If you ask anyone in the world of wine what wine made them first fall in love with the industry, you will get a wide range of passionate answers. For me, it was a Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. And now, after many years of working in the wine industry, studying for my sommelier exams and master’s degree, and sipping on some amazing wines, I still stand firm in my love for wine from Mendoza, Argentina. I was lucky to get to spend a month exploring all that Mendoza had to offer, and today I’m sharing my favorite wineries you must visit while exploring this stunning South American spot. Let’s dive in!
What Type Of Wine Is Mendoza Known For?
Mendoza, Argentina is undoubtedly known for its Malbec. Malbec is a robust red wine that is deep purple and has notes of dark fruit, chocolate, and a hint of spiciness. It’s the perfect red wine to pair with famous Argentinian steak, but also is a true treat on its own. However, while Malbec is what Mendoza is most known for, the region also makes stunning Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Bonarda wines.
Maipu, Luján de Cuyo, and Uco Valley are Mendoza's key wine regions, each offering a distinct tasting experience: Maipu, easily accessible by bus, boasts a diverse array of varietals; Luján de Cuyo, reachable by bus or taxi, combines traditional and innovative wineries; Uco Valley, with picturesque landscapes, is known for exquisite Malbec and exceptional Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, requiring private transport for an immersive exploration of Mendoza's diverse wines amidst stunning scenery.
Visit Wineries On The Hop-On Hop-Off Wine Tour Bus
While getting around Mendoza can be tricky if you don’t have your own transportation or speak Spanish, the city offers a unique Hop-On Hop-Off wine tour bus that can transport you to different wineries throughout Mendoza. The route has 23 wineries along it and the ticket gives you time to stop at three spots along the route. When you get on the bus, you will tell the tour guide which wineries you want to stop at, so make sure to check the website ahead of time to make your selections.
A full-day bus ticket costs $40, however, additional costs for tastings or tours at the wineries must be purchased separately when you arrive at the winery.
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These Are My Favorite Wineries in Mendoza, Argentina
While it was a challenge to whittle down my list of top spots to stop at while exploring Argentina’s wine world, the following are my favorite wineries in Mendoza. These wineries offer affordable tastings and wine tourism experiences, are run by unique and passionate winemakers, and are accessible to English speakers exploring Mendoza.
I will always try to prioritize supporting women, LGBTQ, or BIPOC businesses in my day to day life and on my travels, so I was super excited to discover it was possible to visit the legendary Susan Balbo’s vineyard. Susan Balbo is a pioneer in the wine industry and was the first female winemaker in Argentina. The winery is tucked away in the Cordón del Plata mountain range in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. It is approximately a thirty minute drive from the city of Mendoza.
Visiting Susan Balbo’s winery feels like going to visit your favorite family member’s house. During your tour of the winery you will get a behind the scenes peek at where the wine is made, including a look into the experimental winemaking room. If you’re looking for a hands-on experience beyond a tour and tasting, you can book other unique experiences like a cooking workshop or a blending class where you can make your own wine.
La Celia is the oldest winery in Mendoza, Argentina and is located in the Uco Valley. It was founded in 1890 and produces exquisite wines. If you’re looking for a high-end adventure, you can book a night at the winery in the historic La Celia Inn. Additionally, you can book a tour and tasting of this winery to try some of their prestigious wines. All the staff here is exceptionally friendly and will go out of their way to ensure you leave their winery totally in love with Malbec.
I was recommended Bodega SuperUco by a dear friend who knows of my love for Malbec and all things Argentinian wine. My favorite thing about Bodega SuperUco is its stunning setting. The winery is designed in a circle setting. Not only is the building shaped as a circle, but the vines surrounding the building are grown in circular rows instead of standard straight rows.
The winery has a restaurant on site which offers both tapas and four course meals experiences. For about $17 you can reserve a spot for a tour and tasting with this winery. Walk through the vines sprawling through the Uco Valley and taste three of the top wines that the winery produces.
Bodega La Rural
If you want to take your wine learning a step beyond the standard tour and tasting, a visit to Bodega La Rural is a must. Bodega La Rural is not just a winery, it is also a museum. It is located in Maipu and has a prestigious collection of wine antiques. A guided museum tour with a tasting of two museum wines currently costs around $7 USD/person. It takes about an hour to complete the tour experience.
Clos de los Siete
Located at the foot of the famous Andes Mountains in the Uco Valley, Clos de los Siete is a unique winery established by four families from Bordeaux. Each family built a bodega and uses a portion of their production to make Clos de los Siete wines. You do have to make a reservation prior to your visit, which allows you to tour each property that aids in the production of Clos de los Siete wine, and try wines from each bodega involved in the production. If you want to try a wide range of wines and compare the different products, this is the spot to stop at.
Krontires Wines is tucked away in the rolling hills of Luján de Cuyo. The winery has Malbec and Tempranillo vines that are over 120 years old. To visit the property, reservations must be made prior to your visit. Krontiras offers a 3 wine tasting or a guided tour and 5 wine tasting. During the tour, you will be taken into the vines to meet the farm animals and learn about the winery’s organic, biodynamic, and natural wines.
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Cheers To Great Wine And A Good Time!
Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy some delicious wine while exploring Argentina. Mendoza is such a welcoming city full of friendly locals and true artisans. Whether you embark on the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus to discover the diverse wine regions or simply enjoy a good glass of Malbec in a cozy restaurant, you’re sure to leave Mendoza happy and ideally a little bit tipsy. Cheers!
Have you ever tried Malbec before? Tell me in the comments what your favorite wine is!