Wine tasting in Argentina
Photography by Will Warr
Mendoza is a must for any wine enthusiasts visiting Argentina. Whether you have an interest in learning about how wine is produced or simply in drinking it, a visit to this province will not leave you disappointed.
Just a short flight from Buenos Aires, and an even shorter hop from Santiago in Chile, Mendoza is home to two of the country’s main wine valleys: Valle de Uco and Luján de Cuyo. With approximately 1,620sq km of vines, Mendoza is behind nearly two-thirds of this huge country’s entire wine production and is particularly well known for its Malbec. (I now refuse to drink anything else.) The scenery is fantastic: vast vineyards with breathtaking views of the Andes and pre-Andes. Mendoza is dry year-round and is best visited between mid-October and early April.
While in Mendoza, I stayed at The Vines Resort & Spa. Here, we recommend that our clients do a private wine tasting. The property has its own bodega with 180° views of the Andes, and with only you and the sommelier, this really is an extremely intimate experience. The sommelier will start off by asking you some questions, with the aim of getting to know you and your preferences, and will then design your tasting accordingly.
The Vines makes more than 300 wines in its winery each year, so there are plenty for you to sample. We can also arrange for you to have the opportunity to taste five barrel-aged vintages and even blend your own wine – an insightful, fun and hands-on experience for real wine connoisseurs.
Sitting on the patio outside the bodega with the sun beaming down on us, surrounded by beautiful vineyards and tasting some of Argentina’s finest Malbec, was a truly amazing experience.
Three more of our favourite bodegas
Bodega Catena Zapata
Founded in 1902, Catena Zapata is still family owned. The vineyard is situated at almost 5,000 feet and is known for producing Malbec in high altitudes. Architecturally, it is incredibly unique, as its design was based on an ancient Mayan pyramid. Here, we would recommend trying the Nicolás Catena Zapata, a wine named after the man who founded this remarkable place.
Finca Decero is another unique bodega, known mainly for the high quality of their wines, which all come from a single vineyard. At this winery, the Decero Amano is a particular favourite of ours – a delicious blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Tannat.
Led by Sebastián Zuccardi, grandson of the founder, and an influential winemaker in his own right, this vineyard is one of the most experimental in the area. Zuccardi talks of “not seeking perfect wines, but those that express the place and the region”. We love the Zuccardi Serie A Malbec, a velvety and full-bodied red.
While our experts recommend the wineries above, we can arrange for our clients to visit any vineyard they wish in order to taste some of their favourite vintages in situ, and can design a completely tailor-made adventure in Argentina’s winelands.
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