Mendoza is one of my favorite destinations in Argentina. Yes, there are lots of outdoors activities like hiking, rafting and horseback riding, but my favorite part is the amazing food and wine. Mendoza is the main wine producing region in Argentina, and where most of the country’s famous Malbec comes from. Like we wrote about in a previous post, make sure to schedule your wine tastings in Mendoza ahead since reservations are almost always necessary. Wine tasting in Mendoza is so fun because it lacks the pretentious attitude of commercial aspect of other wine regions. Over the years I’ve visited dozens of Mendoza wineries, but here is a list of my favorites.
- Catena Zapata – They revolutionized the Argentine wine industry by being the first winery to focus on making quality wine, not just quantity. Catena Zapata is today the largest winery in Argentina, but their winery visits and tastings are among my favorites. They have various levels of tastings, but I highly recommend splurging on the Nicolas Catena tasting which allows you to barrel taste some of the highest end wines in the country.
- Casa El Enemigo – Just opened in late 2015, Casa El Enemigo instantly became one of my favorites. Star wine maker Alejandro Vigil focuses on Cabernet Franc based wines, seen as the future of Argentine wine. The tastings are very personal and generous, and oftentimes Alejandro himself greets you and explains his passion project.
- La Azul – A very small and relaxed winery, La Azul is the definition of why Mendoza wine tasting is so great; personal, passionate and not overly commercial. The wine paired lunch at La Azul is a must.
- Clos de los Siete – Make sure to bring a jacket when visiting Close de los Siete since it is located literally on the side of the Andes mountains. Comprised of several impressive French owned wineries, our favorites are Monteviejo and DiamAndes.
- Viñas Cobos – Owned by Californian Paul Hobbs, who is largely credited for transforming Argentine wine in the late 90’s, Cobos makes some of the best Malbecs in the country, including their signature Cobos Malbec, rated a 99 by Wine Spectator.
- Pulenta Estate – A medium sized winery, Pulenta makes range of wines, but they are most proud of their Cabernet Franc. The facility is impressive, and since they are the official wine maker of Porsche, there is interesting automotive memorabilia throughout.