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Wine trails, routes and roads in Mendoza
The biggest misconception visitors often have before arriving in Mendoza is that the vineyards are on your doorstep. That used to be the case, a hundred years ago, but today Mendoza city is a cosmopolitan capital and you’ll have to venture out to the different wine routes to explore the region’s wineries and vineyards - whether you fancy the historical wineries of Maipu or the modern showpiece bodegas of the Uco Valley.
If you want to pick a wine route that incorporates both history and modernity in equal measure, I recommend discovering Lujan’s ample wine route which can guide you through the ages of Argentine wine.
A taste of tradition
There are few wineries in Mendoza that maintain the historical tradition of winemaking in large oak vats, but Bodega Weinert is one of them. Conveniently located 20 minutes from Mendoza city, this 19th century winery is a great way to start your day and sample wines which are aged in 6,000 litre oak casks - in the same way that they have been produced for centuries. The Weinert Estrella is one of the most prized wines in Argentina, and goes to show that there’s truth to the saying, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
Relishing in the present day
If you ask most wine drinkers what is the one winery that helped put modern Mendoza on the map, I wouldn’t be surprised if a majority of them answer Catena Zapata. This large family winery helped promote Argentine wine abroad opening important markets in the US especially. Their showpiece winery in Lujan de Cuyo is one of the most popular on the wine route, and the handsome barrel room, state of the art winery and modern architecture is a true reflection of Mendoza’s modern-day wine production.
Looking to the future
One of the most respected winemakers of the new generation is Matias Riccitelli, and you can visit his boutique winery in Lujan de Cuyo. In the heart of Vistalba, looking at the imposing Andes mountains, a visit here is a great way to finish the day with a taste of the future. Riccitelli’s fresh and vibrant wines reflect the exciting direction that many of Mendoza’s new generation of wine producers are heading.