You may have heard it referred to as enotourism, oenotourisme, or vinitourism, but in the end, it’s all about wine. Wine tourism involves traveling to other countries with the goal of discovering some of the world’s finest wines. If your trips abroad are centered on stopping at every vineyard or heading to the best restaurants to try their wine selections, you’ll be happy to know that Argentina is just your style. More specifically, Argentina’s Mendoza region is a wine tourist’s dream come true.
Wine Tourism in Mendoza
Mendoza is one of Argentina’s most visited regions. It is known for its wine, which is grown at the foot of the Andes mountains. The region’s most popular grape varieties include: Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Sauvignon, Semillon, Torrontes and Viognier. Most of these varieties were brought over from France, and thrive in Argentina.
Mendoza is home to some of Argentina’s best and most famous wineries, to include Familia Zuccardi’s Vineyard and Winery, which is also famous for its olive groves. This vineyard’s olive oil can be found on restaurant tables all throughout Argentina. Other notable vineyards in the Mendoza region include Clos de los Siete and Carmelo Patti. The region boasts an impressive 70,000 + acres of vineyards, so be sure to stop at some of the smaller, family-run businesses while you’re there.
Take winery tours! Some of the wineries offer tastings with cheeses to pair with their wines, and many have teamed up with local artists to present their artwork as well. A trip to Mendoza wouldn’t be complete without participating in a winery tour. The area offers a few different options, such as a bus tour, a tour with a driver and guide, or even a bike tour across wine country. Of course, you probably shouldn’t be drinking wine while riding a bike. While this tour does include wine tastings, it is more for sightseeing, and enjoying the gorgeous views. There is even a 4-day Mendoza wine and river rafting tour, where you are introduced to the city of Mendoza, you can go tasting at three of the area’s acclaimed wineries, and you get to enjoy some whitewater rafting near the Potrerillos Dam.
Not everything you do in Mendoza has to be centered around wine, of course. For those who want to try some of the wines, but would also like to do some other types of activities, there is plenty else to do. Mendoza is a small city, but it is big enough to offer a lot to do. For example, visit the Termas Cachueta Spa for a day. This thermal spa offers stone pools and up-to-date hydrotherapy equipment to make your visit abundantly comfortable and relaxing, and you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the region while you relax and recuperate.
Another popular activity, one that’s suited for the whole family, is horseback riding at Rancho Viejo Cabalgatas. You can follow along with an experienced guide who will take you on a scenic horseback tour where you will enjoy the grand views of the vineyards, meadows and Andes mountains. In fact, outdoor enthusiasts will find this region appealing for more than just the wine tourism. Many come to explore the Canon del Atuel, a canyon just south of Rafael. At the bottom of the canyon is Atuel River, and the road follows this river all through the canyon – making for an enchanting ride full of gorgeous views.
Within the city of Mendoza itself, you can find a fun-loving nightlife in the evening, and parks and monuments during the day. Mendoza’s Parque General San Martin is a large park, covering over 1,000 acres of land, and offers some peace and quiet from the cosmopolitan city. Within the park is a lake, a rose garden, a peak for climbing and a monument commemorating San Martín’s Ejército de los Andes for their liberation of Argentina. When you climb up to the top of the Cerro de la Gloria (the peak), you can enjoy a nice overview of the valley.
Another popular attraction in downtown Mendoza is the Mercado Central. It’s a bustling, covered market full of local foods and delicacies. There are stalls of meat, seafood, fresh produce and even prepared dishes. It’s always great to try some of the local foods when you visit anywhere abroad, and Argentina is no exception.
Wine Tourism in Argentina
Mendoza may be the most famous region for wines in Argentina, but it isn’t the only one. If you’re traveling to another region, or moving around a bit within the country, be sure to check out the wines of the other regions as well. They will be worth it!