I didn’t drink much wine before moving to Argentina. But it wasn’t long after stepping foot in Buenos Aires before wine (the country’s official beverage) began to take over for me.
Wine is very affordable in Buenos Aires and the quality is reliably fantastic.
I’ve fallen for Malbec hard.
A crisp rosé doesn’t hurt either (especially when made from Malbec grapes).
So obviously, the best wineries in Mendoza have made this a favorite destination of mine.
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The Best Mendoza Wineries & How to Visit Them
I’ve been to Mendoza twice so far, spending a total of eight days tasting wine and visiting the best Mendoza wineries.
It’s my favorite place to go in Argentina.
Besides tasting wine directly from the source, the location at the foot of the Andes Mountains offers a stunning backdrop that is hard to beat.
This post is a complete guide to help you plan your visit to the mecca of Malbec, including a breakdown on the three wine regions here, the best wineries in Mendoza and how to tour them.
After this post you’ll have all the information you need to know to visit the beautiful Mendoza vineyards.
The Best time to Visit Mendoza
The best time of year to visit Mendoza is generally from October until April, from planting until harvest. Spring (September-November) will be warm but with great weather!
Visiting in summer (January and February)? Expect hot temperatures and intermittent rains.
The absolute best time to visit Mendoza is in March (in the Fall) for harvesting (the “cosecha” or vendimia).
Despite all of that, Mendoza is a generally a great destination year-round. We’ve visited in both September and in March.
In March, we were there a week before the actual harvest festival, so we were able to see the vines lush and full of grapes.
In September, we were there just after most wineries had done their pruning, so we didn’t see any vines and it was still beautiful!.
The vines will begin to regrow for spring at around the end of September.
Read more: The Best Time to Visit Argentina
Wine Tasting in Mendoza: FAQ
Mendoza is to wine lovers what Disney World is to a 6-year-old: paradise.
Wineries are everywhere, they are beautiful and best of all, they are very affordable to visit. Here’s the lowdown on visiting the best Mendoza wineries.
How many days do you need in Mendoza?
You need a minimum of 2 days in Mendoza to really see the wineries and some of the city.
But 3-4 days would be better, allowing you two days of wineries and one day to see the mountains.
Where should I stay in Mendoza wine country?
At a winery! The best place to stay in Mendoza is in the Uco Valley at a winery or wine resort. Wake up to a view of the vineyards and Andes outside of your window.
At the end of this post I go into greater detail on where to stay (city vs. winery hotel) and specific properties that I recommend.
Do I need a car in Mendoza?
You do not need a car to get around the city of Mendoza but you do need to either hire a private driver, a guided tour, or rent a car to visit the wineries.
How many wineries should I visit in one day?
Plan to visit three wineries per day. Reserve a winery lunch at one of the vineyards for the best experience.
If you rent a bike in Maipu or Lujan de Cuyo you may be able to squeeze in more than three wineries. In the Uco Valley it is usually hard to fit in more than three.
What to pack for Mendoza?
You don’t need to dress up for wineries in Mendoza. Don’t go in your grubby hiking clothes, but you also don’t need to wear your Sunday best. Also consider if you’ll be going horseback riding or hiking in the mountains.
For more packing help, read my packing guide for Argentina
Read Next: Complete Guide to Iguazu Falls
The 3 Wine Regions of Mendoza & Best Wineries in Each
Mendoza is divided up into different wine “departments’ or regions and each has its own particular charm.
These 3 regions are Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, and the Uco Valley.
Below I break down all three of Mendoza’s wine regions, starting with the closest to the city and radiating outwards.
I’ve listed the best Mendoza wineries in each region.
Starting with the area closest to Mendoza city proper and possibly the easiest to visit, Maipu.
This area is popular with backpackers.
It was also my least favorite. The main road was very industrial, alongside the bike lane were mainly 18 wheeler trucks and large lorries, not exactly fitting with the romantic image I had imagined of riding among the vines.
Once we were in the wineries themselves, and off the road, they were very beautiful.
Two of them included a free bottle of wine to take away as a part of the tasting package.
You can go on a guided Maipu bike tour like this one to see the best wineries there.
Best Mendoza Wineries in Maipu
NOTE | I’m not including contact information for these. While booking ahead of time is essential in other regions, in Maipu it is less structured and they expect bikers to pop in.
- Bodega La Rural: If you’re interested in history you’ll love La Rural and their museum filled with wine production antiques. Unlike most Mendoza wineries, most of their wine is consumed locally, rather than for export, so if you’re visiting from abroad their wines may be new to you.
- Tempus Alba: We went to Tempus Alba for lunch on their terrace. Lunch was decent and the views were nice. We skipped a tour and tasting but followed their self-guided walk through the vines and olive trees reading the plaques along the way.
- Mevi: This is another good option for lunch on the bike route of Maipu wineries. We skipped the full tasting in favor of ordering a glass to enjoy on their terrace (we’d already had quite a bit of wine by this point). The photo above is on their terrace, the Malbec Rose in my hand was very good.
- Trapicheis the one winery in Maipu I wish we had had time to visit but weren’t able to.
My Overall Impression of Maipu
I’m not a huge fan. I even chose to write about it first mainly to get it out of the way.
I admit, the wineries were beautiful and the wine was good.
I just found Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de Uco to be infinitely more beautiful and having visited them before Maipu, it was just a little disappointing in comparison.
If you’re thinking: “But, but, I want to bike the wineries!” Don’t worry, you can do that in Lujan, up next…
2. Lujan de Cuyo
Luján de Cuyo, now we’re talking. I love Lujan de Cuyo.
It’s also incredibly easy to get to from the city center. You can take a city bus from Mendoza to Chacras de Coria in about 45 minutes.
A taxi will be very affordable as well and only take 20 minutes.
In Luján de Cuyo you’re closer to the Andes than in Maipu, making the views much more impressive
Winery Bike Rentals in Lujan de Cuyo
I always recommend Lujan over Maipu to those that want to bike to the wineries.
Baccus Bikes was such a great experience.
The woman who welcomed us set us up with an itinerary by calling the wineries ahead of time so they would be expecting us as well as arranging our lunch reservations.
If you don’t speak Spanish, you can also hire a guide who will bike with you as your personal translator, I highly recommend this so that you have the best day possible (not every winery speaks English).
If you’d rather not bike, this personalized tour will take you to all the bodegas that interest you.
Best Mendoza Wineries in Luján de Cuyo
If you’re visiting with Baccus Bikes, you don’t need to make reservations ahead of time.
They’ll make an itinerary with you and call the wineries to let them know you’re coming.
If you’re visiting wineries on your own, it’s best to reserve ahead of your visit (contact information for each winery is included below).
No reservation needed, check his Facebook page here for hours.
This is a must visit if you’re in the area. I’ve been twice! And I’ll visit every time I go to Mendoza.
Carmelo Patti is a garage winery, which means there is no cellar, but it’s also in a garage-like warehouse.
Carmelo Patti (seen above) is the winemaker, owner, and even the tour guide! Just show up and he’ll give you a tour free of charge.
If you buy a bottle, he’ll likely sign it and write which year to open it for best results.
He is incredibly charming and passionate about what he does, making a visit to his tiny bodega unforgettable
Lagarde has excellent wine and a beautiful old estate. I loved touring this winery and of course, tasting their wines.
If you’re looking for a more upscale restaurant for lunch, their restaurant is one of the best.
phone: (+54 261) 498-5185 / 0011 and (+54 261) 6815961
CLOS DE CHACRAS
This boutique winery is located in downtown Chacras de Coria, but once you’re through the gates you feel like you’re miles from the city.
Taste their wine on the deck next to their large coy pond or enjoy lunch in their dining room.
phone: (0261) 4768869, int 104
NOTE: It is possible to visit the above Lujan de Cuyo wineries by bike with Baccus (among many others not listed). The wineries listed below need a car, driver, or maybe possible by hop on hop off bus.
We visited Melipal on our second trip and it was one of our favorite wineries of the entire trip.
The building is impressive and modern, nearly blending in with the surrounding landscape while also standing out among the vines. If you can make it to Melipal, you won’t regret it.
phone: (54) (261) 6368438 Int. 18
I chose A16 purely because I’d never heard of it before. I like to visit boutique wineries or wineries that are new to me, rather than try wines I see all the time in the shops at home.
The random choice paid off because the wine was delicious and our tour guide was very friendly.
I particularly loved their white wine made out of Malbec grapes!
email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
phone: (+54) 261 4255182
Where to have Lunch in Lujan de Cuyo
These are my two favorite winery lunches in Mendoza in Lujan de Cuyo.
CAVA DE CANO
San Martín 2488, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
Open Wednesday-Sunday and reachable with your Baccus bike rental.
Reserve online here.
One of the best lunches on our first trip was at Cava de Cano, housed in the old governor’s residence.
We were ushered down to our private dining room, which was inside the old water tanks in the basement. Incredible ambiance!
The table was set with the mother of all picadas/charcuterie spreads: meats and cheeses, vegetables, malbec infused rice, malbec infused everything.
This was just the first course. We were also served empanadas, pasta, dessert, champagne, and cigars.
OJO DE AGUA
We had a delicious three-course lunch with wine pairings at Ojo de Agua (seen below).
We sat outside on the porch by the vines with a view of the snow-capped Andes.
The fact that the food was fantastic was icing on the cake of an already great experience.
They don’t sell their wines in Argentina or the US, so eating here may be the only chance you get to try their wine.
phone: +54 9 261 5731688
My Overall Impression of Lujan de Cuyo
It goes without saying that we love Lujan de Cuyo. We’ve gone three times. It’s accessible and beautiful.
It also felt more rural than the area of Mayor Drummond in Maipu, where we were surrounded by trucks.
The quality of wines was better than those we tasted in Maipu.
Don’t think twice about visiting this region.
3. Valle de Uco
The Uco Valley is not only the most beautiful (and it brings the beauty in spades), but this region produces the highest quality wine in Argentina.
You’ll be hard-pressed to have a better experience than the one you’ll have in the Uco Valley.
Valle de Uco is widely considered the best wine region in Argentina so if you only have one day to spend tasting wine in Argentina, then choose a tour that will bring you here.
Best Mendoza Wineries in Uco Valley
Note: You absolutely must make reservations ahead of time in the Uco Valley.
If you’re planning to rent a car and go on your own, spend some time planning your itinerary and making reservations before you leave for Argentina.
If you’re touring with a private driver, they likely take care of it for you (check to be sure).
Also, if your driver or guide is creating your itinerary and you want to visit a specific winery, let them know in advance.
O. Fournier is far, but it’s worth every minute you sit in the car to get there. It took us an hour to get there from Tupungato (where we stayed in the Uco Valley). It will take an hour and forty minutes from Mendoza’s city center.
The wines were spectacular and the building was as well. If you love architecture, you’re in the right place. The highlight for me (besides the wine, of course) were the massive tanks that also served as structural columns.
phone: +54 9 261 15467 1021
SuperUco was my favorite tour and tasting. This winery is owned by the four Michelini brothers and is a family passion project.
They grow and produce their wines organically and bio-dynamically, aiming to keep everything as close to the way nature intended as possible.
You can see this in how they grow their vines to how they’ve designed the architecture of the building itself.
The tasting took place on their deck (seen below), with a view to the Andes in front of us.
Tours are in Spanish or English, but English tours are available every day except Tuesdays or Wednesdays (confirm before going just in case it changes).
phone: +54 9 261 681 9773 or +54 9 261 253 6086
BODEGA LA AZUL
We had lunch at Bodega La Azul on both of our visits. Just like Carmelo Patti above, this is a place I will visit every single time I visit Mendoza.
Bodega La Azul offers a 5-course lunch with wine pairings. After lunch, you are taken for a private tasting of a reserve wine straight from the barrel.
I can say confidently this is the best lunch I’ve ever had, twice. The wine flows freely and the views are unbeatable.
phone: +54-2622-423593 / +54-2622-422108
Read More: The Bodega Azul Experience, Everything you need to know about visiting the most beautiful winery in Mendoza
French-owned Domain Bousquet makes organic wines in the Uco Valley.
The father of the current owners came to Argentina after searching the world for the perfect location to support organic wine production.
Lucky for us, the dry desert air in Mendoza was perfect.
phone: +54 2622 480 000
Andeluna is still on my to-visit list for my next Mendoza visit (oh I’ll definitely be back again).
I’ve heard amazing things about their wines and having driven by, it’s stunning.
phone: +54 9 261 508-9525
My Overall Impression of Valle de Uco
The Uco Valley is home to the absolute best wineries in Mendoza, the best views, and the best restaurants.
It’s further from Mendoza city but it’s worth the trek.
If you only have one day to go wine tasting in Mendoza make sure you spend it here.
Mendoza Vineyards for Architecture Lovers
A team of two architects together make up the firm Bormida y Yanzon.
If you love architecture and design, you’d be well-served to take their projects into account when planning your wine tasting itinerary.
Together they have designed the most impressive buildings that dot the landscape across Mendoza.
They incorporate innovative materials such as concrete, stone, wood, and glass into their projects that result in a building that echoes the land around it.
Their winery projects are both modern and functional but also fit perfectly into the natural landscape of Mendoza.
A few noteworthy bodegas that they’ve designed include Salentien, O. Fournier (above), Septima and DiamAndes.
If you’re interested in learning more, put this article about them through Google Translate.
For a complete list of their projects visit their website, click on proyectos, then bodegas.
How to go to Wine Tasting in Mendoza: The Best Mendoza Tours
There are SO many Mendoza wineries to visit but how does one visit them?
There are wine tours galore, hop on hop off buses and (my personal favorite) you can rent a car to take complete control of your trip.
1. Rent a Car
I’m a total advocate for the rental car industry because I think there’s no better way to explore a new place than with your own car.
If you’re willing to leave the city and stay in a resort among the vines (scroll to the end on where to stay), you’ll need a car.
Also, my favorite wineries (and the most beautiful) aren’t accessible by bike or public transportation, and perhaps the cheapest option will be a rental car.
Warning, manual transmissions are most common here and renting an automatic will be more costly.
2. Private Tour with a Driver
The next best thing to renting your own car is hiring a driver to take you on a customized tour.
If it’s in your budget, it may even be the best option because you won’t have to worry about driving after the generous pours at the wine tastings.
A driver will pick you up from your hotel and see to it that you have the best day possible.
I particularly like this tour because he brings you to the Uco Valley. This area is without a doubt home to the best wine and the most beautiful Mendoza vineyards.
3. Bus Vitivinicola: Hop On-Hop Off Bus
Don’t want to drive but don’t want to pay for a driver?
Take the hop on hop off bus to hit up the best wineries, the tickets are an affordable $22 US.
They operate in different wine regions depending on the day of the week. I personally recommend the El Rio and Valle de Uco days if they work for your itinerary.
Read Next: Traditional Foods to try in Argentina
4. Bike Rentals and Bike Tours
Out of the three wine regions, two are most easily bikeable. You can bike in Maipu and Lujan.
The two companies worth your time are Mr. Hugo’s Bike Rentals in Maipu and Baccus Biking in Chacras de Coria in Lujan.
Of the two, I wholeheartedly, without a doubt, recommend Baccus (I’ve done both and speak from experience).
For a more curated, guided experience, this bike tour is excellent.
Mendoza Wine Tasting Tips
Planning your day of wineries in Mendoza can be overwhelming.
There are so many to choose from and information about the winery’s tours isn’t often displayed clearly on their websites.
Plan well to make sure you have a great Mendoza wine tasting experience and not ruin your wine tasting.
- If you’re driving yourself, you’ll need to contact the wineries ahead of time to make your reservations. In the itineraries below I’ve linked to their websites. There is usually an email address, phone number, or contact form under the tourism section of their site. If you’ve hired a driver, they should take care of this.
- Most wineries begin offering tours from 10 am. Ideally, you’ll visit two wineries at 10 am and 11:30(ish) and a third for lunch. Lunches are best at the wineries themselves, most offering a fixed coursed menu with wine pairings (even more vino!).
- PRO-TIP: I always like to have a few extra wineries in mind that are nearby. I won’t reserve a tasting with them in case there’s no time. Two tours and lunch can usually fill the day. But if there is time, I’ll swing by and see if they have time to squeeze me in for a tasting (you won’t have time for a third tour).
Sample Mendoza Winery Itineraries
Here are two sample itineraries for my two favorite wine regions: Lujan de Cuyo & The Uco Valley.
They’re tried and tested (they’re our itineraries from our more recent trip!).
Take them and copy them identically or use them as a guide, substituting your own favorite wineries that are nearby.
Whichever you choose, I hope you have an excellent day of wine tasting!
Uco Valley Itinerary
If I were to plan a wine tasting in Valle de Uco Itinerary for a friend, this is the day I’d schedule for them.
- O. Fournier – 10 am – This winery is the furthest, so start here and work your way back up. Their first tour is at 10 am, so wake up early and eat a hearty breakfast to prepare yourself for all that wine you’ll be drinking today.
- SuperUco – 12 pm – It will take you 40 minutes to drive here from O. Fournier so you’ll need to schedule SuperUco for no earlier than noon.
- Optional Bonus Tasting at Corazon del Sol or Solo Contigo: If you have time for an extra tasting after SuperUco and before your lunch reservation, see if you can squeeze in a quick tasting at one of these two wineries. They’re on the same property as SuperUco (as they form part of The Vines).
- Bodega Azul – 2:30 pm for lunch – You’ll spend the remaining hours of your afternoon hours here, so sit back and enjoy the meal. Stretch your legs in between courses under the Mendoza sun looking at the mountains, or lounge on the sofas in the grass after lunch.
Lujan de Cuyo Itinerary
This is my ideal day in Lujan de Cuyo, and it’s tried and tested because this is how we spent a day here this year.
You’ll need a car or a driver for this itinerary as these wineries aren’t reachable by bikes rented from Baccus.
It’s worth the effort, I promise.
- A16 – 10 am – Start your day with a tasting and a tour at A16.
- Melipal – 11:30 am – Melipal is only a few minutes from A16 so it was ideal and we made it just in time for our tour and tasting here.
- Ojo de Agua – 1:30 pm for a winery lunch – It took us about 15-20 minutes to drive to Ojo de Agua from Melipal. Enjoy a leisurely lunch, we finished lunch at 4 pm.
- Optional Bonus Tasting after lunch. Wineries close at 5 or 6 so if you play your cards right you can squeeze in one last tasting (no tour) after Ojo de Agua. Choose from: Septima, Cruzat, Viña Cobos or Ruca Malen.
Map of the Best Mendoza Wineries & Hotels
Use the following map to see the locations of the best Mendoza vineyards, hotels & restaurants mentioned in this post.
Where to stay in Mendoza
Most people choose to base themselves in the city of Mendoza and take day trips to the wineries or into the mountains.
But I believe that Argentina is one of the most beautiful countries in the world due to its stunning landscapes, not for its cities.
So, should you stay in Mendoza city or in the countryside on a wine resort?
Should you stay in the city?
If you’re nervous about renting a car and setting out on your own in a foreign country, stay in the Mendoza city center and take tours (there are plenty, see the above list!).
If you’re a backpacker or young solo traveler who wants to meet fellow travelers or enjoy the nightlife, stay in the city.
My personal recommendation: Stay in the Uco Valley
If a rental car is in your budget, I personally recommend skipping the city and staying in the Uco Valley.
The Uco Valley is what dreams are made of.
Hotels are set up amongt the vines at the foot of the Andes. It’s peaceful and idyllic.
On our recent trip, we spent three nights in the Uco Valley split between two hotels, it was a dream y’all.
Best Uco Valley Hotels
On our most recent trip, we spent three nights in the Uco Valley.
We divided our stay between the following two hotels. I’d be hard-pressed choosing a favorite!
Both were excellent experiences.
We spent two nights in Tupungato Divino (seen in the two previous photos) and it was, well it to repeat the name, it was divine.
At only $97 US a night it was very affordable.
It’s made up of small cabins set on a farm that grows grapes to sell to other wineries. The view from your bed consists of vines, the Andes and one hell of a sunset.
There’s a restaurant on property serving up simple but very good lunches and dinners.
Finca la Azul Guesthouse
We also stayed at Finca la Azul Guesthouse (seen below). It was ideal after having lunch at their restaurant and drinking all their wine.
The winery and guesthouse are a family project, and the hotel itself is actually the family’s original home that’s been reformed into a luxury wine hotel.
I can’t imagine being lucky enough to live in such a beautiful location, but lucky for us we were able to pretend it was home for one night.
Best Hotels in Mendoza City
If you’d feel more comfortable staying in Mendoza city proper, here are some great options for accommodation in Mendoza to consider.
Bed & Breakfast Plaza Italia
We stayed in this B&B on our first visit to Mendoza and it was great!
It was before my blogging days so I don’t have any pictures of it to show you, but I can promise that the pictures here are accurate.
The owners were so friendly and gave us fantastic restaurant recommendations. It’s centrally located and ideal for couples.
Park Hyatt Hotel Mendoza
If you’re looking for luxury hotels in Mendoza, this is it.
It’s beautiful (I completely rubbernecked as we walked by it). The Park Hyatt also has the perfect location in town, right on the main square downtown.
Wine Tasting in Mendoza: In Summary
I hope this post gives you EVERYTHING you need to know to visit Mendoza.
If you have any questions whatsoever, please let me know in the comments and I’ll answer you as soon as I can.
If I missed your favorite Mendoza vineyard, let me know in the comments as well!
I’m always looking for places to visit on our next Argentine wine trip.
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