Approaching Mendoza you see nothing but fields of grapes. So large you can’t see the other end. Mendoza is the wine country of Argentina on the west where the Andes mountains turn flat into pampas. Climate is perfect for grapes and conditions to produce wine excellent. Mendoza produces nearly 75 percent of all wine produced in Argentina. There are three main wine regions: Maipu, Valle de Uco and Luján. Most visitors come to wine and dine – why not with these possibilities.
There are tens of wineries in Mendoza that are world famous. Then there are smaller ones, often family-run, that produce smaller amounts of good quality wines. To reach the wineries you can take a bus thru the wine route, rent a bike or drive around yourself. Some have even lodging possibilities to stay overnight. That comes handy. Many of them (all on the route) provide guided tours, tasting and paring with meals served in their restaurants. Some provide free self-guided tours and guided tours usually include basic tasting – whereas you can book a tour and tasting with even producing wine yourself and to luxurious 5-course meals with pairing.
We visited a small family-run winery calledTempus Alba and their self-guided tour. We tried to get a guided one for the same day, but they were fully booked on a Monday on which most others were closed. Monday is apparently a quiet day in all of South America – a day for resting after weekend. The tour itself was very short & shallow (did not learn much really…), but enjoyed a lovely meal with wine tasting made quite easy. You just pick three ones from the list you want to taste and you can read about them on the list too.
Green streets & parks
Once you find yourself in downtown of Mendoza, it still remains very green. Everywhere around the city are just endless green fields of grapevines in direct lines. But green continues to the city. Downtown streets have green roofs of tree leaves providing little shelter from day´s heat and making it feel easier to breath.
There are several parks in Mendoza too for people to enjoy time, relax, play and meet with each other. Five parks give good rythm to the city: big Independence square in the middle and four smaller ones on each corner a few blocks in distance. Each have fountains and playgrounds with benches, statues and gardens. Main square in the middle provides for open theatre performances as well as market booths or stalls for handicraft selling. There’s even a larger park Parque General San Martín at west of downtown for some serious picnicing, exercicing and strolling.
Shopping & steaks
Around Independence square – on the south side mainly – are shopping streets. Some only for walking filled with restaurants and cafés for people to sit down and relax and to meet with others. These have stages for performing arts and benches for just sitting, enjoying and people-watching.
And then there are parillas. With delicious steaks. There are wine cellar restaurants that provide tasting and pairing with your jucy steak. Argentina well deserves the certificate for world’s best steaks! Multinational cuisine is provided too if parillas are too much one after another.
Mendoza is greatly about the wineries & wine tasting. It is not a small rural village, but rather a medium-sized city. It is also filled with tourists – just like us wanting to see and feel the true winery experience in a world-known wine country. To us it provided a perfect two-day stop between visits in Chilean cities and heading to Buenos Aires. During our visit in February 2017 it was very very hot with record heat. That slowed us down quite much. Had it not been so sticky hot we would have walked around the city even more and stayed in the city longer. And could have perhaps gotten even more out of the wineries too.