Where to go

Mendoza and the Wine Region

The beautiful vines and vineyards of the Mendoza region are a joy to behold...

The vines
The Vines

"Mendoza" and "wine", "wine" and "Mendoza". To an Argentine the words are almost interchangeable. As the capital of Argentinean red wine production, this is the place to head to if you are even mildly interested in viticulture and food…or even if you just like imbibing them!

Nestling in the foothills of the Andes and only a two-hour drive from the famous peak of Aconcagua, Mendoza is an unlikely place to found a city due to its desert like surroundings and arid climate. The temperate winds and water that hits the other side of the Andes, on the Chilean side, absorb all of the water and, as such, relatively nothing comes down from the Argentina side of the mountains at all. This has affected this area hugely and is partly the reason for the fact that it is now South America’s largest wine growing area (more details in the Mendoza Wine and Food section).

The reason, however, that the Mendoza of today boasts fountains and verdant, leafy squares is down to the inhabitants who were using the land when the Spaniards arrives in the 1550s, the Huarpes. While not an overly successful tribe, they had developed a system of channel irrigation that redirected water from the nearby rivers. Today this system is still very much in evidence throughout the city and the surrounding vineyards, running under and beside the roads and pavements.

At around a million inhabitants, Mendoza has grown to become one of the largest cities in Argentina and has many features of a modern Spanish city. The first of these is the series of “plazas”, Independencia, Chile, Italia, Espana and San Martin around which the rest of the city is built. Whilst appearing colonial, these are actually a fairly new construction, after the 1861 earthquake that the city suffered, killing an estimate 6,000 of the 18,000 inhabitants. Open and grand, they also provide a welcome shelter should anything of a similar fate beset the city again.

On the whole we tend to recommend a night or two in the city for those that are looking to take in a little of the nightlife. All along the Av Aristides the cafes, bars and restaurants overflow every evening. For those that are looking to have a quieter time but also to have access to the city, we would then tend towards the nearby Chacras de Coria that is a little less busy, but no less good….or in one of the few vineyard accommodations.

Chacras de Coria

Heading out of the city, toward the wine valleys for which the area has become famous, is the small town of Chacras de Coria. Today, this area is often referred to as part of the greater Mendoza region, but it has still managed to retain a feeling of separation.

As tourism to the Mendoza region has grown, this small town has become more and more popular for the feeling of access to the city and the benefits, along with being nowhere near as busy or as congested. Many of the small “Fincas” or Paradors here are privately owned and much smaller than the larger hotels of the city, thus providing you with a much more personal touch.

On top of this, as Chacras is on the edge of some of the vineyards, it is a short cycle or car ride to many of the best restaurants or smaller vineyards where it is possible to have a look around and have a tasting.

We are very big fans of this area and definitely recommend visiting the Clos de Chacras restaurant that is right in the centre of town and could not prepare a better lunch….but be warned that you may not be able to cycle back afterwards!!

When to go to Mendoza and the wine region:

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    At a glance…The Wine Region

  • Size: 416,000+ acres
  • Location: Central Western Argentina
  • Recommended time: 3 to 6 nights
  • Time to visit: September to April
  • Go here for: Food and wine
  • Further reading...

  • › Food and Wine
  • › What to do in Mendoza
  • › Viticulture
  • › The Bodegas
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    Our top five hotel recommendations for Mendoza and the Wine Region in 2017/18:

    1. Bohemia Hotel Boutique

      Bohemia Hotel Boutique

      The Bohemia Hotel Boutique is a small town house, set a few blocks to the north of the main square and is perfect for those looking to have more of a B&B feel to their stay in the city. Still featuring a small swimming pool and great little garden, this is a much more friendly way of visiting... More...

      Our rating:
      3
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      2
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      2
    2. Cavas Wine Lodge

      Cavas Wine Lodge

      Arguably the most famous lodge in Argentina, the Cavas Wine Lodge has become an institution in the Mendoza for its high standards, exceptional food and stunning location…and its price! Set in beautiful vineyards each of these quirky cabins has its own rooftop area in which to lounge and take in the... More...

      Our rating:
      5
      User rating:
      5
      Price:
      5
    3. Club Tapiz

      Club Tapiz

      Club Tapiz is a small winery set out in the vineyards that surround Chacras de Coria and really benefits from both worlds...the sweeping views as well as the small town, nearby. Featuring a whole host of superb facilities such as a great pool, an outstanding restaurant, and simple, yet elegant... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      3
    4. Entre Cielos - Sunset

      Entre Cielos

      Entre Cielos aims high…and delivers. For us it is a fantastic property with vast grounds and views of the cordillera mountain range resembling somewhat a contemporary art centre with a 1960’s chic aesthetic. The industrial concrete walls, strong colour palette and statement furniture may not your... More...

      Our rating:
      5
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      4
    5. Executive Hotel Park Suites

      Executive Hotel Park Suites

      Located just around the corner from the Diplomatic, the Executive Hotel Park Suites is its 4 star sister and is very much in the same vein, offering really good value for money along with a good location from which to explore the city. Again, featuring all of the facilities you would expect of a... More...

      Our rating:
      3
      User rating:
      3
      Price:
      3

    Our recommended top travel itineraries for Mendoza and the Wine Region in 2017/18: