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Mendoza & The Uco Valley Vineyards & Wine Tourism Suggestions


#1

I will be travelling to Argentina in October, and looking for advice regarding the best way to visit some of the wineries around Mendoza and the Uco Valley. We will have a car, so self-drive is definitely an option, but wondering how others have done it, and if anyone has any recommendations!

Would also appreciate any restaurant suggestions anyone might have in the area.

Thanks


#2

Hi

You are visiting at a great time as spring will be arriving although also be prepared for cold weather. For me there are 3 parts to visiting Mendoza - the wines, the architecture of wineries and the restaurants. The views are a given as everything has the backdrop of the Andes.
In wine terms, I would visit Lujan de Cuyo, just 30 mins south of the city and Valle de Uco (up to 1 hour 30 from Mendoza depending where you are visiting). The Uco includes Tupungato, Gualtallary and Tunuyan (also home to Vista de Flores). You might consider staying in the city first and then changing to accommodation in the Uco to make the best of your time.
My recommendations would be Altavista, Mendel and Susan Balbo (just south in Agrelo) in Luyan. In Uco, I would visit Zuccardi and Salentien for the architecture and wines and Michel Roland’s estate (5 wineries) and Azul (small and rustic) for the wines.
In terms of restaurants, you tend to find international orientated food with an Argentine influence at the wineries whilst in Mendoza the emphasis is Argentine with an Italian influence. Most wineries provide a lunch paired with wines. If you do not fancy driving, we have used Trout and Wine a number of time for day excursions that include 3/4 wineries and lunch with paired wines - always very good and ask Charlie if he will do a discount.
In Lujan try the Bodega Vistalba Wine Bar (there is also a small restaurant on the stream running through the town called El Mercadito which is excellent - have lunch there with a Rose from the region - Calle Viamonte 4961, Chacras de Coria.
In Uco we really enjoy the lunches at Zuccardi. Whilst we stayed at the Vines Resort and Spa, which has a great location and views, Francis Mallmann’s Siete Fuegos was a bit of a disappointment - aimed at US and Brazilians in terms of both food and wine list prices (you should not expect to pay much more than the shop price for wines in Argentine restaurants.).
In Mendoza, we tend to go for the Italian influence - try Francesco Ristorante in Calle Chile or go to the central market for a slice of pizza and a beer. In Mendoza also visit the Cerro de la Gloria for views across the city and the Parc General St Martin.
If you are stopping off in Buenos Aires en route let me know.


#3

I also meant to say this post might be of interest


#4

Hi Robin,

Many thanks for all of that, it is excellent. Plenty to get my teeth into! I should add that we were actually thinking of basing ourselves down near Tupungato and using that as a base to both visit the vineyards and the surrounding area and then probably a day trip up to Mendoza as well to see the city.

We will indeed also be spending a few nights in Buenos Aires en route, and happy to take any suggestions for there as well!

I had missed your previous post on the topic, but have now returned to re-read with great interest!


#5

Hi
Sorry for slight delay - I have just returned to Buenos Aires from UK. In terms of places to eat in BA our favourites are Roux in Recoleta, Elena at the Four Seasons (a Peruvian Chef), La Pecora Nera Grill where the steaks are superb (and the Italian of the same name close by is also excellent). On the tourist websites, you will find Don Julio’s whose meat and service are excellent although prices are aimed at Tourists (which is the same across the Palermo District.). Another option for meat is La Carnicería.
For an authentic, family run corner Restaurant, you could try the Rodi Bar - closely packed tables, lots of noise but good food. In St Telmo, the indoor market (more antiques now) has some great little bars and bakeries. For afternoon tea, try La Biela or Cafe Tortoni for a bit of nostalgia.
In terms of sight seeing, the normal City Tour bus is a good start - take the route that takes you to Boca, St Telmo, Recoleta, etc. The walk from Congress to the Presidential Palace (Casa Rosada) is worth doing but remember to look upwards at the architecture. The Sunday market at St Telmo is worth a walk through whilst the other one near the Recoleta Cemetery is also fun. Take a tour from one of the many guides outside Recoleta Cemetery (Eva Perón/Duharte and many other famous Argentines are buried here).
Just shout is you have more questions.


#6

That is all great! Thanks very much. I will definitely be looking into those!


#7

Thanks @Robin63 for all the suggestions. Very much enjoyed the lunch at Susan Balbo and also visited Selentien where the architecture was indeed spectacular, whist in BA Roux, La Pecora Nera Grill and La Carniceria where all excellent. La Carniceria was a particular treat, especially as the wine list was particularly good and the bottle of Gran Enemigo 2014 we enjoyed with dinner for less than £30 on the table was probably one of bottles of the trip!

In Mendoza also visited Catena Zapata and Vina Cobos, and had a night of wine and tango at Bodegas CARO, whilst also visited Piedra Negra in the Uco Valley.

I think a defining feature at many of the wineries that I hadn’t expected was the growing focus on terroir, both in seeking to bottle single vineyard wines, and focusing on how different parts of the vineyard perform, with many tastings focusing on comparisons of these single vineyard offerings.

Would definitely recommend Argentina for a wine lovers holiday!


#8

Alex

Fabulous to hear. We were in the Pecora Grill recently as well. Had a superb bottle from Ernesto Cantena for £14 with our meal and so ordered a second! Yes, Gran Enemigo for less than £30 is a bargain. We are really are benefiting from the exchange rate at the moment - you chose a great time to come.