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    The 4 Best Mendoza Winery Tour Experiences: A Complete Guide to Tastings, Restaurants, Wineries, Bike & Wine & more

    Mendoza, Argentina is one of the global capitals for wine production, known for growing and vinting wine that competes with the best from France, Italy, Spain, California, and more. The difference between Mendoza and the other wine capitals is accessibility.

    While in Napa and Tuscany, you will taste amazing wines and gourmet food, the experience comes with a high price tag for the experience. The tour, car rentals, accommodation, and more will potentially set you back thousands of dollars for a few day trip.

    On the other hand…

    Mendoza, Argentina delivers that same, delicious, world class wine, Michelin star restaurants, and knowledgeably narrated guided tours through vineyards, wine cellars, and passionately described tastings for a fraction of the cost – think, $30 for an entire day’s tour plus another $35 for a case of really good wine.

    Better yet, in Mendoza and Maipu (the sister city that produces the wine) you have the option of being driven on a guided tour between wineries, rent a bike and cycling lazily between wineries, joining a Hop On Hop Off bus or even just walking.

    No matter what your situation, the Mendoza wine experience is well worth the trip and detour during your Argentina and overall South America travels.

    In this complete guide to the Mendoza wine experience, we’ll give you an overview of the best options for touring the Mendoza wine country – with a guided tour, by bike, on foot, and by public bus – as well as details and essentials you need to know to plan a great, wine themed stay in Mendoza, and plan how you explore the best wine South America has to offer.

    After you’ve soaked up all knowledge on the Mendoza wine experience, be sure to check out our Mendoza travel guide.

    This article contains affiliate links


    Why you need to visit Mendoza for the Wine experience

    If you’ve done guided wine tours, or even self-guided tours through Napa Valley, Italy, and France, then you’ll find the Mendoza and Maipu wine experience is far more accessible, affordable, and adventurous than wine tours through the other legendary wine capitals of the world. While I still recommend Napa if you have a chance, and it’d be foolish to skip a chance to wander French or Italian vineyars, I recommend Mendoza even more for how it fits into the South American experience.

    The Top Reasons Why You Need to Include the Mendoza Wine Experience in Your South America Experience

    • The Mendoza wine tours experience fits well into the Argentina and South America travel adventure, in both vibe and itinerary, as it feels Latin American, and sits on the route from Buenos Aires to Patagonia
    • The vibe of carefree travel and solo travel experiences is stronger in Mendoza than in any other wine epicenter, as budget backpackers and solo travelers share tastings with wine connoisseurs
    • Mendoza is the cheapest wine epicenter in the world to soak up the wine education and tasting experience, with a tour costing $30, a Michelin star meal costing the same, and tasting costing $.30 to $7
    • Maipu and Mendoza’s densely packed wineries and wine bodegas mean you’re not riding more than 10 mins between wineries, and its even possible to bike or walk between wineries
    • The nature of the travel – surrounded by warm and curious Argentinians and Chileans and more adventurous travelers – nearly guarantees you’re not sharing the experience with uptight snobs, just travelers and down to earth wine lovers. Local and foreign.

    The Mendoza Wine Tour Options: Guided, by Bike, Hop on Hop off, and more

    1. Guided Mendoza wine tasting tour to 2 to 3 wineries by private bus, with hotel pick up and drop off
    2. Hop on Hop off Bus Wine Tour
    3. Bike and wine tour through Maipu (self-guided) to 4 to 7 wineries
    4. Bike and wine tour through Lajon Cuyo (self-guided) to 5 wineries
    5. Bike and wine tour through Vistabla (self-guided) to 5 wineries

    Click each option above to jump to each mini guide below on how to make the tour happen for you

    The Areas of Mendoza You Need to Know

    1. Mendoza City Center: Your base for the experience
    2. Maipu: Vineyards and wine, easily accessible by public transport
    3. Lajon de Cuyo & Vistalba: Old vine wineries next to the Mendoza river and Andean foothills
    4. Uco Valley: New vines and new wines, in the cooler mountain highlands

    Mendoza City Center

    Mendoza, the capital of Mendoza province, is a “big little city” of just over 1,100,000 people. Though you won’t find any wineries in Mendoza city itself, this is where you should stay during your trip as it has the best and most accessible accommodation, and restaurants, bars, parks, and trails for your times between tastings. Convenient transportation departs to Maipu, Lajon de Cuyo, and Vistalba frequently.

    Beyond wine, Mendoza is a hub for adventure sports and experiences such as trekking, mountain biking, and even summitting Mount Aconcagua – the tallest mountain outside of Asia.

    After your wine tours, head to Aristides Villanueva street or Sarmiento street to start experiencing the best of Mendoza.

    Read our full Mendoza guide for what to do outside of tasting and exploring


    Maipu is one of the most popular and well known wine town regions within Mendoza, largely because it is so easily accessible by train, bus, or rideshare. Additionally, several options, from biking between wineries, walking, or taking a cheap ($.30) public bus make this one of the most accessible areas to tour.

    Plenty of amazing wineries, cheap tastings, and well priced restaurants make this an optimal choice for travelers on a budget.

    As well, the defined bike and wine route with wineries expecting bicyclers without a reservation make this a great area for an impromptu visit.

    Maipu is 25 minutes away from Mendoza city center by electric train or rideshare, and 1 hour away by public bus

    Bike & Wine Options: Mr. Hugo Bicycle Rental, Maipu Bikes

    Learn more about the Mendoza city experience beyond the wine in our Complete Guide to Mendoza

    Jump to the Maipu tour options

    Lajon de Cuyo & Vistalba

    While Maipu has large, expansive vineyards, Lajon de Cuy and Vistalba host smaller producers and the attention to details that comes with it. Additionally, Lajon de Cuyo sits closer to the foothills of the mountains and Mendoza Lake, which makes for more picturesque back drops and beautiful landscapes.

    With a denser landscape of wineries, wine and biking as well as quickly bouncing between wineries on a hop on hop off tour or guided tour are easy and enjoyable in both the northern area of Lajon de Cuyo and the southern part of Vistalba.

    Bike & Wine Options: Baccas Bikes, Vistalba Bikes

    Jump to the Lajon de Cuyo and Vistalba wine discovery options

    Valle de Uco: One hour south of Mendoza, but worth it

    Located a one hour drive south of Mendoza City Center by car, the “newer” wine region of the Uco Valley sits at a higher altitude with a cooler climate, and a “new blood” wine culture. As beautiful and interesting as this area is, there is no public transport from Mendoza – so you will have to hire a car or tour or book accommodation in Uco Valley for the night.

    So, where should you go?

    Budget travelers, solo travelers, and those who wish to use public transportation for their tour will find it easier to get around Maipu.

    Those who plan on biking or taking tours may find the views much more beautiful in Lajon de Cuyo and Vistalba.

    Last, wine connoisseurs who want to experience the “new breed” of wineries in Mendoza should consider adding Valle de Uco to their itinerary on a different, additional day.

    For all visitors, if at all possible, I recommend doing two days – one full day in Maipu, and one full day in Lajon de Cuyo, doing a biking experience in one and a guided tour in the other. Be sure to plan lunch at a bodega in each place.

    Important notes to keep in mind as you plan your Mendoza wine tour experience

    • Note that many wineries are closed on Sundays and Saturdays, so contact them before going and plan your tours for Monday to Friday
    • The wineries that can be reached by bike generally do not require reservations for tours. For the others, contact in advance before arriving
    • Many of the best wines made in Mendoza aren’t exported, so, drink plenty of those and buy a bottle too
    • Malbec is king around Mendoza primarily by intention and due to marketing but Cabernets from Mendoza tend to be soft and even better so try many. Tempranillo or Viognier and sparkling wines are done extremely well too
    • Message your bike rental location beforehand and reserve your bike if biking
    • Download the “MendoTran” app to find when trains and public buses come and go
    • Do multiple tours, such as a guided tour by bus first, then a bike and wine, then Uber between wineries, as all options are fun and deliver worthwhile, unique experiences
    • Use Uber to get into and out of Maipu, Vistalba, and Lajon de Cajo, as it is a cheap (~$6 to ~$7) great option that allows you to save time. Uber will offer quicker pickups than Cabify.
    • Remember to bring cash to keep things simple, as it will be needed, and not all places allow paying by card

    The Best Options for Mendoza Wine Tours

    The important information: there is no wrong way to experience wine in Mendoza.

    Though the different styles of wine tours – from guided via shuttle bus, to private driver, to biking between wineries – may seem suited only by budget or adventure taste, in actuality, each approach has its own benefits.

    In my opinion, the best way to experience Maipu’s wine scene is with one guided tour, one bike and wine tour, and then one train ride in and walking/Ubering between the last few wineries you’d love to see.

    Guided tour by bus to 2 to 3 wineries, with hotel/hostel pickup

    The standard Mendoza wine tour, popular with international travelers, backpackers, and Argentines visiting on the weekend is the standard guided wine tour to by shuttle bus.

    The standard wine tour is great in that there is much heavier emphasis on touring the vineyards and the wine production areas for fermentation, processing, and bottling, as well as the wineries’ individual ethos.

    If you’ve never actually toured a wine production facility and had the process explained, I highly recommend doing the tour. Learning how the actual desert of Mendoza can produce such tasty grapes, and how fickle and artful the process of turning those grapes into wine can be is an interesting and educational experience that helps you appreciate wine – especially Mendoza wine – even more.

    How the guided wine tour in Mendoza works

    On guide Mendoza wine tours, expect a very informative tour with 2 to 3 wineries and (likely) an olive oil tasting as well. The experience will lean towards interactive and very education with fairly small tastings by default, but comes with the opportunity to buy amazing wines insanely cheap. For example, I purchased a 1 year oaked Cabernet from 2018 for only $6 because of the tour, which more than balanced outside the small pour for the tasting.

    The guided wine tour tends to be a ~5 to 6 hours long starting with pickup at your hotel or hostel at 2:30PM and drop-off at around 8PM. Most hotels and hostels will advertise the tour and arrange it, but the will actually be managed and run by a third party. Your hostel or hotel will book to call and arrange pickup and you will end up on a tour with guests from many other hotels – which actually adds to the fun.

    I personally recommend booking the guided tour via Get Your Guide simply because you will be guaranteed a guide in English or Spanish, depending on your preference. On the day we went for the guided tour, our hostel staff mistakenly put us on a Spanish only tour which we found out a little too late (on the ride out). The tour was still fantastic, but may be difficult to enjoy if you don’t speak Spanish.

    One of the best parts of the guided wine tours was hearing the varying histories, ethos, and production approaches of the different wineries. For example, one owner is 75 years old and insists on using traditional corks and roses as a “pesticide” because it is what his Spanish grandfather trained him on as a child. Another winery specializes in a specific type of grape and wine because their family built the winery on an underground river after much research.

    I’ve visited Napa and Italy for wine experiences multiple times, and these experiences in Mendoza were by far more informative, casual, welcoming, and (seemingly) unpretentiously passion filled.

    Cost of doing a guided wine tour in Mendoza

    No matter who you book through (hostel, hotel, or Get Your Guide), a 2 to 3 winery tour will cost $27 to $30 USD.

    Again, I recommend booking through Get Your Guide as the price is the same, and you’ll be guaranteed an English speaking tour, if you request it.

    Click here to book your Mendoza Wine Tour via Get Your Guide

    Tips and Recommendations for wine tours in Mendoza

    • Pack snacks and water: You won’t be fed during the trip, so some cheese, crackers, and salami, as well as your own water on demand, will make the experience much more pleasant
    • Be open to buying a bottle (or 6) of wine: Prices are insanely cheap for the quality of wine you get, and each winery has wines they only sell at the vineyard, or only in one shop in Mendoza
    • Definitely go back on your own and try a few more wineries and consider coming back to try one of the restaurants, or, ask to leave the tour early and Uber to one of the Michelin star restaurants

    Renting a bicycle and biking between 4 to 7 wineries and ending with Argentine barbecue

    For those travelers up for a very unique self-guided tour, the experience of exploring wineries, tasting tens of wine, and learning how wine is made by simply biking between wineries is a fun, flexible option.

    Maipu, Vistalba, and Lajon de Cuyo are so densely packed with welcoming wineries that you could easily bike between them…so many travelers do. Thanks to the option of an Uber ride or Cabify in, and several bike rental locations, “Bike & Wine” is one of the best approaches to experiencing Mendoza’s beautiful views, vineyards, and wines.

    How the bike and wine experience works in

    Simply arrive in your wine town of the day – Maipu or Lajon de Cuyo – by Uber, train, or public bus, and make your way over to your bicycle rental location of choice.

    Maipu: Maipu Bikes, Mr. Hugo’s Bicycle Rental

    Near Maipu Train Station (Estacion Gutierrez): Wine and Ride

    Lajon de Cuyo: Vistalba Bikes, Baccus Wine Tours by Bike

    Once you arrive, you’ll take 5 minutes to pay, get acquainted with the owners as well as the route you will follow through Maipu, Lajon de Cuyo, or Vistalba. However, be sure to save our list of wineries and routes by bike in each area.

    From the start, you will simply ride alongside the road, on specially made bike lanes, to the wineries you choose. At each winery you will have the option of a paid tasting, which ranges from $.30 to $5 for the very exclusive wines. Additionally, several of the wineries, like Trapiche, offer some amazing lunch options at the restaurants located on site.

    Though the route has 7 potential wineries in Maipu and 9 in Lajon de Cuyo that you can visit, people rarely make it that far, and 3 to 5 wineries is the average for a single ride.

    Cost of doing the Bicycle and Wine Tour

    (All costs are in USD to help you better plan for your experience)

    • Getting to Maipu, Lajon de Cuyo, or Vistalba from Mendoza: $6 (Uber)
    • Getting to Maipu from Mendoza by public transportation: $.20 (train), $.30 (bus)
    • Bike rental: $10
    • Tastings: $.30 to $2 for a small tasting of most wines, $1.50 to $13 for a really full glass

    Now, let’s review the options, wineries, and routes for each of the bike and wine paths…

    Bike & Wine Option 1: Maipu Main Biking Self-Guided Wine Tour Path

    For those that choose the bike and wine tour from Mr. Hugo Bikes or Maipu Bike and wine, you will generally follow this path of wineries through Maipu. Many different bike rental shops recommend this same path, which is actually wonderful because you’ll share the path with other friendly travelers that are happy to chat and enhance your tasting experience

    Start: Maipu Bikes or Mr. Hugos Bike and Wine

    1. Bogeda La Rural – Museo del vino rural
    2. Bodega Domiciano
    3. Trapiche (pricey restaurant but excellent wine)
    4. Tempus Alba (excellent)
    5. Vina El Cerno
    6. Mevi Bodega
    7. Bodega Vistandes
    8. Bodega El CarinaE (Restaurant with Asado to end the day)

    Map of the Maipu Bike & Wine Route:

    I love this route, but, don’t feel bad if you don’t finish all of the wineries. Most of the wineries on this list offer great tours of their vineyards, grounds, and processing areas, as well as let you pay for as many tastings as you want. The downside (which is actually an upside) is you can spend half the day at a single one of these wineries.

    Bike and Wine in Lujan de Cuyo and Vistalba

    On the other side of Ruta 40 and closer to the Mendoza river and the Andean foothills lies another town and culture of wineries, situated densely enough with bike rental options that bike and wine is possible hear to.

    Keep in mind that the train does not run to Maipu, so you’ll have to take Uber in or public transport.

    The upside is that there are so many wineries and Michelin star restaurants in the area of Lujan de Cuyo and Vistalba that you could easily do two full days of tastings, winery tours, and eating.

    For the Lujan de Cuyo bike and wine routes, 9 main wineries make a path with Vistalba bikes situated perfectly in between. This means you can start at Vistalba bikes and either do a 4 winery self-guided tour by bike to the north, or a 5 winery self-guided tour by bike to the south.

    Bike & Wine Option 2: Lujan de Cuyo Northern Wine Route: 4 More Great Wineries

    Start: Vistalba Bikes

    1. Bodega Vistalba
    2. Bodega Gieco
    3. Clos de Chacras
    4. Alta Vista Wines
    5. Bodega Benegas

    Dinner or return back to Vistabalba Bikes

    Northern Lujan de Cuyo Bike and Wine route:

    Bike & Wine Option 3: Southern Vista Alba Bike and Wine Route: 4 More Great Wineries, on the other side of the Mendoza River

    Start: Vistalba Bikes

    1. Bodega Vistalba
    2. Bodega Kaiken
    3. Bodega Ruca Malen
    4. Viña Cobos
    5. Bodegas Norton

    Return to Vistalba Bikes and head to a Michelin level dinner

    Southern Lujan de Cuyo Route:

    Hop on Hop Off Semi-Guided Tour through either Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu, or Uco Valley

    For those that want a little freedom while exploring the wine country, don’t want to drive themselves, and don’t want to Uber, Hop On Hop Off buses throughout the Mendoza wine regions are the best option.

    The Hop On Hop Off buses have multiple pickup locations at which they pickup passengers once in the morning and once in the afternoon as well as drop off once at night.

    Hop On Hop Off Passes can be purchases in half day or full day passes online or from the Cata International bus company at the bus terminal.


    More info:

    Other Amazing Wineries in Mendoza to Consider

    Mendoza is renowned for its wine, wineries, and food good reason. No matter how long you stay, there will always be somewhere new to experience. By area, these are the additional highlight wineries that most visitors rave about and recommend. If you have a few more days, then consider visiting one, or a few, of these as well.

    Lujan de Cuyo

    Vistalba Wineries

    Maipu Wineries

    • Flichman

    Uco Valley Wineries

    • Zorzal
    • Domaine Bousquet
    • La Azule
    • Salentein

    Buying wine during the wine tours: Do it!

    Most people think buying wine in Argentina at any shop in Buenos Aires to take home is a fantastic idea. Actually, it isn’t. While the quality of Argentine wine is great considering the average bottle price in Argentina of $3 to $8, the same bottle of wine in the US is usually only $20 to $30. It seems like a deal, but when you airline hassle and extra fees of getting the wines home, not just any bottle of wine is worth the headache.


    The same doesn’t apply in Mendoza, when purchasing at the wineries.

    Each winery that you’ll tour in Mendoza has amazing wines available, including limited runs. Whereas the wine in the wine shops in Buenos Aires are good, the best wines you’ll find in Mendoza will be small batch and reserve production, so small that they are only sold on the estate or in Mendoza, and for a fraction of the price they’re sold for in wine shops around Argentina.

    Even the best wines offered for sale while we toured Maipu and around Mendoza only $6.50 per bottle, and $5 if you purchased a box of 6. However, these were oak aged, reserve, and limited run wines vinted in small batches that would cost much more than $25 a bottle in the US. So, if you plan to buy wine to take home, take a tour and buy it in Mendoza.

    Getting to Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, Vistalba, and Valle de Uco

    To start the wine experience, you’ll need to get to your chosen location first. For each area, your options are:

    Uber or Cabify to anywhere

    Throughout Mendoza and the nearby wine towns, Uber and Cabify are my favorite options for getting around. Generally here, rideshare rides rarely take more than 5 minutes to pickup, and rides cost between $5 and $7 to get from Mendoza to your destination (Maipu or Lujan de Cuyo) and cost ~$1 and $2 to get between winers. The trip to Uco Valley will set you back $30 to $45.

    Within the wine cities, Uber generally picks up faster, but download both apps just in case

    Cool Hack: $90 for Cabify Bodega, and a private driver from Mendoza for 8 hours

    If you’re with a group and want to cram the most into a rich experience, consider “Cabify Bodega.”

    Cabify Bodega is a package option within the Cabify app that, for a flat fee of $90, arranges a private driver for the entire day that will pick you up and drop you off in Mendoza. Along the way, the driver will take you to as many wineries as you want for up to 8 hours

    Guided tour by collective (shuttle bus)

    If you book a tour, via Get Your Guide or the like, your shuttle bus will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel or hostel, included in the price – so no need to worry about transportation at all

    Hop on Hop off

    The Hop on Hop off wine experience, available through Vitivinicola allows you to hop on the bus from Mendoza at one set time each morning (for full day tours) and afternoon (for half day tours) and join a single evening drop off. Within Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo, the Hop on Hop off bus circulates through the wineries, allowing you to move around as you please.

    Consult the tour brochure here to see the route times

    You can purchase tickets online or at the Cata office in the bus terminal

    Public Train from Mendoza (to Maipu only)

    The public electric train departs Mendoza City Center continuously daily, allowing you to leave and return anytime you’d like for 300 pesos ($.30) each way. The ride is only 25 minutes each way.

    Keep in mind, you will still have to take a public bus or a $2 Uber to the bike and wine locations, or your wine bodega of choice.

    Note that the train only runs to Maipu.

    The main train station in Mendoza is here but there are 19 other stops between Mendoza Central Station and Gutierrez Station (the final stop, in Maipu).

    Public bus (to Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, and Vistalba only)

    The public bus system is the cheapest and most flexible option for getting from Mendoza to Maipu or Lujan de Cuyo, as there are several buses running and they drop off at all of the major spots and wineries.

    To find a pickup and drop off spot, I highly recommend using Google Maps’ directions function for public transportation. Locals will recommend the MendoTran site and app which is good and accurate about the time to arrival for buses, but the routing function did not work for me.

    Where to stay

    For most visitors, the best location to stay is in Mendoza City Center, as close as possible to Aristides Villanueva street. This location is perfect because it puts you walking distance from the main drag of Aristides Villanueva, with restaurants, bars, and breweries, Sarmiento walking street, with a similar setup that is more family friendly, and the parks of Plaza Independencia and Parque General San Martin.

    For hotels, the Sheraton Mendoza is the best option in terms of quality and location if your budget doesn’t matter

    For the traveler crowd and couples that still wants comfort, Mora Hostel is the perfect choice, as it offers private rooms, a solid breakfast, a wonderful courtyard, and all the comforts of home.

    For the backpacker crowd, both Gorilla Hostel and Jacque Mate are as good as it gets with good facilities, and the perfect location next to the main drag of bars, restaurants, and entertainment.

    Where to eat around Mendoza

    The Mendoza is about the wine experience, and food & wine should be a single experience. Plan your eating for in town in Mendoza, which isn’t anything impressive, and at the bodegas, which is delicious, world class, and even Michelin star rated.

    For the classier and reputed restaurants, be sure to make reservations. We missed out on the restaurant we hoped to eat at because reservations were booked out for a week.

    Michelin Star Restaurants in Mendoza, Maipu, and Lujan de Cuyo

    Michelin Listed Restaurants

    • Abrasado
    • Soberana
    • Centauro
    • 1884 Francis Mallman
    • Espacio Trapiche
    • La Vida
    • Fogon Cocina de Vinedo
    • Osadio de Crear
    • 5 Suelos – Cocina de Finca

    Find the full, updated list of Michelin star and listed restaurants in Mendoza here

    Where to eat around Mendoza City Center

    • Anywhere on Aristides Villanueva street or Sarmiento walking street for beer and touristy, upscale eats
    • La Lucia
    • Shrimp Empenadas at Harry’s
    • Great beer and burgers at Berlina

    Check our Mendoza guide for Mendoza City Center Suggestions

    Other Recommended Recommended Restaurants from the Vitivinicola Hop On Hop Off Tours

    • Bodega Santa Julia, Restaurante Casa del Visitante by Chef Cristian Manzane
    • Bodega Penedo Borges, Restó Penedo Borges by Chef Matías Castejón
    • Bodega Tierras Altas, Restaurante Juana María by Cocinera Andrea Prieto
    • Bodega Gimenez Riili, Restaurante Garden & Restó by Chef Andrés Otemin
    • Bodega Norton, Restó La Vid by Chef Santiago Maestre
    • Bodega Foster Lorca, Restó Foster Lorca by Chef Matías Castejón
    • Bodega Terrazas de los Andes, Restó Casa Terrazas by Chef Noelia Scquizziao
    • Bodega Belasco de Baquedano, Restó Navarra by Chef Andrés Isura
    • Bodega Monteviejo, Restaurante Espacio Monteviejo by Chef Nadia Haron
    • Bodega Domaine Bousquet, Restó Gaia by Chef Adrían Baggio

    Visit the Hop On Hop Off homepage to learn more about these restaurants and how they may fit into a chosen Hop On Hop Off tour

    More info for the Hop On Hop Off Tour

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      About A Brother Abroad


      Carlos is a nomad, slow traveler, and writer dedicated to helping others live abroad and travel better by using his 7+ years of experience living abroad and background as a management consultant and financial advisor to help other nomad and expats plot better paths for an international lifestyle. Click here to learn more about Carlos's story.