11.19.2018

48Hours In The Heart of Argentina's Wine City: Mendoza


Travel to different places, meeting new people and living new experiences will change you.
It changed me.
Exploring Mendoza's panoramas, the Andes mountains, listening to the heart of the city and its laid-back pace will be something magic you need to see, one day.

I've learned that travel made me a storyteller and I feel lucky to document these precious moments that I'll never forget. I had the chance to visit Argentina last month and let me tell you, I had so many moments that inspired me to capture, so many people that I admired, and an incredible hospitality that I just want to share with each of you.

Did you know there's a lovely connection between wine, culture, and art?
Mendocinos are the masters of this world and that's why they are known as the heart of Argentina's wine production, something to be extremely proud of.  There are around 150 wine bodegas ready to welcome tourists every year, some of them with tours, some of them with rooms where you can stay at, but all of them with someone with a big passion to beautify your stay.

In this lovely guide, I chased all the colors, all the smells, all the richness of the pure Argentinian wine we all adore and spent seven magic days (including Buenos Aires but more on that later) as a local, with locals. Hope this will inspire you to plan your next gastronomic adventure, including lots and lots of really GOOD wine.

Endless thanks to Copa Airlines, for hosting us.
Endless thanks to Mendoza, for feeding us and showing us the beautiful life you live.
Endless thanks to Argentina, for cultivating a wonderful culture that made me feel home.

 S T A Y 

Hotel Esplandor Arena by Wyndham
This chic boutique hotel is located in the heart of Maipu and just 15 minutes away from the city center and old Mendoza. Featuring a modern decor and surrounded by the magnificent Andes Mountains, Esplendor will charm your mornings and evenings. I loved waking up in the morning and enjoying a typical Argentinian breakfast buffet, including fresh medialunas, coffee, fresh juice and eggs. The hotel is located in a prime spot near all the bodegas you'll need to explore while in Mendoza.

Where: Emilio Civit esq Maza, Maipu 
Amenities: 24-hour reception, bar, casino, pool, fitness center, spa, gift shop, restaurant, play area for kids
Rates: From $89 daily



G E T T I N G   T H E R E

Ready to explore Mendoza with me? From Canada, Mendoza is connected via Panama, the hub of the Americas with Copa Airlines, operating for over 70 years now and recognized as the most punctual airline in Latin America, win! On board and in business class, you'll enjoy a splendid meal service including premium wines and cuisine. Daily departures from Montreal and Toronto and you can book your next adventure here.



F A C T S   A B O U T   M E N D O Z A

Mendoza is the 3rd biggest province of Argentina and well known as the land of wine and sunshine. The city of Mendoza is a desert with a semi-arid weather and in average, a blessed temperature throughout the year. Our visit was at the end of Winter and beginning of Spring where you can see how Malbec vines start to bloom, and more than 150 wineries or bodegas plan their next production. 


D A Y   O N E   I N   M E N D O Z A 

Who else is a fan of traveling somewhere with a detailed itinerary of the must-spots you need to check? right? To spoil you a bit, I created the best of Mendoza in 48 hours including what to do, where to explore and what to try. Be ready, and bring your appetite!


HAVE LUNCH AT ENTRECIELOS
Live your best life at Entrecielos, a luxury wine hotel and spa with a splendid view of the Andes mountains, the Malbec vines, and a one-of-a-kind quiet lunch that will impress you. BEST way to start your Mendoza adventures. 
Where: 1998, Guardia Vieja, Mendoza
Awards: Tripadvisor 2017 travellers choice, Small luxury hotels of the world, Mr & Mrs Smith.





ENJOY THE SUNSET AT HOTEL POTRERILLOS

An institution and a Mendoza tradition, Hotel Potrerillos has been around since 1942, with only 34 modern and cozy rooms with a prime view of the Andes mountains, a breathtaking spot of what Argentina is all about, a mix of a wonderful stunning nature and the wonderful staff that will treat you with fresh empanadas and their house wine. Potrerillos, 69km away from the city center is well known for outdoor activities any season, from ski, trekking, horseback riding and a lot more. We enjoyed a great local Malbec and the beautiful sunset facing the mountains.
Where: Ruta Nacional N 7, Km 50, Lujan de Cuyo
Awards: Best of Mendoza's wine tourism 2018, Tripadvisor recommended


HAVE DINNER AT ESPACIO TRAPICHE 
My favorite bodega and activity during our stay in Mendoza. I've been a big fan of Trapiche wines for a few years now and visiting their home was simply a dream come true. Hosted by the wonderful Chef Lucas Bustos, this night was one for the books. Little did I know most bodegas in Mendoza have their own farm, their own produce and the concept is from the farm to your table. The menu included a 4 service meal that impressed me from start to finish, where I prepared my own beet soup, had an apple ricotta bruschetta served on a warm rock and almost cried with a perfectly well-made filet mignon paired with a perfect Malbec I'll never forget. Argentinian steak and wine produce aren't a joke, friends.
Where: Nueva Mayorga, s/n, Maipu Mendoza
Awards: Argentina's wine producer of the year, Impact Magazine's hot brand 


D A Y  T W O  I N  M E N D O Z A


START YOUR DAY WITH A CITY TOUR
A must do during any trip? visit the city center, and get to know all the local culture. We explored Mendoza with the hop-on-hop-off bus tour visiting more than 20 spots and knowing all about this laid-back city. My favorite ones? Central park, Palmares open mall, Aristides Villanueva street and Fuentes de los Continentes.
Where: Peatonal is the first stop and the meeting point to start the tour.
Rate: Adults are $450ARS, children $264ARS




EXPERIENCE THE OLDEST WINERY IN MENDOZA AND ITS EXQUISITE MENU
Bodega Lagarde planted the first Malbec vine back in 1897 and nowadays, creates an exceptional experience with a sustainable land, wine, and menu, making Mendoza a top-notch destination for wine lovers. Lagarde is a major producer of sustainable wine with eco-friendly bottles, including a brand new organic line and with a philosophy to achieve only the best produce of Mendoza. The visit starts with a tour of the bodega, explaining how they produce each bottle including tastings along the way and finishing with a gastronomic experience at the Fogon Restaurant. The pairing menu will change each season designed based on the local produce and the local Mendocino cuisine, hello fresh veggies, fresh olive oil and fresh meat!
Where: 1745 San Martin, Mayor Drummond, Lujan de Cuyo Mendoza
Awards: Parker's Wine advocate awards on several wines (up to 94 points on the Malbec 2015)


EXPLORE THE ARGENTINIAN OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION

Did you know that Mendoza has a vast Italian and French influence, making them pioneers of Olive Oil production in Latin America? Laur is one of the oldest producers in Mendoza and they have been around since 1900. We saw the manual and old process that now serves as a museum and tour for visitors and local Mendocinos. Laur produces ultra premium olive oil and you can even visit all their olive trees, taste them and see how they manufacture each bottle. Aceto is their recent adventure since 2013, and the balsamic I've tried in here was out of this world. If you're a fan of olives like this mama over here, this tour is made for you!
Where: Videla Aranda 2850, Cruz de Pidra, Maipu Mendoza
Tour: You'll start with a 100-year old olive trees tour followed by the museum and finishing the current factory. Yes, you'll try each oil and each balsamic at the end of the tour and I even bought a few goodies that I brought back home.


FINISH YOUR VISIT WITH LA CREME DE LA CREME, CASA EL ENEMIGO
If you say Alejandro Vigil in Argentina, you'll get an immediate standing ovation. Founder, enfant terrible, father and terroir lover of El Enemigo, he is the highest rate holder even given to an Argentinian wine producer, awarded by Parker's Wines, the most trusted wine authority in wine. The visit will include a tour of the property (where Alejandro lives), all inspired by Dante's Inferno. The winery produces sustainable wines from white, red and sparkling during the year, and everything about this place has been carefully thought including the dining experience. You'll try at least 8 wines including the new Cabernet Franc and including the 99 Parker's selection, followed by a full 4-course menu paired with each wine. Meeting Alejandro that night was splendid, and we ended up walking through his tiles, backyard and Malbec vines, telling each other jokes, Argentinian style.
Where: Videla Aranda 7008, Maipu Mendoza
Awards: Several Parker's Wines 2018


Remember the apple ricotta appetizer story?
Well, this is it. 
Gotta love a good Malbec, thank you for the best night, Trapiche team!

Beet risotto with fresh parmesan, all made with a local produce at Bodega Lagarde
And of course, I found some pretty tiles along the way.

God bless this ceviche, god bless.

This experience was in press trip hosted by Copa Airlines, all opinions expressed here are entirely mine.






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1 comment

  1. BellĂ­simo todo, viendo tus fotos y leyendo tus historias me dieron muchas ganas de ir!

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