You’d be right to assume that Malbec is the heart and soul of Mendoza’s wine industry. It’s not only the most widely-planted grape variety in Mendoza, but it is the grape variety that put Argentina as a wine country on the map for most wine consumers. It is the most exported grape variety and it is the most valued too.
To celebrate the importance of this grape variety for the Argentine wine industry, Wines of Argentina started Malbec World Day —on 17th April — during which several wine events celebrating Malbec are celebrated simultaneously around the world. Where the events were perhaps lacking though, was in the home of Malbec — in Mendoza.
There are many foreigners in Mendoza who have orbited into Argentina’s wine capital for a change of lifestyle and to start working in wine — sometimes as a wine producer, sometimes as a sommelier and sometimes as a hotelier catering to the growing number of wine tourists that visit Mendoza each year.
If Malbec is Argentina’s national drink, tango is Argentina’s national art form. And, for lovers of both, there's no better experience to be had in Mendoza than enjoying the month-long Tango along the Wine Route (Tango por los Caminos del Vino) festival.
The Andes mountains become blanketed in the year’s first major snowfall, the nights become cooler and the villages fill with the aroma of fermenting grapes and the excitement of festivities that seem to linger for months. It’s no secret that harvest is the best time in Mendoza.
Domaine Bousquet was one of the first certified organic producers in Mendoza far before it became a buzz word in local wine circles. Arriving with a philosophy driven by his home terroir in Carcassonne, France, and inspired by four generations of wine producers before him, Jean Bousquet first arrived to Mendoza in 1990 and soon developed the winery which has been one of Mendoza’s icons of organic wine production ever since.
Lunching in wineries is definitely one of the great highlights of spending time on Mendoza’s wine routes. There are dozens of excellent restaurants in wineries which offer everything from seven-course tasting menus to more relaxed a la carte dining. Some wineries in Mendoza are creating new and interactive culinary experiences that go beyond your usual winery lunch. Here are some of the most innovative culinary experiences in Mendoza at the moment.
Trapiche is one of the most historical wineries in Mendoza, with a florentine building that was constructed in 1912. Although the building is historic, its restaurant is the epitome of modernity. A glass cubic structure sits between the vineyard and winery, with excellent views overlooking both. The restaurant also overlooks the kitchen garden, which is an important element in the cuisine of Espacio Trapiche — priding itself in using the freshest and most local ingredients.
Although Malbec is King in Mendoza, it doesn’t mean that Mendoza’s winemakers rest on their laurels. Mendoza is a hive of innovation with hundreds of winemakers working in the wine region and developing new styles and wines to delight winelovers around the world. Here are some wine trends in Mendoza to keep your eye on:
The Sheraton in Mendoza is much easier to spot in the air than it is on the ground. As you fly into Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina, you’ll see a flat expanse of green vineyard land and matchbox houses in the main capital and suburbs. There are few high-rise buildings in this seismic region, but the Sheraton’s 17 floor hotel is one of them.