I’m heading to Argentina for wine tasting in April. I’ve never been and would love recommendations! Where to stay? Transportation? Wineries? People? Restaurants?
I hope to spend about 6 days in Mendoza. Is that too much? Too little?
A few days in Buenos Aires, Patagonia, and Irazu Falls. But the main purpose is really to taste their wine.
Would appreciate suggestions! Thank you all and happy travels! [thankyou.gif]

PS: I should mention that I’m fluent in Spanish (not sure if that matters) and I’m going to Argentina for my honeymoon [cheers.gif]

If you’re interested in a B&B we stayed here while in the Mendoza region:

Beautiful setting, especially considering you’re in the middle of a desert when in Mendoza.

While in Buenos Aires we stayed here and thought it was clean, comfortable, safe and centrally located:

I’m LOVING Casa Glebinias! Thanks for the rec, Joe! So beautiful!! Is it close to wineries? Not sure how wine tasting works in Argentina. I know in France it’s all appointments, not sure if it’s similar/same in Mendoza.


I went to both Mendoza & BA in late 2007 so I’ll speak about my experience back then hoping things haven’t changed too much in the ensuing 6+ years.

Here are my quick notes on Mendoza:

Here’s a thread on BA:

In Mendoza I stayed here:

Loved it.

It is really close to wineries. For lack of a better term you’re basically in a small suburb of Mendoza if you want to call it that. Difference is you’re a little out from Mendoza proper so you can quickly get to with less traffic the wineries which tend to be down that side of Mendoza.

I’d recommend appointments at all wineries in Mendoza. They are not required everywhere but by taking the extra step you’ll be assured somebody will be there (English speaking if you require that) when you arrive and they’ll give you tours and have your tasting setup and waiting for you when you arrive. Also, don’t forget many wineries do charge a tasting fee. Fees tend to be nominal in my opinion.

Don’t forget their wineries/regions are a little spread out. There are many wineries right around Mendozo proper. However, there are other good areas close by to visit such as the Valle de Uco, Lujan De Cuyo, Maipu, etc… I’d definitely recommend spending time in other areas. Especially since you will be there for 6 days. Good way to split things up a bit. All areas can likely be done easily in day trips from Mendoza.

Thanks for that link, Jorge! I’m going to start a list!!

Thanks for the appointment tip, Joe! And I didn’t know how spread out Mendoza is, thanks for the info! Really appreciate it!

Let us know if you need anything else. Happy to help.

Thanks, Joe! I really appreciate it!

Mendoza Notes from November 2012.

We toured 3 wineries in Mendoza.

Most of my wine knowledge is Napa/Sonoma. I didn’t know a thing about Malbec from Mendoza. I wanted to taste at Achaval Ferrer based on their reputation. We had a 30 - 40 minute tour/tasting. The cost was 50 Pesos or US$11 per person. That’s reasonable, and somewhat inexpensive in comparison to California.

Their base Malbec wine was 145 pesos or ~US$30. It was very weak. Nothing special. I know entry level wines aren’t the best, but for $30 and their reputation, I expected a drinkable wine.

We also taste the Quimera. Cost 140 Pesos or US$50 ish. It was good, but not worth the cost based on my experience with California wines. The same could be said for their Finca Mirador at 600 Pesos or US$126. You can buy a great California wine for that price.

My wife and I did enjoy the '11 Dolce from Malbec. It’s a dessert wine. It was light, not syrupy. At 240 Pesos or $52, it was very expensive for a 375mm (half bottle). I’m making a comparison with French sweet dessert wines.

My overall impression, in spite of the ratings from Wine Spectator, was disappointing.

Now we’re talking…

Our next stop was Mendel, just a short distance away. No tasting I recall. The juice here was far superior to Achaval Ferrer, and at a much lower cost.

I know Mendoza isn’t known for white, but the Mendel Semillon was crisp and refreshing. A golden color. 95 Pesos or $20. It will make a nice BBQ wine next summer. My favorite red was the Mendel UNUS. 200 Pesos or $43.00 This blew away any of the A V wines I tasted. Can’t wait to drink these in several years.

The Finca at 420 Pesos or $88 was the best of everything, even better than A.V. It was my #1 wine of the day. None purchased.

The disappointment…

Dolium. How on earth did Dolium get mixed in with AV and Mendel? Dolium is more a wine for the masses, and it showed. Day and night vs Mendel. As a matter of fact, we did a private tasting with the winemaker plus lunch. The cost was 700 Pesos or ~US$147 for 2 people. I’m still scratching my head over this. The lesson here is to inquire about cost before you go. I never in my wildest dreams expected such a high cost to taste at such a run of the mill place (my opinion).

We stayed at the Sheraton. If we ever go back, I’d stay at the Hyatt. It’s in a nicer part of downtown Mendoza.

And since I major in miles and points… if you and your future husband sign up for the Hyatt credit card, you’ll get 2 free nights each, for a total of 4 nights for minimum cost.

It took us the better part of two days to explore Iguazu Falls. If you can time it for a full moon that is the best time to go because they will take you out to the falls after dark to watch the moon rise. Amazing. We stayed at a hostel with private rooms in town and took the city bus out to the park. It helped to have a spanish speaker along to get by in the city. Most American tourists seemed to stay out by the falls and never even went into town. Their loss.

We stayed in a private room at a hostel in Mendoza, too. We’re not fussy about where we sleep. We took a one day tour out to see Acancaqua. We went to one of the many places offering wine tours and hired a driver to take us to a few wineries. We got to choose, but we didn’t really know any of them so we were a bit random. None of the wines blew our socks off, but we had a lot of fun and really enjoyed our fancy winery lunch.

In Patagonia we went to Bariloche. I absolutely loved it there. I got to go hiking in some of the most amazing mountains I’ve ever seen. It is a beautiful city and feels very different then other places we visited in Argentina. We stayed at a great hostel here and it was one of the highlights of the trip. They put on a great Asado. We were regulars at the local brewpub. City buses take you all over and there are lots of places to walk. I also hired a guide and spent a mostly fruitless day flyfishing. But had fun.

Dan, great stuff! Thank you for the details on the wineries. Will definitely note the recommendations and what to avoid. And I appreciate the Hyatt points! :slight_smile: Thank you!!

Brian - awesome trip to Argentina you had! Sounds amazing!
Would you recommend getting a private driver in Mendoza? Renting a car? how do you get around?
For Patagonia - we are not really outdoorsy/hikers… are there enough cultural things to do there?
We basically love food & wine, that’s our thing :slight_smile: Thank you so much for your suggestions!!!

Plan for 2 days at Iguazu Falls (actually always plan for 2 days at major spots in case the weather sucks on the 1st day!) It’s beautiful and magical and you should really try to get up early to beat the crowds.

Patagonia is HUGE so just saying “Patagonia” doesn’t help much :slight_smile: Assuming you’re actually going to Bariloche, the best way to discover the region is hiking. Second best is renting a car and driving the 7 Lakes route to San Martin de Los Andes.

Remember to eat dulce de leche ice cream at least twice a day wherever you go! :smiley:

We were there for a 3 day weekend and went the private driver route. The cost was just a hair more than renting a car and driving ourselves. It was worth it to us to be able to relax, drink if we wanted instead of spitting all the time and not have to worry about getting lost. It is apparently very easy to get lost in the Mendoza region. But then again you may be more comfortable driving. I’d say it is 50/50 hiring versus driving. If you do drive be sure and get GPS coordinates directly from the wineries when you book your appointments. Don’t necessarily trust the preloaded GPS data.

My daughter lived in Buenos Aires for a year. We went down twice during that time. People tend to be very friendly and outgoing. You’ll have a great time no matter what.

Drivers in Argentina are crazy. Buenos Aires is insane. I wouldn’t drive there under any circumstances. Mendoza was a bit better, but not all that much and I still had no desire to drive. But I’m not an aggressive driver and it may depend on your tolerance for mayhem. Bariloche seemed like it would be fine for driving but we ended up using city buses to get everywhere.

Bariloche isn’t really about food and wine. With a big string of lakes one direction, the Patagonian Steppe another direction, and the Andes in the third direction it sits in a remarkable place. It has breweries rather then wineries. German rather then Italian influences. So it is quite different from Mendoza.

Guillaume is right on with all of his advice, particularly the dulce de leche ice cream. :slight_smile:

Also keep in mind that service in restaurants is not like it is in the States. It is amusing to read Trip Advisor reviews by tourists complaining about the lack of service at many restaurants. Waiters will leave you alone until you ask for service. They will stand around until you catch their eye and signal that you want something and then they will be there instantly. You can sit for hours with nobody bothering you. It is quite nice, really. But it does help to understand that if you are not in a restaurant that caters to tourists they probably aren’t going to come by on their own to take your order or give you your check.

You guys keep talking about the dulce de leche ice cream (I agree by the way) but don’t forget the Alfajores!

Oh yeah, good call, Joe!

Guillame - I believe we actually want to go to Tierra del Fuego - the southernmost tip.
I’m Peruvian, so I have had the dulce de leche and alfajores, they’re fabulous! :slight_smile:

Thanks, Joe! We seem to be leaning toward a private driver to truly enjoy the region without worry. Do you just hire a private driver when you arrive to Mendoza, or is it something you can reserve ahead? While I’m sure we’ll get a private driver, part of me thinks my fiance will want to drive in the craziness :slight_smile: He can handle it!

That’s not really Patagonia proper though. And the only option is to fly to Ushuaïa (there’s always the bus but that’s not really compatible with a honeymoon [basic-smile.gif] )

Ushuaïa is kinda nice. There’s… more hiking :wink: as well as short boat rides on the sound allowing you to enjoy the wildlife.

It’s cool if you really want to go to the end of the world. There are a few things I’d see in Argentina before going there though.

I’m Peruvian, so I have had the dulce de leche and alfajores, they’re fabulous! > :slight_smile:

Yeah but the ice cream is a whole different story. You’ll understand when you enter an artisanal ice cream shop and they have 20 different dulce de leche flavors :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tip, Guillame. We actually saw a lot of things to do in Ushuaia on Trip Advisor, mainly the train. We did plan to fly into Ushuaia actually.
Didn’t know there were 20 flavors of dulce de leche… I’m lactose intolerant but I just don’t care!!!