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Mendoza - Argentina

From modern haute vineyard hotels to the city’s classically Argentine gastronomic scene, the country’s original wine destination is moving with the times, says Sarah Reid

Travel Time 16hrs 10min

Why go?

Nestled in the foothills of the Andes, Mendoza’s scenery will suck you in faster than your first copa de vino. Argentina’s largest and most important wine region continues to innovate, with cutting-edge winery resorts and restaurants that take Argentinian cuisine to new heights. While malbec is still king here, plenty of winemakers also produce increasingly popular varietals such as torrontés and bonarda. Sample some as you explore the region – a journey best undertaken in the warmer months between October and April – making December an ideal time to visit.

What to do

It’s easy to while away several days café-hopping along Mendoza’s wide boulevards and traipsing between the local designer boutiques on Avenida Arístides Villanueva, but the main attraction is its wineries spread across Maipú, Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, over 100 of which have cellar doors. Just 20 minutes from the city, Maipú’s flat roads lend themselves to cycling. Mr Hugo’s Urquiza 2288, 00 54 261 497 4067 – a local institution – provides a map of wineries with rental bikes (£6pp/day). Among the best are Bodegas López 00 54 261 497 2406, bodegaslopez.com.ar – one of just two Argentine wineries still using 10,000-litre French oak casks – and Bodega SinFin 00 54 261 491 4409, bodegasinfin.com which is a more modern, family-run winery that conducts tastings in an underground cellar. Be sure to schedule at least one long lunch at a top winery restaurant such as Luján de Cuyo’s Ruca Malen 00 54 261 553 7164, bodegarucamalen.com which offers a sumptuous six-course tasting menu. For a closer look at the snow-capped Andes, sign up with a local operator such as Kahuak 00 54 261 423 8409, kahuak.com.ar for a horse-riding tour followed by a traditional Argentinian parrilla (barbecue).

Where to stay

http://fincaadalgisa.com.ar/">The charming, central Plaza Italia Bed & Breakfast 00 54 261 423 4219, plazaitalia.net is decorated with antique furniture, and its knowledgeable owners can help arrange the gamut of winery experiences. The nearby Park Hyatt Mendoza 00 54 261 441 1234, hyatt.com is tucked behind an exquisitely restored 19th-century facade and has its own tasting room. Fancy bottling your own wine? Splurge on a night at The Vines Resort & Spa 00 54 261 461 3900, vinesresortandspa.com in the Uco Valley, 90 minutes south of town. The nearby, ultra-modern Casa de Uco 00 54 9261 539 7551, casadeuco.com boasts similarly breathtaking mountain views, plus a rooftop telescope. Closer to the city, Finca Adalgisa 00 54 261 496 0713,

http://fincaadalgisa.com.ar/">fincaadalgisa.com is set in a century-old malbec vineyard, and oozes rural charm.

Where to eat and drink

Bröd brod.business.site turns out the best pastries and cakes in town alongside decadent egg dishes and gourmet sandwiches. For premium coffee, head to elegant Silla 14 Café 00 54 261 429 8833, silla14cafe.com.ar which also serves light snacks. Schedule a dinner at rough-and-ready Fuente y Fonda 00 54 261 429 8833 on Montevideo, which serves enormous home-style mains – from classic cuts of beef to Milanesa napolitana (breaded steak) topped with ham, tomatoes and melted cheese. Save room for the free dessert – often a flan served with a dollop of dulce de leche. Book at deli-turned top restaurant Azafrán 00 54 261 429 4200, azafranresto.com and, if you can’t choose between the 500 wines available, allow the sommelier to match your Patagonian deer ravioli with the perfect drop. Don’t miss 1884 Restaurante 00 54 261 424 2698, 1884restaurante.com.ar – the brainchild of celebrity Argentine chef Francis Mallmann (also behind the menu at Vines Resort & Spa). Housed in an old winery just a 10-minute taxi ride from the city centre, it specialises in quality meats cooked in Mallmann’s signature ‘seven fires’ style. Book a garden table to watch the outdoor wood stove in action.

Map

Travel Information

Travel Information

Currency is the Argentine peso (ARS). Time is 3 hours behind GMT. Flight time to Buenos Aires is around 14 hours, where you can connect to Mendoza, a flight of around 2 hours.

Getting There

BA and Norwegian fly from Heathrow and Gatwick respectively to Buenos Aires. Aerolíneas Argentinas flies from here to Mendoza. ba.com norwegian.com https://www.aerolineas.com" target="_blank" >https://www.aerolineas.com.ar/Welcome">aerolineas.comhttps://www.aerolineas.com" target="_blank" >https://www.aerolineas.com.ar/Welcome">.https://www.aerolineas.com" target="_blank" >https://www.aerolineas.com.ar/Welcome">ar

Resources

Experience Mendoza is run by The Vines of Mendoza and is a great resource to help you plan. experiencemendoza.com

Average daily temperatures and rainfall

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min Temp1818151163246121518
Max Temp323127231916151820262932
mm211000000011

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