J.R.R. Tolkien once lamented that ‘If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world’. Somewhere in the parched expanse of Argentina, there is an oasis with wine fulfilling this vision and you can be part of it! Ah, Mendoza! … It is blessed with clear blue skies, snow-peppered mountains, ancient water canals, wide shady boulevards, leafy plazas, cosmopolitan cafes, innovative restaurants, rich farmlands, and of course, vineyards heavy with grapes as far as you can see. This is one of most desirable wine provinces anywhere with over 1000 wineries for you to explore and appraise.
The Mendoza Wine Route uncovers three distinct wine regions. Start with Luján de Cuyo, the land of Malbec. Next Maipú, the ‘Cradle of Wine’ where the art and science of winemaking in Argentina all began. Then, Valle de Uco challenges the high-altitude to forge innovative wines. Wineries range from cozy family-owned and old-school boutique to large big-name production with architectural masterpieces. Discover them with winetasting and pairing tours, grandma cooking lessons and self-guided cycling trails, vineyard work and foot-stomping grapes. There are also olive groves and central markets, museums and galleries, local bars (with beer, God forbid!) and wine merchants.
The wines of Mendoza are at its bacchanal best in early March every year with the famous Fiesta de la Vendimia, a raucous ‘Grape Harvest Festival’. However, if it is all too much for you, then just remember wine only demands hearty food and honest company, nothing else. In fact, here’s a tip: ‘Sundoza’ is the most heavenly pairing of time and space you could ever have. A Sunday in Mendoza makes for a merrier world!
Anyway, laughter is wine for the soul … or is that the other way around? Either way, whatever travel you have in mind and heart, make sure it includes wine. So, why not ask our expert team to make sure there’s enough for a second glass. Laidback, Mendoza can be a welcomed break from a busy agenda.