barrels. You’ll take a tour of the fermentation tanks, explore the cellars and try all types of wine. There’s also an art gallery that showcases some superb art from Argentine artists including paintings and sculptures.
Zuccardi is a new and modern winery in the Uco Valley. Piedra Infinita Restaurant is one of the leading restaurants in the area, offering 4-course menus paired with Zuccardi wines.
Andeluna offers winery tours that include tastings followed by a 6-course menu parired with different wines. Andaluna also offers cooking classes.
Lujan de Cuyo
Lujan de Cuyo is Argentina’s largest viticultural area in Mendoza and all of Argentina. It’s another of Argentina’s most renowned wine regions, and biking through the valley is a rewarding experience in itself.
Clos de Chacras
This family-owned winery mixes Argentinian charm with European flair within its historic walls. Clos de Chacras offers both wine and cuisine that blends Italian food with French sauces and Argentinian cooking styles. You can enjoy alfresco dining on the patio during the summer months, or enjoy their four-course menu with three wines inside by their cozy fireplace.
Bodega Luigi Bosca
This is one of the few wineries that produces four different types of wine. The unparalleled tour in English around the premises features 14 pieces of concrete artwork that reflects the wine-making process.
Each cellar in Luigi Bosca can carry up to 3,000 barrels (they have two), and you’ll get to learn about the different types of wood used (Chinese Oak, Russian Oak…etc) followed by a superb tasting tour.
Bodega Carmelo Patti
This is another must-visit if you’re visiting the area. You can get a tour free of charge and Carmelo Patti is a God in the wine-making world! He started picking grapes at 10 years of age, and now works his magic at his own “garage”. He’s known to welcome all visitors with a beaming smile, offering to give free tours, teaching you how to open a vintage bottle (versus the easy-to-open bottles commonly used today).
The Best Lodging
The Vines Resort & Spa
The 21 villas include 6 one-bedroom units, 8 one-bedroom deluxe villas, 7 two-bedroom deluxe villas. The Vines 3-night “Wine and Dine” packages include dinner at Francis Mallmann’s Siete Fuegos restaurant, massage, winery visit with tastings.
Renowned for the unique and traditional Hamam and Spa. The 24 spacious suites, lofts and rooms all feature a private terrace with sweeping views of the countryside.
Cavas Wine Lodge
The Relais & Chateaux property is located south of Mendoza on a 55-acre vineyard in the town of Agrelo. The Spa’s inspiring Moorish-Roman architecture reveals pools, baths and treatment areas unique in the wine country. All-inclusive packages includes airport transfers, accommodations, daily breakfast at the lodge, lunches and dinners at various restaurants in the area, daily private winery visits with tastings, outdoor activities, one massage per guest per stay.
The Best Restaurants for Food & Wine in Mendoza
1884 – Francis Mallman
Francis Mallman is one of the most, if not the most, well-known chefs in Argentina. Without a doubt, this is one of the best restaurants in the city, located in an old vineyard and serving all types of empanadas and grilled meats from over an open fire in a gorgeous outdoor space.
The winery restaurant is located at Club Tapiz and one thing that stands out is the Renaissance-like décor in the villa. The restaurant uses locally-produced ingredients – making the ingredients as fresh as possible.
This is another top choice for all wine-lovers. There are over 500 labels from across Argentina in this former delicatessen. It has been reinvented as one of Mendoza’s finest restaurants. You’ll find that they mainly use Argentinian cooking as a benchmark but also present different flavors, ingredients, recipes and techniques from all around the world. The high-quality wines comes straight from their cellar, as well.
Best Time to Visit Mendoza Wine Region
From October till April. (This is from planting until harvest). We highly recommend March for the harvesting or the cosecha as it is locally called.
Tips to keep in mind:
- It is always best to book winery tours in advance.
- Keep in mind some wineries are not open every day.
- Bring cash for tips.
- Plan your itinerary by region - different regions on different days.
- Stick to a maximum of 4 wineries per day.
- Ask for refills – they’re usually free!
Read more about the wine valleys of Mendoza at our Guide to Mendoza's Deluxe Wineries.
Start planning your trip to Argentina and the Wine Region at our Argentina Planning Pages.