Last Updated on October 1, 2021
After living in Buenos Aires for nearly 12 years I’ve become quite attached to Malbec.
So naturally, Mendoza has become one of my favorite destinations here.
I’ve been to Mendoza a couple of times and despite there being plenty to do, I only visited Mendoza wineries… every single day.
What can I say, I am a woman on a mission.
Combined I’ve spent 8 days wine tasting in Mendoza but I’ve spent countless days dreaming about future trips (sad but true).
This post includes all my favorite stand-out Mendoza bodegas plus the ones on my to-do list for our next trip (hopefully early 2022, stay tuned!).
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.
QUICK NOTE: This post contains affiliate links and Sol Salute may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no extra cost to you.
A Complete Guide to Wine Tasting in Mendoza
One thing you need to know before you plan your Mendoza wine tour is that it is huge and sprawling.
There are actually three major wine regions that make up Mendoza: Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, and the Uco Valley.
While you will taste incredible wine anywhere you go in Mendoza, all wineries and wine regions were not created equal regarding experience.
- Maipu is closest to the city and easiest to reach by bus then tour by bike. I highly recommend it for backpackers on a shoestring budget.
- Lujan de Cuyo is a little further from the city yet still reachable by bus or an affordable taxi. A few wineries are reachable by foot, others by bike, and the best of the best by car.
- The Uco Valley is home to the BEST Mendoza wineries and most stunning views, end of story. It is the furthest from the city (an hour and a half drive). You need to hire a private driver like this one or rent a car.
Wine tastings and tours are very affordable in Argentina compared to the US and Europe. Some cost as little as $5.
The quality of the Mendoza wine you will taste here is excellent and lucky for you, so is the quantity.
Tasting sizes tend to be full pours here (which makes the private drivers worth their weight in gold).
NOTE: You’ll also want to read my guide on Where to Stay in Mendoza (with all of the best hotels and neighborhoods).
MY TOP TIP: If you only have ONE day to dedicate to wine tastings, I recommend spending it in the Uco Valley. It has the best wineries in Mendoza, the highest quality wine, and the most impressive views. Hire a private driver like this one to make the most of your day. You can scroll down to see my favorite Uco Valley wineries to plan your day.
The Best Wineries in Maipu
Starting with the area closest to Mendoza city proper and possibly the easiest to visit, these are the best wineries in Maipu.
This area is popular with backpackers.
The main road was very industrial if you are biking. Alongside the bike lane were mainly 18 wheelers and large lorries, not exactly fitting with the romantic image I had imagined of riding among the vines.
However, once we were in the wineries themselves, and off the road, these Maipu bodegas were very beautiful.
Two of them even included a free bottle of wine to take away as a part of the tasting package, not something you’ll find in other regions.
If you’re with a driver or your own car, visit wineries off the backpacker bike path. You’ll find prettier vistas and more expansive properties.
You can go on a guided Maipu bike tour like this one to see the best wineries there.
1. 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.
The tour ends with a wine tasting in their impressive tasting room.
Mevi is a great 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 below is on their terrace, the Malbec Rose in my hand was very good.
They are located down a small road further from the main highway so it is quiet and beautiful here.
Trapiche is the one winery in Maipu I wish we had had time to visit but weren’t able to. No matter where you’re visiting from, you’ve likely seen a bottle of Trapiche Malbec on your store shelves back home.
They are one of the oldest wineries in the region, established in 1883.
They have been winning awards for their high quality wines since 1889.
The building you’ll tour is newer to Trapiche, the most well-known Argentina winery, remodeled and restored to it’s previous glory.
Visiting Trapiche is at the top of my wish list for future trips.
If you’ve tried their wines at home don’t miss the chance to learn about their interesting history in person.
The Best Wineries in 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 the small town of Chacras de Coria and it takes 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.
You can rent bikes to visit wineries in and around Chacras de Coria or if you have a car or driver, visit the wineries further afield (it’s worth it, I promise!).
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.
DO YOU NEED TO RESERVE AHEAD OF TIME? 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 before your trip (contact information for each winery is included below).
4. Carmelo Patti
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 Carmelo Patti every time I go to Mendoza.
Carmelo Patti is a garage winery, which technically 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 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.
phone: (+54 261) 498-5185 / 0011 and (+54 261) 6815961
Lagarde produces excellent wine grown on a beautiful historic 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 in the area.
6. 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.
Relax with a glass of their wine on the deck next to their large coy pond or enjoy lunch in their dining room, located inside a beautiful restored building from the 1920’s.
Tours take you through the winery and vineyard and the tasting at the end conveniently comes with a cheese plate that you can enjoy at your leisure.
phone: (0261) 4768869, int 104
We visited Melipal on our second visit to Mendoza’s wineries and it was one of our favorite wineries of that entire trip.
The building is impressive and modern, nearly blending in with the surrounding landscape while also standing out among the vines.
I was impressed by the docking station where trucks unload the grapes. It was designed specifically to create a constant current of air to keep the grapes from growing any mold. The design here left nothing to chance.
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 spectacular and our tour guide was very friendly.
After our tour of the property (which included a tasting straight from the barrel), we were free to taste any of their wines that we’d like.
I was particularly intrigued by their white wine made out of Malbec grapes!
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
phone: (+54) 261 4255182
9. Ojo de Agua
We had a delicious three-course lunch with wine pairings at Ojo de Agua.
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.
Ojo de Agua doesn’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
The Best Wineries in The Uco Valley
The Uco Valley is not only home to the most beautiful wineries in Mendoza but this region produces the highest quality wine in all of Argentina.
You’ll be hard-pressed to have a better experience than the one you’ll have in the Uco Valley.
MY TOP TIP: 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 or private driver that will bring you here.
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) but can follow your itinerary if its important to you.
Also, if your driver or guide is creating your itinerary and you want to visit a specific winery, let them know in advance.
10. O. Fournier
O. Fournier may be hard to reach 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, then you HAVE to visit O. Fournier.
The highlight for me (besides the wine, of course) were the massive tanks that also served as structural columns.
The tasting includes a wine from all levels of their wines. If you want to get more bang for your buck regarding the drive out, stay for lunch at their restaurant (the views won’t disappoint).
phone: +54 9 261 15467 1021
SuperUco was my favorite Argentina winery tour and tasting.
This Uco Valley 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 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 this changes).
phone: +54 9 261 681 9773 or +54 9 261 253 6086
12. Bodega La Azul
Bodega La Azul is my absolute favorite winery and restaurant in all of Mendoza.
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’m in Mendoza.
Bodega La Azul offers a 5-course lunch with (bottomless) 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.
It is a family-owned winery and the only winery owned by a family actually FROM Mendoza in the Uco Valley, which is predominately owned by Europeans.
For a unique experience offered by people who truly love what they do, have lunch at La Azul. You can read more about my most recent visit there in my review of Bodega La Azul (restaurant and hotel).
phone: +54-2622-423593 / +54-2622-422108
13. Domaine Bousquet
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. The dry air, the land, everything came together for him to produce some of the best organic wines in Argentina.
phone: +54 2622 480 000
14. Bodegas Salentein
Salentein is one of the most popular wines domestically in Argentina and abroad. You will see it on store shelves everywhere and for good reason.
Their wines are excellent at every level, even their youngest line Portillo finds its way to my kitchen on a regular basis.
This is one of the most popular Mendoza wineries to tour in the Uco Valley. The building itself is an archictural feat designed to be as inconspicuous as possible.
From ground level it appears to be a minute single-story building but once you descend the staircase you’ll find a massive space with room for 5,000 barrels.
The star of the show (aside from the wine) are the acoustics. In the center of the barrel room is a space designed to reverberate sound directly upwards. Concerts can be (and are) had here without affecting the barrels just steps away, not a single drop of wine will vibrate.
The only downside is that the visit is more expensive than its neighbors. For my last two visits it cost U$20 for a tour and tasting. But it’s very much worth it for such a unique experience.
There is also an art gallery on site, a restaurant, and a boutique hotel.
https://www.bodegasalentein.com/ (fill out their contact form to reserve, ask about their activities and unique packages).
15. Zuccardi Valle de Uco
Zuccardi in the Uco Valley is not only among the best Mendoza wineries, for three consecutive years it has been voted the best vineyard in the world in a list of the world’s Top 50 vineyards (other Argentine bodegas on the list include Salentein, Catena Zapata, and Trapiche).
Even before they won that distinction, Zuccardi has been in my sights for a while. It will be the first tour I schedule for our next trip.
They have regularly scheduled tours and tastings Tuesday-Sundays (closed Mondays), prior reservations required.
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, Septima (above) 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 Get to the Top Mendoza Bodegas
There are SO many top 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 on the most beautiful Mendoza vineyards (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 and you’re new to driving in Argentina, it may very well be the best option because you won’t have to worry about designated drivers in a place where drinking is the main attraction.
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.
Keep in mind when making your budget that a driver’s rate doesn’t typically include the fees for wine tours/tastings or your lunch.
3. Small Group Tour
If you are traveling alone and a private driver is out of your budget or you’d rather be with fellow travelers, a small group tour like this one is the best option for you.
With max group sizes of 8 people, you’ll still have an intimate experience yet enjoy your experience tasting the best Mendoza wines with a group.
NOTE: The price of a small group tour is about half what it will cost to hire a private driver, so if you’re with a friend/partner or even a group of friends (up to 4 people total) a private driver is, in fact, cheaper and more customizable.
The rate includes visits to 3-4 wineries, a gourmet lunch, and hotel pick-up.
4. 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
5. 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.
When to Visit Mendoza
The best time of year to visit Mendoza is generally from October until April, from planting until harvest.
However, visiting in summer (January and February) will give you hot afternoons and the busy season. Locals travel most in January.
The absolute best time to visit Mendoza is in March for harvest (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
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.
- 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 Mendoza 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
There is a seemingly never ending list of choices when it comes to Mendoza accommodation.
From bed and breakfasts or chain hotels in the city to luxury resorts on the vineyards, there is something for everyone.
Staying in the city is a good option if it’s your first time to Mendoza, if you’re on a tight budget, and/or you don’t want to rent a car. You’ll be walking distance to great restaurants, museums, and parks.
Staying on a vineyard, especially in the Uco Valley, is my favorite choice for Mendoza accommodation.
Here is a varied selection of places to stay in Mendoza from hostels in the city to resorts:
- Koala Hostel: For backpackers, I recommend this hostel. It’s in a well-maintained historic building downtown. They focus on cleanliness, which truly is next to Godliness when it comes to shared hostel living. Check availability & rates here.
- Bed & Breakfast Plaza Italia: We stayed in this B&B on our first visit to Mendoza and it was great! The owners were incredibly friendly and gave us fantastic restaurant recommendations. It’s centrally located and ideal for couples. Check availability & rates here.
- Park Hyatt Hotel Mendoza: If you want a luxury splurge in the city, this it it. It’s in a massive palace of a building and you’ll be treated like a queen. Check availability & rates here.
- Posada Borravino: We stayed at this boutique hotel in Chacras de Coria and had a lovely stay. This small town is adorable and quieter than the city center, at just a 20 minute drive (taxi or rent a car). They have bikes you can use to visit the wineries and a lovely pool and patio to rest afterwards. Check availability & rates here.
- Tupungato Divino: 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. It’s made up of small cabins and the view from your bed consists of vines, the Andes and one hell of a sunset. It’s luxury in the Uco Valley on a budget. Check availability & rates here.
- 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. It’s my favorite winery in Argentina so clearly I also LOVE their hotel. I can’t recommend it enough. Check availability & rates here.
Wine Tasting in Mendoza’s Bodegas: 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.
Read More About Argentina Wine Regions
- 6 Wineries in Cachi to Visit
- The 12 Best Wineries in Cafayate
- Things to do in Cafayate: Argentina’s 2nd Wine Region
- The Best Patagonia Wineries in Neuquen’s Unexpected Wine Region
- Bodega la Azul Review: Mendoza’s Best Winery Lunch and Hotel
- Potrerillos, Mendoza: White Water Rafting & Horseback Rides in the Andes
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