After spending a few days in Valle de Uco, we headed to the heart of Mendoza for more wine tasting. Mendoza is a bigger city than I had imagined and honestly lacked a little wine country charm. However, once you’re in a tasting room or on a vineyard tour, it feels just right!
Getting around Mendoza
Rent a car! Renting a car is highly recommended and we had one up until our last day of the trip. Once we realized how much we needed one we tried to rent another but they were all sold out due to a national holiday. Now we know to look these things up! Anyways, we took a cab around on our wine tasting day and not only was it expensive but it left us a little stranded in between tastings. Hiring a driver who waits on you is a better, albeit much pricier, option.
Wine Tasting in Mendoza
Ironically, this one we don’t actually recommend but we do want to share our experience. To be honest, the only reason I wanted to go to this winery is that I thought they had llamas and horse and buggy rides. We were disappointed, to say the least when we found out they had none of the above. The building looked a bit dilapidated and there were no llamas in sight! We also didn’t enjoy the wines very much. They are all made in stainless steel and we prefer oak aging. The tour was informative and the guide was super nice. Insider Tip: If you buy a bottle your tasting fee is waived! Since there were two of us we actually saved money by buying a bottle!
After finishing up at Tapiz, we had a few hours to kill before our tasting at Budeguer and there wasn’t really anywhere to eat lunch in between. We started walking along the road (which is lined with wineries) and came across Dolium. This winery was a little strange but cool. Upon arrival there were tons of dogs laying around the entrance and it was definitely more mom and pop than mainstream. As expected, we didn’t need a reservation so we got a quick tour and tasting. Their entire theme is subterranean wine and they are very eco-friendly. They even re-use all of their barrels! The tasting was great and it included freshly baked empanadas which were a super bonus! We even got to chat with the owner. A random but definitely fun stop.
Budeguer is great! Their building and vineyard are beautiful and the girl who led our tour was awesome! She was knowledgeable and so much fun. This winery is a little more modern and they recently rebranded so bright, fun colors were popping everywhere. The tasting was top notch and included yummy snacks! This was our favorite winery by far in Mendoza.
We had a reservation at Vistalba but after Budeguer we were running a little late and we missed our tour. They were beyond accommodating and treated us to snacks and a complimentary glass to enjoy until they quickly closed. I am bummed we didn’t get to do the entire experience here but what we did see was very beautiful and nice.
Where to Stay
Within the city of Mendoza there are several hotels and hostels. We wanted to be in the country a bit more so we stayed about 15 minutes out of the city at this Airbnb. It was on a vineyard and the owner was kind. The house itself was lovely as well and even had a pool to enjoy for the warmer months.
Haven’t tried out Airbnb yet? Click here to get a $40 travel credit.
Where to Eat
El Mercadito is exactly as it sounds; a cute, market-style restaurant with fresh foods. They were closing when we arrived so we ate at their sister restaurant next door, Perro de Lombardo Gastropub and It was great! They have casual fare and yummy beer.
Another good spot to grab a beer if you are over wine tasting. Believe has all the cozy Irish pub feels plus free popcorn!
This street has tons of bars and restaurants including a booming beer scene for the tired wine palate. Lined with trees and very pedestrian friendly, it is a nice place to stroll in the afternoon.
While we preferred staying in Valle de Uco, we had a nice time in Mendoza. The cute downtown and plentiful wineries are perfect for an Argentinian weekend getaway.
Want more information to plan your trip to Mendoza? Check out the Argentina Lonely Planet here.