How to Plan the Perfect Mendoza Wine Tour

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The Mendoza wine region is one of my favorite wine areas to visit. It’s the largest wine region in Argentina, with vineyards at altitudes as high as 6,000 feet above sea level. And the views are unbeatable.

If you’ve been looking for the perfect wine tasting tour, you need look no further than the beautiful Mendoza wine region. It is comprised of three major wine producing areas: the Uco Valley, Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo. Each of these growing areas produces slightly different varietals and has a unique feel that sets it apart from the others.

Our Discover Wine series focuses on regions of the world that you can visit for wine tasting.

Wine barrels in a cellar

In order to get a good overview of the region and try some wine from each of the areas, we highly recommend you try to visit all three areas to see for yourself the changes in terroir and climate, and see the affect those things have on the wine.

With a solid plan for touring Mendoza’s wineries, you’ll be able to do all three areas in just 3-6 days (depending on how many wineries you want to visit in each area and if you have the time to visit at a slower pace, covering each region in 2 days rather than one.)

Tips for Planning a Mendoza Wine Tour

Bodega Salentein

How to Get to the Mendoza  Wine Region

Most flights from the U.S. to Mendoza require a stopover in Buenos Aires on the way, where you’ll also be required to stop and pay the visa fee of $160 (for U.S. Citizens). The fee can also be paid online in order to avoid the lines.

Many domestic flights go out of a different airport, so you may be required to hustle from one to the other. A better way is to fly into Santiago, Chile, and then on to Mendoza so you don’t have to change airports. The airport in Mendoza is only about a 30-40 minute drive from the city and a taxi is the most efficient way to get to your hotel.

Wine Tour Options

I would usually recommend renting a car to do your own wine tour, but that isn’t the way I would suggest you see Mendoza. First of all, the roads are not well marked and it can be very difficult to find your way around to the wineries.

The wine route isn’t as defined in Mendoza as in other wine regions. Secondly, if you don’t speak Spanish well, you may run into issues getting into the wineries, as they are very well secured and you will have to explain your reason for being there. It’s best to hire a driver and let them navigate for you.

Here are three options for visiting the wineries:

Where To Do Wine Tasting in Mendoza

Bodega Andeluna

While it hasn’t reached the ease of Napa wine touring, getting around to the best wineries in the region doesn’t have to be difficult. The best way to see the entire region at your own pace is to hire a driver (this may be expensive, but is necessary) for three days and set out to visit up to four Mendoza wineries in each of the three wine regions: Lujan de Cuyo, Uco Valley and Maipu.

Each region has a unique feel, but if you can’t make it to all three, a day-trip to one or two will suffice. All of the itineraries have a good mix of modern, large commercial and family-owned wineries. Check out or list of 11 Must-Visit Mendoza wineries for more details.

The most characteristic grape varietal in Mendoza is Malbec. Malbec is the iconic wine of the region, the province and the country. Other red varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc stand out among the whites, but you’ll also find Chenin Blanc, Bondarda and some Torrontes.

In Lujan de Cuyo:

  • Archaval Ferrer
  • Ruca Malen
  • Vistalba
  • Clos de Chacras
  • Catena Zapata
  • Casarena

In Uco Valley:

  • Salentein
  • Andaluna
  • Domaine Bousquet

In Maipu:

  • Trapiche
  • Tapiz
  • Familia Zuccardi

Where to Stay in Mendoza

One of the best places to stay is right in the center of Mendoza city, where you don’t need a car to get around. You can walk to many great restaurants and bars, including the really awesome Vines of Mendoza, which we highly recommend.

However, one of our favorite hotels is on the outskirts of town, and I wouldn’t shy away from staying there either, if you like something more quiet. Our third recommendation is more wine related and a fantastic experience.

Where To Eat & Drink in Mendoza

food and wine
The Vines of Mendoza flight tasting and charcuterie plate

Here’s a list of  some of the best food options in Mendoza:

  • Francis Mallman 1884: Located slightly out of town, this restaurant serves local cuisine with a modern twist. Francis Mallman is one of the South America‘s premier chefs. He also has a restaurant called Siete Fuegos located at The Vines Resort, which showcases Mallman’s open-flame cooking techniques.
  • Bodega Casarena hosts South-Korean chef Mun KIM in their new visitor center building. Chef Mun combines Asian and Argentina flavors into a unique five-course meal served along with Casarena wines. The dinner is only served once a week at 9pm on Saturday. If you’re in town on Saturday, don’t miss it! It was an exceptional evening. They also serve lunch Monday – Saturday on their lovely outdoor patio.
  • Casa de Campo is a great spot for lunch when you’re touring the wineries in Maipu. You’ll find it packed with locals and very little English being spoken. What you will get is an authentic Argentinean meal at a great price. Go with the tasting menu, which will give you a fairly large portion of a lot of their famous dishes.
  • For an amazing winery lunch in the Lujan de Cuyo area, try Bodega Ruca Malen — great wines and really creatively plated food served in a sunroom overlooking the vineyards. In Uco Valley, try Andaluna. You can choose which line of their wine you’d like to have with your five-course lunch.

Tours to Book:


Be Prepared For Travel

Planning is the most important part of any successful trip. Do it the easy way:

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Vineyards in Mendoza

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How to Plan the Perfect Mendoza Wine Tour

4 thoughts on “How to Plan the Perfect Mendoza Wine Tour

  1. Gustavo Williams says:

    Hi Laura I’d like recommend you two more wineries, the first to have an excellent lunch close to Ruca but with lower cost and high quality in wines and lunch is Dominios del Plata the winery of Susana Balbo the first female winemaker in Argentina. The second winery is Viña Cobos who the owner is the famous Californian winemakers Paul Hobbs and produce in this land maybe the top wines of Mendoza.

  2. Marcelo Salcedo says:

    Hi Laura! Nice website! I’m Marcelo Salcedo, driver of Mendoza Wine Transfers. I have 2 suggestions for your website and 1 question. 1 Catena Zapata winery is located in Luján de Cuyo area, 2 Casarena Winery also is located in Luján de Cuyo area.
    The question is how can I appear or publish on this website or wine tours service? If you want, You can check our website or instagram Mendoza_wine_transfers for more details. I expect your response please. Thanks in advance. Warmest regards from Mendoza.

  3. Jaisha says:

    Thanks for this article! My boyfriend and I toured Mendoza with Marcelo Salcedo yesterday and had a wonderful (and affordable) experience. I’d recommend Mendoza Wine Transfers to anyone visiting Mendoza. Also a Visa is no longer required for US citicens.

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