When we started our travels to Argentina we knew that we saved one of the best places for last! The three major wine regions of Mendoza are home to over 1,500 wineries spread between the different valleys. From the Mendoza city center you can taxi, drive, or take a tour to the different vineyards like we did! Interestingly enough, we didn’t simply taste wine on our Mendoza tour in Argentina. We actually chose to travel through them in a way we never had before… By bicycle! Follow our day as we explore the Lujan de Cuyo Valley and sample the Nieto Senetiner, Bodega Vistalba, and Kaiken vineyards on a Mendoza wine bike tour with Kahuak.
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Understanding & Exploring Mendoza
The first thing to know is that the wineries are extremely popular year round. Unlike other places in the world it isn’t easy to just show up and ask to sample wines. You need to either go on an official Mendoza wine tour, or call ahead and set up tastings in advance to guarantee a spot.
This was the first reason we decided to do a Mendoza wine bike tour to make sure there would be availability. We thought about renting a car, but who wants to drive themselves around these famous valley’s and be restricted on their wine intake?
Mendoza’s Three Wine Valleys
Lujan de Cuyo: Home to some of the oldest vineyards in Argentina and responsible for producing some of its finest Malbecs. Great area to explore by bike or car. This was where we went on our tour with Kahuak!
Maipu Valley: The closest and most accessible wine valley to the city. Not known as the most beautiful of the 3 big valleys, but still has several world renowned wineries.
Uco Valley: The newest wine region of Mendoza, and also the furthest from the city. Wine is made in the Uco Valley at over 3,000 feet, which makes it one of the highest elevations in the world to produce the lovable drink.
Starting Our Mendoza Argentina Wine Tour
You know it’s going to be a good day when you get picked up at 9:30am, and your tour guide says you’ll be tasting wines by 11! If you’re going to the Lujan de Cuyo Valley early the best advice we can give you is to have a hearty breakfast before. Lunch will not be until mid-afternoon so it’s important to have something already in your stomach.
Just a quick drive from the city center, we pulled into the gates of Nieto Senetiner winery and drove down the tree lined entrance. Nieto Senetiner also happens to be one of the oldest wineries in Mendoza.
We couldn’t help but feel exhilarated driving into our first winery of the day! Before our tasting we were taken on one of the most in in-depth wine tours we’ve ever had, learning about the entire process at Nieto Senetiner.
Step by step, we saw how it went from the vines, to liquid, and then into the distribution process. They also explained about the grapes and soil, the fermentation inside the barrels, and how the temperature effects the different varieties of wine. Below you’ll find each bottle we tasted on our winery tour.
- Nieto Sentiner White Blend 2018
- Don Nicanor Red Blend 2016
- Don Nicanor Malbec 2017
- Cadus Signature Series Petit Verdot 2016
About the Mendoza Wine Bike Tour
After the first winery we hopped on our bikes and rode to the second stop in the Lujan de Cuyo Valley. One thing we didn’t realize was that out of a tour of 15 people there were only 4 bike riders including us. So if you don’t feel up for biking or comfortable you can book a tour with the shuttle transfer.
The actual riding between the wineries was on both roads and sidewalks, and each stop was only 15-20 minutes from the next. The best part was when we pulled into the different wineries and cruised right through the actual fields! This made our Mendoza wine bike tour a one of a kind experience we wouldn’t of had it any other way.
Once we arrived at the second winery we were split into our own group as we were the only English speaking travelers on the Kahuak tour. If you didn’t know already Malbec runs the wine game in Mendoza… And we got a full history lesson at the Vistalba Winery! Mendoza is internationally known for having the best climate for producing wine in the world.
Set at the foothills of the Andes Mountains between 2,800 and 5,000 feet, the high altitude provides the perfect soil and growing temperatures for grapes and olives. They don’t get much rain in Mendoza, but the water from the mountains is more than enough to complete the process. In addition to learning more about Malbec and other Mendoza wines at Bodega Vistalba we even got to sample their olive oil, too!
- Progenie Extra Brut
- Vistalba Corte B 2017
- Tomero Malbec 2017
- Corte V Olive Oil
After a couple hours of wine tasting and riding on our Mendoza wine bike tour we were more than ready for lunch! Overlooking the vineyards at Kaiken Winery, we had to a delicious spread with locally cooked ingredients. Our three course lunch started out with carne and egg empanadas, a chicken stew, and ended with a yummy flan topped with dulce de leche.
All the while mind you, we were sampling several different amazing wines! We didn’t get to try a rosé at Nieto Senetiner or Bodega Vistalba so this was a nice cold and refreshing treat in the hot sun with our meal.
For our last winery tour we joined with an English speaking group again and were guided through the onsite cellar. They took us deep down into the basement and explained more about the local wine culture of Mendoza.
I think at this point everyone was feeling the effects of the drinks and large lunch! Luckily Kaiken Winery has comfy blankets under the trees where you can rest, or take a nice siesta before heading back to the city.
- Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2018
- Malbec Rose 2019
- Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
- Malbec 2018
Biking Winery Tour with Kahuak
If you couldn’t tell already we had an amazing day in the Lujan de Cuyo Valley. Kahuak was highly recommended for our Mendoza Argentina wine tour, and they did not disappoint! We learned so much about how the wine is produced, and it was great to have an English speaking guide at each location.
In full disclosure we partnered with them for this tour, but as always we would only recommend activities that we loved! If you’re interested in learning more about our tour, or other awesome wine adventures you can get all the information on Kahuak Tourism here!
Have any questions about our Mendoza Argentina wine tour or the Lujan de Cuyo Valley? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Mendoza
Ultra Luxury – Park Hyatt Mendoza – Park Hyatt is the definition of luxury as one of the only 5 star hotels in the city. Relax by the pool and enjoy all the amenities you’d expect at this world renowned hotel chain.
Fun Vacation – Diplomatic Hotel – The unique french decor inside the Diplomatic Hotel will make you feel right at home in the center of Mendoza. Surrounded by the best restaurants in the city and featuring an outdoor swimming pool, this is an awesome place to stay near the wine region.
Hostel Life – Windmill Hostel – The Windmill Hostel is the perfect spot to plan your Mendoza Argentina wine tour! It has dorms and private rooms for those who want to live the hostel life and meet other travelers.
For more places to stay in Mendoza Argentina you can explore the latest prices here!
Argentina Travel Planning
Flights: We always find the best flights using Skyscanner. Remember that a lot of the time it’s cheaper to fly between cities in Argentina than driving or taking the bus!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling in Argentina. It is especially fun to have a car in scenic regions like Patagonia.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Argentina. Attend a tango show in Buenos Aires, visit Iguazu Falls with an epic boat tour, or go glacier trekking in El Calafate!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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