A friend requested my favorites from Mendoza, Argentina and I thought I’d share our itinerary with all of you for the perfect 48 hours in Argentina’s most famous wine-growing region. (Thankfully we took extensive notes on every place we’ve visited on our world trip so putting together this list was incredibly easy!)
If you’ve been following along here for any stretch of time it’s no secret we love wine country. David and I have spent so countless hours exploring Napa and Sonoma back in the states, and it was exciting to experience wine country in the southern hemisphere for the first time at the beginning of our world trip! Our friend Catherine, who is studying for her sommelier certification joined us and it was so fun having her expert eye, or should I say palate, along for the ride.
We flew from Buenos Aires to Mendoza on a Sunday afternoon and as we approached MDZ airport we could see the Andes peeking through the cloud cover. Upon the recommendation of a friend, we bypassed the Mendoza city hotel options and selected a guesthouse in Uco Valley. Many wineries run their own posadas (bed and breakfasts) and staying in the middle of the action ensures shorter drives and beautiful views.
We stayed at La Morada Guesthouse, a bed and breakfast on the property of a grape producer by the same name. After stashing our bags in our rooms and freshening up we hopped in the car to head to dinner at Postales, another small guest house with a fantastic restaurant about 15 minutes away by car. We were the only diners at Postales, except one other guest, but this under-the-radar place should definitely be on your list! We started with the most delicious red pepper bruschetta and large bowls of zesty gazpacho. Ordering Lamb with mint and peach couscous and a browned orange, rosemary and almonds drizzled with white chocolate. An unexpected combination but so delicious I can’t wait to try making it myself! Our friend Catherine loves torrontés, a wine varietal I hadn’t encountered until this trip. We ordered a bottle of the house blend to enjoy with dinner, and given it’s bright, floral nose it’s the perfect warm weather wine. (And a bottle will only set you back 150 pesos or $9)
We visited 5 wineries over two full days in Mendoza. We all were most surprised by the creative formats for each wine tasting. Making each experience feel very new and different.
Andeluna – Our first stop, Andeluna has a beautiful winery designed to feel like you’re settling into a friend’s fabulous living room. Gisella walked us through the vineyards helping us identify different varietals before settling into sofas on the veranda for a tasting. While I loved their torrontés and malbec, the true star was their Pasionado Cuatro Cepas, which I raved about so much Catherine secretly bought us a bottle as a thank you for planning the trip. (Thank you Catherine!)
Salentein – We arrived here early on day 2 and didn’t want to wait for the English language tour at 11 so we settled into a sofa on the bar patio to enjoy a view of the main winery and the Andes for a blind tasting. I don’t know why more wineries don’t offer this tasting format because it was so much fun! Catherine identified each varietal and year correctly and I couldn’t have been more impressed.
Terrazas de los Andes – We tried a few bottles of Terrazas de los Andes while in Buenos Aires and were excited to visit in person. In the interest of time we skipped the tour and settled into their shiny tasting room. Of the three malbecs we tasted Cheval de los Andes stood out as the most delicious option, and we also brought back a bottle of their dessert wine as a gift for friends who had been holding half of our luggage for us.
Alta Vista – While many Mendoza wineries pride themselves on modern architecture Alta Vista maintains a traditional charm that I loved. We settled into a set of chairs in their main garden and each ordered a glass of wine. A charming picnic basket materialized to use as a table, which though slightly wobbly, was worth it for the charm.