If you are visiting Mendoza and not planning to drink any wine, you are doing yourself a disservice. Mendoza has a long and complicated history with wine making, but is currently on top of it's game. You can do some wineries on your own, but to get there you either have to rent a car or hire a driver. You could also take a taxi outside of the city and rent a bike to drive to the wineries. It was at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit every day I was in Mendoza in mid-January, so riding a bike and drinking and sweating sounds like a nightmare combination to me. But I don't know your life, maybe being a sweaty drunk on a rented bike is your jam.
I took a tour with a company called Mendoza Wine Camp. They specialize in smaller group tours or you can schedule a private tour. They also have English speaking guides. One note about their group tours: there must be at least 2 people for the tour you are interested in taking. As it turns out, I made a friend on a walking tour in Santiago who wanted to go on this particular tour (Lujàn De Cuyo Wine Tour) and was traveling alone. So we decided to go together! One of my favorite parts of traveling is meeting people and having fun experiences in unexpected locations. Here are the wineries we visited:
1. Casarena- I don't want to spoil the rest of this post for you, but Casarena was my favorite winery that we visited. Their wine was delicious, their view was spectacular and their tour was interesting. We started at 9am with a glass of sparkling wine (best way to start the day) and got to taste 2 of their reserves and 2 regular wines. All of their wine was tasty and you can take a bottle or 2 home for around $10 US per bottle!
This version of Mary is very important to the local wineries. They pass her to each winery through the year so that she may bless the crops. She happened to be at Casarena the day I visited.
2. Dante Robino- While Casarena was my overall favorite, I had the most fun at Dante Robino. Their tour was fairly short but they spend their time with an activity. We got to sample some of their regular wines and also got to try our hand at making our own wine blend. They paired us off (there were only 4 of us on the tour) me and my friend against a married couple from the US. As I always suspected, I am a master wine blender! My new friend is Australian so we decided to name our amazing wine blend AmeriAussie. Our art skills could probably use some help, but the wine was actually drinkable. As a prize, we got to take a bottle of our wine blend with us!
I'm on the left, new Aussie friend on the right, amazing wine blend in the center.
3. We had a 5 course lunch with wine pairing in beautiful setting. My drunk ass didn't take any pictures of the place or the setting, but I did manage to take pictures of the ducks (who beg for food like dogs) and 2 of the courses. Our lunch was very relaxing and slow. So slow, in fact, that we were late to our 4th and final winery.
4. Trez- We were a little hurried at Trez since we arrived late from lunch. Their grounds are beautiful and their wines are tasty. Even better because they were paired with chocolate! But after our 5 course meal and drinking wine all day, there was not much room left for chocolate. The tour wrapped up around 3:30 pm. We were all nice and tipsy and ready for a nap!
What are your favorite wineries in Mendoza? Tell me in the comments!