Maipú, ArgentinaI was in Mendoza for one reason and one reason only – Wine. Being the central wine spot for all of Argentina visiting Mendoza without visiting a winery would be the same as not visiting a winery while in Napa Valley. The actual city of Mendoza didn’t do much for me. It’s just another [...]
I was in Mendoza for one reason and one reason only – Wine. Being the central wine spot for all of Argentina visiting Mendoza without visiting a winery would be the same as not visiting a winery while in Napa Valley. The actual city of Mendoza didn’t do much for me. It’s just another city; albeit a nice one with wide, tree lined streets and many plazas. I’ll just tack this city up as another one I’ve been to and passed through in a journey to get somewhere more interesting. I did take time to spend one day here though. The streets are line with sidewalk cafe’s, old men drinking beer and locals lazing away afternoons in the lush, green grass and abundant sunshine of the plazas.
More interesting (to me anyway) was when I heard an odd sound in the distance. Bagpipes. Not quite the same sound as the Highland pipes I’m used to hearing but distinct sound only a set of pipes can make. Running towards the sound I found a guy playing a Spanish bagpipe known as Asturianas. Trying them out I found the scale to be different, but not drastically, and infinitely easier on breath control.
|From Mendoza 2011-03|
After one day in Mendoza I was ready to get out. My plan was to bus out of the city into wine country, rent a bike and spend a couple days cycling to various wineries and camping with the grape vines. My time outside of Mendoza mostly followed this plan with the exception of the ‘camping with the grapes’ part. Camping in vineyards would mean cycling from winery to winery with half of my travel gear strapped awkwardly to a dodgy bike. When the bike shop, Bikes and Wines, said we could camp in their backyard for free the camping with grapes idea went out the window for a far more convenient option that included ping pong, a shower and a couple free glasses of wine at the end of each day.
|From Mendoza 2011-03|
The number of wineries surrounding the small town of Maipú is more astounding than the size of the Duggar family. In two days Alan and I visited six wineries and various other shops in the area near Mendoza. Visiting more wineries was possible but how many times does one need to hear about the same generic wine-making process? Taking everything in if I were to condense two days into one and recommend an itinerary for any future visits to the wine region of Mendoza it would be the following.
Mendoza Wine Region Tour
Forget the tours from the hostels in Mendoza. Forget the transportation options out to Maipú. There are cheaper ways to have the same if not better experience.
- Leave Mendoza by 10:00 am and take the bus out to Maipu from Mendoza on the number 10 bus routes 171,172 or 173 ($1.80 AR).
- Rent a bike from one of the many bike shops that have sprung up in recent years. I liked Bikes and Wines. ($35 AR)
- The Wine Museum – Take a quick walk around. It’s free and wine is included.
- Tempus Alba – Take the quick self-guided tour and grab a sampling of three nice wines for around $20 AR.
- Trapiche – The best tour in the area with some good wines included in the tour. More pricey then the rest but worth it. $25 AR.
- Carinae – If you have time to add in an extra winery and want to bike a few extra kilometers then stop by this winery between Tempus Alba and Trapiche. $15 AR
- End the day at the Beer Garden. A small family run place that makes some fine home brew.
You should also get a couple of free glasses of wine from whichever place you rented bikes from before taking the bus back into Mendoza.
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