Mendoza vineyards are heralded as the birthplace of Argentina’s Malbec grape variety, which lead the way in premium wines being exported from the country.
Settled on a high-altitude plateau at the edge of the Andes mountains, Mendoza is by far the largest wine producing region in the country – accounting for around 70% of all Argentinian wine.
Vineyards in Mendoza date back to the first vines planted by Catholic priests in the 16th century, which eventually came to flourish in the high and dry climate that is irrigated by meltwater from the snowy peaks.
Although the first Malbec grapes were planted centuries ago, it has taken until the last 25 years for the quality of Mendoza’s bright and intense reds denoted by floral aromas and dark fruit flavours to edge their way into wine lists around the world.
Originally from Bordeaux, Malbec has been adopted as Argentina’s premier grape variety since vineyards in Mendoza and beyond provide exceptional conditions for its growth. Most of the vines are planted between 1,800 – 3,600ft above sea-level, while high levels of sun radiation and changes in diurnal temperatures also contribute to its quality.
As well as Malbec, varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Chardonnay and Bonardo are all successfully grown in Mendoza vineyards.
The majority of vineyards in Mendoza are concentrated in the Maipu and Lujan De Cuyo departments, while the Uco Valley and Tupungato also produce notable wines.
Lujan de Cuyo was the first sub-region in Mendoza to be given its own destination of origin and is generally regarded as the land of Malbec, although that is not the only grape variety planted here.
The Uco Valley is home to the newest Mendoza vineyards, as well as some of the region’s most breathtaking scenery. The region burst onto the international wine scene in 2012 and has been producing premium wines for over a decade – with award-winning Malbecs being accompanied by quality white wine varietals including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and even Torrontes.
At Wine Paths, our local experts can arrange bespoke private tours, including elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation and unique experiences, of the vineyards in Mendoza – ensuring every detail is taken care of before you set foot on Argentinian soil.
As well as exploring various Mendoza vineyards and indulging in exquisite wine and food tastings surrounded by beautiful mountain backdrops, we also offer a range of incredible experiences in the heart of Argentina’s wine country.
Among these is the opportunity to star gaze from vineyards high in the mountains– enjoying wine and food tastings under the light of the moon as an astronomer points out constellations.
There are many ways to explore Mendoza vineyards – although riding through breathtaking landscapes on two wheels is arguably the most fun and active. Our biking adventure in Mendoza takes you through boutique and premium wineries accompanied by a professional guide to talk you through tastings of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz paired with a traditional lunch.
Alternatively, for the more creatively inclined, our art and wine tour of Mendoza vineyards takes you to different scenarios in the region – from a traditional winery to an exclusive estancia in the heart of the mountains – where you will be shown how to paint before enjoying a lunch with wine pairings.
Visit our Argentina destination page for more information on the vineyards of Mendoza before planning an exclusive tour to discover more than simply Malbec.