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23 Reasons Mendoza Wine Region Needs to Be on Your Radar

photo: Lauren Wells
A certain magic lives in Mendoza, as it does in soil-rich regions where growing grapes into intoxicating elixirs is inspired by generations of honest, driven work. Oenophiles, wine makers and enthusiasts wax poetic about it’s terroir, or the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to wine by the environment in which it is produced. It’s the Mendoza terroir, dry, mineral rich soil, sunny days, cool nights and pure snow run-off from the Andes, combined with distinctive and very human, styles of winemaking that imprints an extraordinary story of place on the wines coming from this region. Mendoza itself is nestled in a desert valley in the shadow of the Andes mountains in Argentina and besides being one of the wine capitals of the world, it is now a renowned tourist destination, filled with five-star hotels, modern art-esque wineries and culinary experiences combining centuries old ingredients with cutting edge techniques.

This modern guide to Mendoza will have you staying in a “vineyard loft” on stilts overlooking acres of grapes, having a pitfire bbq with open-flame cooking master Francis Mallmann, touring some of the most ecologically and technologically advanced wineries in the world and hopping aboard a beautifully colored hot air balloon, commencing in an inherent understanding of why this region is called “the land of sunshine and good wine.”

Reporter: Katie Bush
Photo: Lauren Wells
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Cavas Wine Lodge

Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
Named the #1 Hotel in South America by Travel + Leisure in 2017, Cavas Wine Lodge is a blissful 18 room luxury lodge nestled on a 55 acre vineyard. All rooms face west and include a large private deck, vintage soaking tub, outdoor shower and wood-burning fireplace. Visit the heavenly spa, rich in scientific techniques involving grapes and vines and dine at the delicious farm-to-table restaurant with a menu that rotates every four months with the seasons.
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The Vines Resort & Spa learn more

Winning a variety of well-deserved “Best Of” awards, the true beauty of The Vines Resort & Spa, nestled in the prestigious Uco Valley of Mendoza, is the care showcased in the details of the design, modern amenities and immersion in the warmth of the local culture. Stay in one of 21 luxurious villas, feast on the exquisite cuisine of famed chef, Francis Mallmann (his Chef’s Table episode is a must-see) and his signature open-flame cooking at Siete Fuegos or work alongside world-renowned consulting winemaker Santiago Achaval to make your own custom small-batch wine.
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Photo: Entre Cielos
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Entre Cielos

Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
Entre Cielos is a 16-room modern luxury boutique hotel located in Mendoza amid acres of Malbec vineyards with breathtaking views of the snowcapped Andes mountains. Besides having Latin America’s first six-stage circuit hama spa and three labels of award-winning Malbec, imagine lounging by a pool, glass of rosé in hand, with views of the Andes and vineyards. Insider Tip: Book the one-of-a-kind ‘Vineyard Loft,” a room that rises high above the vineyards on stilts, looks like a modern protective cocoon and features an outdoor jacuzzi tub and star gazing through skylights.
 
Photo: johnsergeant
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Finca Adalgisa

Chacras de Coria, Mendoza, Argentina
In direct comparison to the large, cutting-edge hotels rising from vast vineyards like pieces of modern art, Finca Adalgisa is a beautifully historic small hotel situated amongst an old Malbec vineyard at the heart of Mendoza’s Wine Route. Finca vines were planted in 1916 and only 5,000 bottles of wine are produced from their vineyard a year, making each a true treasure. With 6 rooms and recently renovated villas, the property is an intimate look at rustic and warm Argentinian charm. Enjoy a bbq, walk around the gardens, have an inspiring conversation with the chef, taste the wine and olive oil made onsite and make new friends or reminisce with old ones as this place is sure to stay with you long after you’ve gone.
Photo: geev shop
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Casa de Uco

Tunuyán, Mendoza, Argentina
If you’re looking for an utterly luxurious, completely cultured and inspiringly innovative Mendoza experience, Casa de Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort is calling. Situated on almost 800 acres, Casa de Uco is composed of private vineyards and secluded villas constructed alongside the vines, an incredible winery and an exclusive wine resort. In addition to the world-class resort with breathtaking vineyard views, fabulous fresh fare harvested from the onsite garden and an elite spa known for “vinotherapy” treatments, you also have the opportunity to own your own private villa or vineyard on the property and become a winemaker under the guidance of Casa de Uco’s winemaking team.
Photo: Alpasión
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Alpasión

Los Sauces, Mendoza, Argentina
Born like all great, master plans (over bottles of wine), Alpasión is a place for and from wine lovers. It’s an intimate lodge experience in the Uco Valley, an hour and a half from Mendoza, boasting five double rooms and one family room, a large library with a wood-burning fireplace, a wine cellar, pool, jacuzzi and relaxing private garden patio surrounded by olive trees. It is the wines themselves, imprinted (literally) with the fingerprints of the owners and overseen by Karim Mussi, one of the most innovative and passionate winemakers in the region, that makes Alpasión such a noteworthy stop for any oenophile.
Photo: Ronaldo Silva
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Bodega Matervini

Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
Matervini is the new wine adventure of winemakers Santiago Achával and Roberto Cipresso. Born in 2008 in an attempt to figure out what wine to make after achieving greatness with so much local Malbec, the pair decided to make more Malbec but harvest the grapes from different regions to tell a unique, regional story. The winery produces 40,000 bottles annually, among all the labels and draws from a magnificently diverse soil over 5,000 feet above sea level.
Photo: Austin Neill
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Hot Air Ballooning with Mendoza Ballons

Mendoza, Argentina
For a true ode to a “slow lifestyle,” imagine seeing a sunrise or sunset as you drift high above the world famous Mendoza wine region on a hot air balloon. Each flight on Mendoza Balloons is unique, lasts 45 minutes, includes a sparkling wine toast and can hold up to 16 passengers.
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Bodega Melipal

Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
Bodega Melipal is a beautifully modern winery born of generations of honest work and dedication to wine making. The winery is surrounded by vineyards, willows, olive trees, gardens and reflective pools in the shadow of the Andes mountain range. You can tour distinctive portions of the winery as well as take cooking classes within the vines or go on guided hikes through diverse areas of the farm. The interior is marked by a deck that rises gracefully over a reflective pool and includes a restaurant that perfectly pairs local products with the wines grown onsite.
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BRÖD Panadería

Mendoza, Argentina
BRÖD Panadería is a quaint, elegant boulangerie, bakery and brunch spot in Mendoza serving delicate pastries, fresh, local coffee and organic, healthy fare in a charmingly rustic setting. Blonde and white woods contrast with a classic black and white floor. Everything is made from scratch and served, when the weather permits, in a sweet outdoor courtyard under the shade of umbrellas and overhanging greens and trees.
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Park Hyatt Mendoza

Mendoza, Argentina
Whether you’re rolling a pair of dice in a dinner jacket or horseback riding at the base of the Andes, life is certainly dashing and debonair at the five-star Park Hyatt Casino & Spa. Situated in the main business district in the heart of Mendoza, upon entrance you’ll notice the beautifully restored 19th-century Spanish colonial façade and at 186 rooms and suites, it’s the largest hotel to make this list. Enjoy lavish amenities such as the two-level casino, outdoor pool, garden and sundeck as well as the collection of restaurants boasting sophisticated, casual and upscale bar dining
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O. Fournier Winery

Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina
O. Fournier Winery, owned by a Spanish family of the same name, is of modern design and located on approximately 650 acres in San Carlos, 80 some miles from the city of Mendoza and spread out over three estates – Finca Santa Sofia, Finca San Manuel and Finca San Jose. Growing tempranillo, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah varieties, the winery is equipped with the latest technology: the underground cellar can hold up to 2,800 oak barrels at a constant temperature and includes an innovative laboratory with microvinification capabilities. There’s also an onsite restaurant, Urban, as well as a luxury hotel in the works.
Photo: Lauren Wells
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Bodega Ojo De Vino

Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
Bodega Ojo De Vino is a certified organic winery located in the Agrelo Alto region of Mendoza. Born of a work trip by owner Dieter Meier, renowned Swiss artist and businessman in 2000, he purchased  approximately 850 acres in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, the region renowned for the best Malbecs. With two lines of wines to its name and a dedication to growing the best grapes free from any chemicals, it also boasts a lovely onsite restaurant, Ojo del Agua, awash in rosy pink, weathered wood, stone and rustic luxury.
Photo: Kieran Brown
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Bodega Trapiche

Maipú, Mendoza, Argentina
The history of Bodega Trapiche begins in 1883 in a small vineyard called El Trapiche where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. The wine-making techniques as well as the architecture are a beautiful blend of old-world and cutting edge. Past and present come together to make up the the winery itself, a Florentine style terra-cotta building from 1912 with a modern floor-to-ceiling glass visitor center that overlooks the vineyards.
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Espacio Trapiche

Maipú, Mendoza, Argentina
Espacio Trapiche is a restaurant located within the Trapiche winery in Mendoza, one of the most admired Argentine wineries in the world. It is a unique setting that combines the beautiful, renowned wines with a tasting menu led by what’s in season in the garden. Warm, reclaimed woods, perfectly worn leather booths and views of the vineyards accent the marvelous menu that makes one feel the ingredients in both the wine and food in your soul.

Auberge Du Vin, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel

Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina
When a region is world-famous for its wine and a hotel is renowned for its superior service you get Auberge Du Vin, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel located in the Uco Valley in Mendoza. Designed to compliment the natural beauty of its surroundings, you should also expect modern amenities like a heated pool and spa as well as the ability to pick grapes from your private terrace.
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Grill Q at Park Hyatt Mendoza

Mendoza, Argentina
When traveling, most choose to venture outside their hotel’s walls and delight in the local culinary culture. While one certainly should venture out and partake in the gastronomic riches of both food and wine in Mendoza, worth a night in is Grill Q at the five star Park Hyatt. The open plan kitchen means you can see (and smell) the delicious cut of meat as it’s prepared for you over an open flame and the empanadas taste as though they’ve come from grandmother’s kitchen.
Photo: Casa de Uco
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Horseback Riding

Mendoza, Argentina
Choose your own adventure on horseback with Kahauk’s diverse array of itineraries. Opt for guided vineyards tours, cross the Andes on an old trail used by Charles Darwin or choose a sunset ride among other opportunities. It’s a magnificent way to bypass any barriers between you and the stunning natural surroundings.
Photo: James Florio
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Bodega Salentein

Los Arboles, Mendoza, Argentina
Located 1,200 meters above sea level, Bodega Salentein, is a winery located in the Uco Valley within the Mendoza province and translates the soil of the land and toil of man into magnificent wines. The winery itself rises like a dusty desert rose and blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings while housing thousands of barrels of wine underground. Within its walls lies a cultural center, called Kilka, where contemporary Argentine and Dutch art of the 19th and 20th centuries converge with all things viticulture and a lovely restaurant. In addition to these extraordinary wines and features, stay the night on the winery itself at Posada Valentin, which has 16 beautiful rooms distributed in three houses, set among gardens, vineyards, a fruit farm and organic garden.
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1884 Restaurant

Mendoza, Argentina
1884 Restaurant is a love letter to the wines of Mendoza and the Andean Inca cuisine of the country, helmed by master of open fire cooking, Francis Mallmann. Housed within Escorihuela Winery, it was built in 1884 in an area that was then an open field in Godoy Cruz, a neighborhood that slowly became part of the city of Mendoza through the last century. Classic and comfortable high-back striped chairs and booths are pulled up to long wooden feasting tables laden with Mallmann’s “rebellious classic” cooking style, accented by an open air lounge courtyard and crackling fires. 600 labels reside in the restaurant’s wine cave with 12,000 bottles available for purchase.
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Azafrán Restaurante

Mendoza, Argentina
Azafrán Restaurante is a restaurant where the flavors and aromas of Mendoza are reinterpreted with respect to the ingredients. Utilizing different techniques from around the world, it interjects a new energy into centuries-old ingredients. Insider Tip: Book lunch or dinner at the Cava Table in the wine cellar with the sommelier, where you can choose between 500 labels from the best wineries in Mendoza to compliment your meal.
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Orégano

Mendoza, Argentina
Orégano is a restaurant born of Francis Mallmann and his wife’s, Vanina Chimeno, shared experiences cooking and traveling together. Its aesthetic represents the life and flavor they have created together. A pink neon sign serves as a welcome and lights up the night while bistro lights cast a lovely glow over the restaurant’s terraces adjacent to the streets of Mendoza. Covering two floors and boasting two kitchens, it’s a casual clay oven pizzeria, light and airy dough topped with a variety of cheeses, accented by the freshest of seasonal fare including salads, fish and cuts of meat.
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Fuente y Fonda

Mendoza, Argentina
Fuente y Fonda or “Source and Inn” is a radiantly alabaster restaurant in Mendoza serving dishes reminiscent of Argentinian childhood. Expect delicious yet unpretentious fare served family style on linens or adjacent to courtyard fountains. You may bring your own wines to accent your meal or choose from a list of local favorites. The menu is pared down, changes weekly and includes classic dishes such as milanesas, torrejas, homemade pasta, marinades or scrambled Gramajo.

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