Sacha, tell me about everything you can do in Mendoza! Was 48 hours enough?
To be honest, I have asked myself time and time again if it was worth sharing my Mendoza itinerary. I mean, it’s far from being Paris, Nice or Milan.
We thought at some point that we hadn’t done enough research before leaving that we hadn’t read enough about the city. We were even planning on taking a tourist bus tour—something we N.E.V.E.R. do while on vacation.
That says a lot! Then finally, while reading the list of places the bus was to stop at, we changed our minds! In truth, all of Mendoza’s most famous parks were being restored while we were there, which didn’t help!
(Keep reading—I promise that at the end I’ll tell you YES, you have to see Mendoza!)
Actually, in 1861, Mendoza was hit by a massive 7.2-magnitude earthquake. When the biggest earthquake in Argentina’s history hit Mendoza, it left nothing in its wake. They had to rebuild everything from scratch and with little financial means, all while worrying about facing more earthquakes in the future. That explains the presence of little one-story houses that make up a good part of the city.
Despite that, we liked Mendoza a lot. Here’s why!
The city of Mendoza is located in the desert, where the air is dry, and the temperature is very hot, especially in summer. To give you an idea, we went in the middle of summer and in the afternoon, it could easily be 36 °C in the shade.
It is actually the perfect climate to wither on the sidewalk—or to grow Malbec vines! Haha! I think we’ll go for the second option, thank you very much, all while finding a little spot in the shade! Haha 😉
Wineries account for more than 150 000 hectares in the area surrounding Mendoza, generating around two-thirds of Argentina’s total wine production. I’m telling you! That’s where all that good Malbec wine comes from!
Some say that Malbec vines grow almost like weeds, to give you an idea. As a matter of fact, Argentina has such an extensive production of Malbec that they are the only country in the world that can use Malbec to make sparkling wine—up to 5% of the bottle. That sets the stage for delectable sparkling rosés, like those made by Chandon.
You’ll get that considering what I just said, we absolutely had to visit a few wineries!
There were so many options! We visited Bodega Trapiche, because that’s what I drink back home when I’m broke! #NotKidding That’s actually why I didn’t want to visit the Trapiche winery since I thought we would be drinking cheap stuff. But we were in for quite a surprise!
During our visit, we learned that they send their least expensive wines to North America, which explains why it’s so easy to come across cheap Malbec wines!
While we were there, we had a six-course meal of food and wine pairings, and some of those wines blew us away!
Seriously. We weren’t expecting that at all! We even brought a few bottles home with us. I highly recommend you visit Bodega Trapiche while travelling to Mendoza. You can book a guided tour or enjoy a long meal and taste many wines like we did.
We also visited Bodega Chandon, a world-renown sparkling wine producer. You can read all about my lovely visit over here.
You’ll see when looking it up for yourself that there are lots of wineries in Mendoza. Here are some others I would recommend: Alta vista, Di Tomasso, Bodega Renacer. I didn’t get to visit them, but I heard good comments about them from Mendoza locals.
You have to book your visits a few weeks in advance. Each basic tour costs about 350 pesos, so CAD 12. If you are a wine lover, I don’t recommend sticking to the basic tours—the slightly more expensive tours offer tastings of high-end wines. I mean, let’s be honest, you didn’t travel all this way just to taste a $15 bottle of wine!
That’s not an easy one! It is inadvisable to rent a car to go around on your wine tours. Indeed, Argentina has very strict rules when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. So, don’t take any chances and make different plans in order to have an unforgettable day. 😉
Our hotel made arrangements with a trustworthy taxi driver that they often do business with, to take us on our winery tours. We negotiated a price of 3000 pesos—CAD 110—for one day.
It’s not a small amount, but the taxi driver drove us around for more than 100 km and stayed with us for about 6 hours, on top of keeping us safe and bringing us back to the hotel safe and sound!
WHERE TO STAY
We had, according to us, the best hotel: The Park Hyatt, which allowed us to go around the city on foot, between two glasses of red wine and a dip in the pool.
ARE YOU MORE OF THE ACTIVE TYPE?
If you would rather go hiking in the mountains than visiting wineries, you should know that Mendoza is the perfect spot for that too, because the city is located at the foot of the Andes. Some say the view from the mountains is to die for, but I’m not one to say—I was too busy tasting good wine! #Lolilol
WHERE TO EAT
It’s a little bakery and restaurant all in one. They have a large backyard where you can soak up the sun while sipping on an Aperol Spritz, and taste one of their delicious meals!
Where’s the wine menu? Actually, it doesn’t exist. Instead, they invite you to go choose your bottle directly from the wine cellar, where a sommelier awaits. You tell him what you plan on eating, he gives advice, you choose and then you get to taste it at your table! We had a delightful meal of aged beef carpaccio, filet mignon and let’s not forget the dulce de leche flavoured crème brûlée… that I still think about sometimes!
EATING IN A WINERY
When visiting wineries, make sure you add having a meal there to your list of things to do. We went to Trapiche, but many other wineries also have a restaurant that offers meals and other services.
All in all, Mendoza is a great place to be. Life is sweet, the wine is aged to perfection, and it’s as if time holds still for a moment. As soon as you arrive, you can feel the chill vibe of the city. Just breathe in, breathe out and enjoy the moment.
Welcome to Mendoza! 😉
This post was translated from French to English by:
Isabelle, 24 years old. I’m an easy-going girl; quick-witted and a devoted fan of puns. As much as I enjoy staying home binge-watching series and reading novels, I also love traveling and discovering new things.