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Overview

Wine aficionados could spend years exploring Mendoza, at the arid eastern foot of the Andes, where literally hundreds of wineries offer tours and tasting, and only a few bother to charge for the privilege. They range from hidden boutique bodegas to industrial complexes such as Zuccardi, but even the biggest add genuine craftsmanship to their products. Featuring rich red Malbec and the refreshing white Torrontés, more than a few have their own restaurants but in the city itself, whose dense canopy of street trees softens the summer heat, the dining scene is catching up with the wines. Perhaps Argentina’s most liveable city, Mendoza is justly ...

Wine aficionados could spend years exploring Mendoza, at the arid eastern foot of the Andes, where literally hundreds of wineries offer tours and tasting, and only a few bother to charge for the privilege. They range from hidden boutique bodegas to industrial complexes such as Zuccardi, but even the biggest add genuine craftsmanship to their products. Featuring rich red Malbec and the refreshing white Torrontés, more than a few have their own restaurants but in the city itself, whose dense canopy of street trees softens the summer heat, the dining scene is catching up with the wines. Perhaps Argentina’s most liveable city, Mendoza is justly proud of its enticing parks and plazas; barely an hour away, though, there’s rafting and kayaking on the rushing Río Mendoza, and hiking and horseback riding in deep desert canyons. A bit farther west, toward the Chilean border, hikers and climbers frequent Parque Provincial Aconcagua, whose namesake 6,962-meter (22,841-ft.) peak is the “Roof of the Americas,” the Western Hemisphere’s highest peak. In the winter, there’s skiing at Los Penitentes, close to the border post.

Wayne Bernhardson
About the Expert

Wayne Bernhardson is the author of Moon Handbooks to Argentina, Buenos Aires (including coastal Uruguay), Chile (including Easter Island), and Patagonia (including the Falkland Islands).

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Wayne Bernhardson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: North-Central Mendoza Province, eastern Andes
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Argentine Peso
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Mendoza is an all-year destination, but March (when the Vendimia, or wine harvest festival takes place) is ideal in terms of weather and activities. The summer months of January and February can get extremely hot in the city, but the Andes always cool off at night.