Does ‘Napa Valley of the South’ sound good to you? Great… Mendoza it is! Mendoza is the largest wine region in Argentina and set at the edge of the Andes Mountains. So if you’re more of an adventurer when it comes to traveling, you can hit the mountains and rivers during the day and relax with a glass of wine in the evenings. 

mendoza,
argentina

a few things to note...

Before I get into the details, there is a bit of important context regarding this wine region. To begin with, the Mendoza wine region is much more than the city of Mendoza. Rather, it’s actually three distinct wine regions:    

Our favorite - Uco Valley: This region is a bit over an hour south of the city of Mendoza but totally worth the trip. You will be more isolated here but your drive will take you through a more remote part of Argentina and in the end you will be nestled in the foothills of the Andes and among some of the best wineries in the country. The wineries in this region are so unique that each deserves a tour – we spent four days here and didn’t make it to every winery we wanted to try but if you choose not to stay here, this region and a few of its best wineries can be visited in a day. Do not miss this region if you’re making the trip to Mendoza!    

A stunning alternative - Lujan de Cuyo: This region is about a half hour drive south of the city of Mendoza and has some gorgeous wineries as well. We didn’t stay in or visit this region but our initial research that led us to Uco Valley made it clear that this region is gorgeous as well. Not as isolated, this is an easier day trip from the city of Mendoza and we would suggest a night here if you have time in your itinerary.    
The easy option - Maipu Region: This region is largely located in and around the city of Mendoza so while it is the easiest of the three regions to experience, it’s lacks the beauty of Uco. Some of the wineries are really pretty and most can be visited by bicycle so this is for you if you would prefer not to rent a car or if you happen to be in Mendoza or a shorter trip.  

There are more than 1,500 wineries across the broader Mendoza wine region and you can probably find whatever experience you are looking for. The setting for most of these is absolutely stunning and some of the best winery architecture in the world can be found here. Keep reading for all of our top picks in the area! 

WHERE WE STAYED

The vine's resort & spa

This is the ultimate pick for architecture and sustainability lovers. It’s eco-friendly, it’s modern and it’s beautiful. Although it’s a 2 hour drive from the airport, it makes for a great home base to explore the area and its location at the foothills of the Andes means you get some incredible views from your room. We visited in September of 2018 for my 30th birthday and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. We found the service to be extremely friendly and personalized… they offer a range of activities including horseback riding, tennis, archery, horse drawn carriages, cooking classes, cocktail classes, and of course wine tours and tastings. We also had a traditional asado lunch in the middle of their vineyard after an informal, personal tour of the vineyard from the winemaker. For the outdoor enthusiasts, think mountain biking, paragliding, net fishing, white water rafting and more. It’s perfect for both wine lovers and adventurers! Check our their rooms and private villas… both are dreamy!


This was a close second for us when we booked at Casa de Uco. We keep dreaming of a trip back to Mendoza and although it hasn’t happened yet, this is where we’d love to stay next time. This resort is also located in the Uco Valley and another luxurious stay at the base of the Andes Mountains. We did pop in for dinner one night during our trip to dine at their signature restaurant, Siete Fuegos. 

Cavas Wine Lodge

Park Hyatt Mendoza  

Finca la Azul Guesthouse

other recommendations

hotels

casa de uco

WHERE WE ate

EL ASADITO

Located at The Vines Resort & Spa (just down the road from Casa de Uco), this restaurant is owned by the famous Argentine chef Francis Mallmann. We first learned about him on the Netflix series Chef’s Table and fell in love with his story and his style. Siete Fuegos means seven fires in Spanish and you’ll see this at the restaurant as a variety of food is cooked over seven different types of fires. This restaurant had amazing food and the cocktails were creative and tasty as well. It’s also worth knowing before you go that you can choose to have a normal sit down dinner or choose their “experience”. The experience allows you to sample a number of different dishes and cocktails with a large group of travelers like yourself - this is a great way to meet other like-minded individuals from across the globe if you’re the social type.

If you’ve dreamed of seemingly endless Argentinian steaks and sausages for very low prices, this is the place for you. Located in the town of Mendoza, we stopped here after we picked up our rental car for a big lunch before heading to the Uco Valley. The food was great and the restaurant was packed – a great spot in town to start your adventure. Make sure to try the blood sausages if you haven’t had the chance yet!

1884 RESTAURANT

ORÉGANO

OJO DE AGUA

restaurants

Siete Fuegos Restaurant

other recommendations

PIEDRA INFINITA

WHERE WE ATE

SIETE FUEGOS RESTAURANT

Located at The Vines Resort & Spa (just down the road from Casa de Uco), this restaurant is owned by the famous Argentine chef Francis Mallmann. We first learned about him on the Netflix series Chef’s Table and fell in love with his story and his style. Siete Fuegos means seven fires in Spanish and you’ll see this at the restaurant as a variety of food is cooked over seven different types of fires. This restaurant had amazing food and the cocktails were creative and tasty as well. It’s also worth knowing before you go that you can choose to have a normal sit down dinner or choose their “experience”. The experience allows you to sample a number of different dishes and cocktails with a large group of travelers like yourself - this is a great way to meet other like-minded individuals from across the globe if you’re the social type.


If you’ve dreamed of seemingly endless Argentinian steaks and sausages for very low prices, this is the place for you. Located in the town of Mendoza, we stopped here after we picked up our rental car for a big lunch before heading to the Uco Valley. The food was great and the restaurant was packed – a great spot in town to start your adventure. Make sure to try the blood sausages if you haven’t had the chance yet!

1884 RESTAURANT

OREGANO

OJO DE AGUA

other recommendations

restaurants

EL ASADITO

PIEDRA INFINITA

HOW TO GET THERE

Fly into Mendoza Gaberelli F.J International Airport (MDZ) - the easiest way to get here is to connect through a big South American City such as Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina (~one hour flights from each).

The other alternative is to drive from Santiago, Chile which would take on you on an amazing traverse over the Andes mountain range and through some absolutely stunning scenery. If you have time and patience, this may be the route for you. Google says this route should take about 5.5 hours but the big unknown is the time you will need to spend at the border. If you rent a car for this trip, make sure to tell the rental agency in advance and they will provide all of the necessary paperwork to cross the border and make sure to confirm the pass is open if you’re traveling during the winter.



travel

WINE TOURS, OF COURSE!

(please remember to make reservations early to ensure you get to these as most will not let you through the front gate without them!)  


excursions

BODEGA SALENTEIN

ALFA CRUX (FORMERLY O.FOURNIER)

WE VISITED:

BODEGA MONTEVIEJO

MAIPU REGION - BODGEGA LA RURAL, TEMPUS ALBA, MEVI, TRAPICHE, SANTA JULIA

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

LUJAN DE CUYO REGION - LAGARDE, CLOS DE CHACRAS, MELIPAL, KAIKEN

UCO VALLEY REGION - SUPERUCO, BODEGA LA AZUL, DOMAINE BOUSQUET, ANDELUNA, ZUCCARDI

Horseback riding

This is your chance to be a gaucho for a day. Horseback riding anywhere in this region will likely commence in the foothills of the Andes and gain elevation and views as you go. On our tour, we stopped at the top of a foothill and had a nice bottle of red with the two real gauchos that took us on our trip.

asado lunch

Depending on the wineries you plan to visit, a great alternative to eating at a restaurant is to find a spot that offers a lunch like this. Think open flames, a lot of cuts of great Argentinian steaks, sausages and vegetables, bottles of wine, and so on. Great way to spend a few hours if luck is on your side with the weather.

bike tours

A great way to see various vineyards and offered for free at most hotels. We took the Casa de Uco bikes out for a picnic one day and it was an amazing (and free) experience.

paragliding

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

archery

spa

hiking

thermal springs

how to get there

Fly into Mendoza Gaberelli F.J International Airport (MDZ) - the easiest way to get here is to connect through a big South American City such as Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina (~one hour flights from each).    

The other alternative is to drive from Santiago, Chile which would take on you on an amazing traverse over the Andes mountain range and through some absolutely stunning scenery. If you have time and patience, this may be the route for you. Google says this route should take about 5.5 hours but the big unknown is the time you will need to spend at the border. If you rent a car for this trip, make sure to tell the rental agency in advance and they will provide all of the necessary paperwork to cross the border and make sure to confirm the pass is open if you’re traveling during the winter.

travel

WINE TOURS, OF COURSE!

(please remember to make reservations early to ensure you get to these as most will not let you through the front gate without them!)  

BODEGA SALENTEIN

MAIPU REGION: BODGEGA LA RURAL, TEMPUS ALBA, MEVI, TRAPICHE, SANTA JULIA

excursions

other recommendations

we visited:

ALFA CRUX (FORMERLY O.FOURNIER)

BODEGA MONTEVIEJO

LUJAN DE CUYO REGION: LAGARDE, CLOS DE CHACRAS, MELIPAL, KAIKEN

UCO VALLEY REGION: SUPERUCO, BODEGA LA AZUL, DOMAINE BOUSQUET, ANDELUNA, ZUCCARDI

horseback riding

This is your chance to be a gaucho for a day. Horseback riding anywhere in this region will likely commence in the foothills of the Andes and gain elevation and views as you go. On our tour, we stopped at the top of a foothill and had a nice bottle of red with the two real gauchos that took us on our trip.

asado lunch

Depending on the wineries you plan to visit, a great alternative to eating at a restaurant is to find a spot that offers a lunch like this. Think open flames, a lot of cuts of great Argentinian steaks, sausages and vegetables, bottles of wine, and so on. Great way to spend a few hours if luck is on your side with the weather.

bike tours

A great way to see various vineyards and offered for free at most hotels. We took the Casa de Uco bikes out for a picnic one day and it was an amazing (and free) experience.

other recommendations

paragliding

archery

spa

hiking

thermal springs

weather + when to go

October until April (largely over the South American summer) are generally considered the best months to visit as this spans the planting and harvest seasons. Weather can be hot during the day in peak-Summer (January and February) but nights will always be cooler so pack something warm for the evenings. March and April in particular are big harvest months throughout the region.    

May through September (South American winter) will lack the greenery and are generally cooler months but these are still great times to visit if you’re unable to make it between October and April. We went in September and thought that the views of the Andes were especially gorgeous given there was snow down into the foothills which added a dramatic backdrop to the views from our hotel.  


info

important details

Rent a car or hire a driver - we rented a car to get from the airport to our hotel and to cruise around the Uco Valley a bit but we decided to hire a driver for two days where we did winery tours and to go to dinner at Siete Fuegos.

Make reservations in advance - I’d strongly recommend this (all regions other than Maipu) as it will allow you to take better advantage of your time and ensure you get access to all of the amazing wineries. Each winery we visited was super unique and deserved a decent amount of time for the tour. I would recommend three wineries max for one day and plan around lunch (great food at some wineries, none at others). 

Argentine pesos are the main currency - the peso has depreciated substantially versus the dollar since mid-2018. Most places continue to price things in pesos but others (like our hotel) have started pricing things in US dollars (think rooms, spa services, gift shop, etc.) as a way to avoid further currency risk. You should be fine paying almost everywhere with cards but it was great for us to have cash (pesos) for drivers, tips and other small things like this. 



weather + when to go

October until April (largely over the South American summer) are generally considered the best months to visit as this spans the planting and harvest seasons. Weather can be hot during the day in peak-Summer (January and February) but nights will always be cooler so pack something warm for the evenings. March and April in particular are big harvest months throughout the region.    

May through September (South American winter) will lack the greenery and are generally cooler months but these are still great times to visit if you’re unable to make it between October and April. We went in September and thought that the views of the Andes were especially gorgeous given there was snow down into the foothills which added a dramatic backdrop to the views from our hotel.  

info

important details

Rent a car or hire a driver - we rented a car to get from the airport to our hotel and to cruise around the Uco Valley a bit but we decided to hire a driver for two days where we did winery tours and to go to dinner at Siete Fuegos.

Make reservations in advance - I’d strongly recommend this (all regions other than Maipu) as it will allow you to take better advantage of your time and ensure you get access to all of the amazing wineries. Each winery we visited was super unique and deserved a decent amount of time for the tour. I would recommend three wineries max for one day and plan around lunch (great food at some wineries, none at others). 

Argentine pesos are the main currency - the peso has depreciated substantially versus the dollar since mid-2018. Most places continue to price things in pesos but others (like our hotel) have started pricing things in US dollars (think rooms, spa services, gift shop, etc.) as a way to avoid further currency risk. You should be fine paying almost everywhere with cards but it was great for us to have cash (pesos) for drivers, tips and other small things like this. 

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