Famed wine destination Mendoza, Argentina is divided into three main regions: Maipu, Luján de Cuyo, and Valle de Uco. Maipu is the closest to the city of Mendoza, Luján de Cuyo is known as full-blown Malbec country, and Valle de Uco is the newest wine region and has now achieved international recognition for their Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes in addition to their Malbecs. Beyond touring these three wine hubs, travelers like to spend time in the actual city of Mendoza. It offers the same wine and foodie energy as the surrounding vineyard towns, much in the way downtown Napa Valley has some of the best wine bars and restaurants in northern California, even without sitting smack-dab in the middle of a vineyard. For the Malbec lover traveling to Mendoza this year, here’s how you can pull off the perfect wine country getaway.
Where to Taste
For those heading out to Luján de Cuyo, make sure to visit Casarena Bodega y Viñedos and Bodega Ruca Malen. The tour experience at Casarena Bodega y Viñedos is both informative and thirst-quenching. A knowledgeable guide will take you through Casarena’s vineyards, pouring you samples of their wares along the way. Bodega Ruca Malen is known for its award-winning Malbecs and is an excellent vineyard to stop at for lunch. After tasting their signature Malbec and their Ruca Malen Terroir Series, head to the restaurant where head chef Lucas Bustos creates a seasonal menu based on the vegetables and herbs currently growing in the on-property garden.
For the wine lovers who don’t want to trek for their Malbec, Maipu is just 25 minutes from Mendoza. And though it’s the smallest of the three wine hubs, the vineyards command a significant presence on the Mendoza wine scene. In Maipu, head to Familia Zuccardi, where you can try their award-winning wines—and the olive oil made on site. A family-run establishment since 1963, Familia Zuccardi has something for everyone, between their wine tastings, olive oil tastings, vineyard tours, and cooking classes.
If you’re looking for one last stop in the city after a day of wine touring, head to Chinitas Wine Club in Mendoza proper. Sourcing vino from local, boutique vineyards, Chinitas Wine Club serves wines by the glass at their intimate tasting bar, while doubling as a wine shop where travelers can stock up on their favorite Argentinian wines before heading home.
Where to Eat
Start your day off in Mendoza at Bröd, a favorite bakery among locals and one of the best breakfast spots in the city. Grab one of their croissant breakfast sandwiches, a coffee, and a seat on the back patio.
Azafrán is one of the most coveted high-end restaurants in the city of Mendoza, though it started from humble beginnings as a local deli. They serve regional-style cuisine inspired by the best local, seasonal ingredients. To find the perfect wine to pair with your meal, head down to Azafrán’s wine cellar to discuss your options with their sommelier.
Where to Stay
With a French neoclassical facade and five-star service and amenities, Park Hyatt Mendoza puts you right in the heart of the city. The hotel sits across from Plaza Independencia and is 20 to 40 minutes from the three primary wine regions. Book the Presidential Suite for floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Andes Mountains, a full kitchen, and a whirlpool spa tub.
Entre Cielos is a luxury resort in Luján de Cuyo set in the midst of working vineyards. The 24-room resort is decorated with a minimalist, modern aesthetic to enhance the sensational views of the surrounding vineyards and the Andes Mountains beyond. A true wine resort, Entre Cielos even makes Malbec, like their very own Marantal Young, Marantal Classic, and Gran Marantal, which guests can sample on property. Book one of their vine-surrounded Vineyard Lofts, each of which comes with a private patio.