Wine tasting in Mendoza had been on my bucket list for ages and I’m so glad I finally got the chance to do it on this trip. As it’s winter, the vineyards weren’t quite as impressive as I’d envisioned, but the wine tasted just as nice. It’s easy to book guided tours in Maipu from Mendoza, but the cheaper alternative is to take a bus to Maipu and then rent a bike.
I chose to rent from Mr. Hugo after some positive recommendations, which was a good choice. The distances between wineries were much further than I’d anticipated and I only made it to four locations, but they were diverse and offered a good overview of the wine making culture in Mendoza.
My first stop was the Rutini vineyard and museum, which has an eclectic collection of wine making tools spanning over 100 years. It was, however, one of the more expensive wineries at 50 Argentina pesos (about US$10), and it only included a tasting of one wine.
I then made my way to Entre Olivos, where the tour is rather unimpressive but the tasting session is incredible. They have a wide variety of jams, tapenades, oil and vinegar, and flavored liqueurs and they let you go back as much as you like (except for the liqueur).
I wanted to visit Trapiche next, the largest winery in Argentina, but they only offered tours at 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00, which did not fit into my schedule. So I made my way to Tempus Alba, which has a self-guided tour for those who hadn’t made reservations and a lovely tasting session of three self-selected wines for 30 Argentine pesos. I befriended an American couple here, who bought me a full glass of Malbec, and at this point I was a bit concerned about getting back on my bike!
I decided to stick it out for one more vineyard: Bodega Familia Di Tommaso, one of the oldest vineyard in Argentina. This was the most laid back of the tastings I attended and they had four wines to sample. To be perfectly honest, between the wine and the full day of tours in Spanish, I couldn’t pay that much attention to what the guide was saying. But the vineyard and distillery were perfectly quaint as opposed to the industrial feel of the other wineries.