We arrived in Mendoza after a really long and boring 28 hour bus from Salta.
The city of Mendoza, and the surrounding region, is a world famous wine region in Argentina, producing 70% of the country’s wine.
We had planned to spend our first two nights in the leafy suburb of Chacras de Coria as it was closer to some of the surrounding wineries than staying in town and we wanted to do our own self-guided tour of some local vineyards by bike.
Chacras de Coria was a lovely area and really reminded us of parts of suburban South London like East Dulwich with an eco fair and pop-up market selling artesenal products on the main square.
We chose our hostel, Acequias Bed and Breakfast, as it had amazing reviews and they are listed as offering free bikes for guests and also supplying maps and info for doing your own wine tours.
Unfortunately, our day of biking around in the sunshine and visiting wineries getting drunk didn’t go quite as we had planned! Firstly, the hostel bikes were crap and the brakes and seat were broken on both so we had to pay to rent bikes from elsewhere. Secondly, they had a few volunteers at the hostel and none of them had a clue when it came to info on which wineries we should visit. There were loads in the area but we didn’t know which ones were open and which ones were free to visit or what times the tours started.
After failing to get any decent info out of anyone at the hostel, we jumped on our rental bikes and went for a ride to try our luck finding some open wineries.
We spent the day cycling around in the sun however most bodegas were either closed or they weren’t doing an English tour until a particular time of day. We did manage to visit a grand total of two (very nice) winery tours and I still managed to get drunk because they gave you very generous portions to taste!
The first vineyard we visited was Bodegas Nieto Senetiner, a beautiful and very posh.
You could choose to have lunch there with amazing views of the surrounding countryside and vineyards before the tour but it was way out of our traveller budget! The tours took you down into the wine cellars and told you about how the wines were made. We then got to the fun part which was the tasting session and they gave us three different wines to try.
The second winery we visited was Pulmary, closer to Chacras and the lady who ran it was a legend and gave us huge big glasses of each wine which is how I ended up drunk!
Our last two nights in Mendoza we stayed in the centre in Hostel Empedrado. The place was really nice and we met some good people there. They also had free wine every night between 7 and 9 which we definitely took full advantage of. However, apart from doing wine tours we found that there really wasn’t much to do in Mendoza city so after 2 days in town we were definitely ready to leave for Santiago – and so we did!