Wine tours en Mendoza: back to doing what we love the most

After a year and seven long months of pandemic we finally resumed activity. Junior and Débora, friends from Brazil, arrived last Tuesday on the first flight from Brazil to land in Mendoza since March 2020. The Latam flight from Sao Paulo brought with it a lot of joy for all the people of Mendoza that for so long has been waiting for the tourists to be able to come back.
In search of the best wine tours in Mendoza, Junior and Débora were able to enjoy three of out most chosen wine tours. Each step of the experience was planned together and according to their expectations. We started in Maipú, a wine tour that houses the oldest and most classic wineries in the region such as Familia Zuccardi, Trapiche and El Enemigo.
On the second day of the tour, we were able to visit the area of ​​the world-renowned Uco Valley, starting with a tasting in Andeluna, followed by Salentein to end the day having lunch at one of our favorites: the Giménez Riili winery located in The Vines complex. With incredible views that will amaze anyone, we closed the second day of the wine tour in Mendoza.
With postcards that made even harder to say goodbye to Mendoza, we traveled with Junior and Débora to the Luján de Cuyo area where we visited classics such as Chandon and Viña Cobos to finish with a Lagarde lunch.
There is nothing we enjoy more than planning the perfect itinerary for each visitor, designing the unique experience and touring the best wineries in Mendoza on our private wine tours. We are very happy to be able to do again what we enjoy the most: share with visitors from all over the world the beauty of Mendoza and the quality of our wines.
We are waiting for you again in Mendoza, eager to go out and toast. Cheers!

Borders are open: american and brazilian tourists will be able to visit Argentina again

With great joy, we celebrate the decision to reopen the borders of our country to foreign tourists from neighboring countries as of October 1st. After a year and a half in which we were separated by the COVID-19 situation, this decision does not go unnoticed while all the tourist agencies in the region celebrate it.

This decision comes together with a significant and sustained decline in the last months of the virus. And to this decision for bordering foreigners is added the general opening of borders on November 1st. This means that all travelers from anywhere in the world will be able to return to Mendoza to taste our wonderful wines.

Now, surely you are wondering what are the requirements that all travelers must meet to enter Argentina?

-Complete vaccination schedule, with the date of the last application at least 14 days prior to arrival in the country
-Negative PCR test in the 72 hours prior to shipment or antigen at the point of entry until defined by the health authority,
-CRP test on day 5 to 7 of arrival until defined by the health authority,

These admission conditions are up-to-date and will surely evolve as vaccination advances and virus positivity drops in all regions of the country.

Feeling like planning a wine tour? I know we do!

The secrets behind Puente del Inca

One of the attractions that attracts the most attention from visitors to Mendoza is the famous Puente del Inca. With a millenary and ancestral tradition, it directly evokes the legacy of the native Andean peoples by being part of the “Qhapac Ñan” or Inca Trail road system. This wonderful tourist attraction is a must that we always visit on our private high mountain tour and it is undoubtedly one of our favorite activities to do in Mendoza Argentina.

This natural wonder was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco and basically consists of a natural bridge of biomineral origin over the Cuevas River made up of a layer of colluvial sediments that was cemented by salts that come from the thermal waters that emanate from there. Its thermal waters reach a temperature of approximately 34 ° Celsius, an attribute that made the attraction one of the most renowned thermal centers in Argentina during the 20th century.

Although that is the scientific explanation for the formation of this natural wonder, in the region we always comment on the ancestral legend that links it to the presence of the Incas. This picturesque legend tells the story of the Inca king and his heir to his throne: a young man affected by an unknown disease that paralyzed his body and prevented him from moving more and more. His father, deeply affected by the ailment of his only heir, decided to embark on a journey through the cordon del plata in search of the hot springs that promised to at least calm the physical ailment of his son. Embarked on a tremendous adventure accompanied by a retinue of subjects and after enduring the adversities of nature, they finally reached the area of ​​present-day Mendoza. When crossing the river caves, his faithful subjects submerged their bodies in the water, creating a bridge for the king to cross with his son in his arms and the legend tells that it was at this exact moment that the king turned to thank his procession and to his surprise: they had become a massive bridge.

And you, do you prefer the scientific explanation or the legend of the Inca people?

Because Mendoza is not only wine (but almost)

Even in Argentina, when someone refers to the City of Mendoza, it is almost automatically related to the world of wine. Mendoza, the eighth wine capital of the world: a true land of vineyards, high peaks and spectacular Malbec.

But of course, no city can be reduced to just one aspect of its culture. Therefore, in this note we will do a brief review of some of the wonders that Mendoza has to offer beyond the vineyards.

1. Aconcagua Park
The area is home to Cerro Aconcagua, which at 6,962 meters is positioned as the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere and, therefore, in America. The park not only stands out for this hill, but it is an area of ​​great archaeological value due to its character as a ceremonial site of the Incas. This park is part of the road system and known as ‘Qhapac Ñan’ or ‘Inca Trail’, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

2. Puente del Inca
Located 183 kilometers from the City of Mendoza, very close to the Chilean pass and also to the main entrance to Aconcagua Park, is this natural wonder that is also part of the ‘Qhapac Ñan’ or ‘Inca Trail’. The so-called Puente is a rock formation that forms a natural bridge over the Las Cuevas River. Its name is due to the fact that historians assure that the Inca royalty descended to the river to receive the medical and healing powers of the hot springs in the area.

3. General San Martín Park
It is considered the green lung of the City of Mendoza. It was created in 1896 and is the largest artificial park in South America with its 400 hectares of trees that manage to stay alive in the middle of the Mendoza desert thanks to a complex system of irrigation canals. The park, as the people of Mendoza call it, attracts thousands of tourists every year and is definitely a must visit in our City.

With exemplary landscaping and architecture combining the best of each period, this park boasts a series of postcard-worthy monuments, fountains and man-made attractions.

4. Gastronomic circuit
And of course … when talking about tourism in Mendoza it is impossible not to mention the gastronomic options that attract so much experts in this world. In the City there are three restaurants that have been awarded with Michelin stars, among which the following stand out: Casa Vigil, Espacio Trapiche and Ruca Malén. Is it a coincidence that they are all restaurants from Mendoza wineries? Our opinion at Driver in Mendoza may sound a bit arbitrary, but we are lovers of the world of wine and we believe that there is no better combination than a gourmet experience paired with a good Mendoza wine and that is why, in our private wine tours through Mendoza, the opportunity will never be missing. to make a toast to our land and the flavors it generates.

Get to know the three Michelin experiences in Mendoza, Argentina

At this point can seem strange that someone hasn’t ever heard of Michelin stars. However, in this blog entry Driver in Mendoza we will make a brief recap for those who do not know anything about this award.

Quickly, what are the first criteria that come to mind when planning a trip? Among those ideas surely appears the hotel or type of accommodation that we want, the main tourist spots that we want to know and surely on that list there are also recommended restaurants to complete a complete tourist experience with gastronomy. Nothing like resting from intense days to full private wine tour in Mendoza, entertaining your palate with a range of flavors of local cuisine highlighted by the Michelin Guide.

The so-called Michelin stars refer to an award or gastronomic distinction granted by the prestigious and international Michelin Guide. This guide, which began to be published at the beginning of the 20th century with the popularization of automobiles, emerged with the aim of providing information to travelers about places of interest such as: places to eat, hotels to sleep, gas stations and other points important for those who travel long distances on roads. Over the years the Michelin Guide only began to review and award stars to high-class restaurants, since then getting at least one Michelin star has become the dream and ultimate goal of all chefs in the world.

The restaurants worthy of receiving this award are selected according to five criteria: product quality, consistency, price / quality ratio, creativity and doneness. In the case of the eighth capital of wine, Mendoza, the three awarded restaurants belong to wineries. Meet the three Mendoza restaurants worthy of this award:

1.Ruca Malen

In the winery founded in 1998 by Jean Pierre Thibaud and Jacques Luis de Montalembert there is a restaurant space run by chefs Lucas Bustos and Juan Tomás Ventureira. Ruca Malen was added to the Michelin Guide in 2018. Year in which the French publication referred to it as follows: ‘Of the winery restaurants, this is of excellent quality by offering the ideal combination of local products and the best wines in the region ‘.

2.Espacio Trapiche

The Trapiche Winery restaurant was added to those recommended by the Michelin Guide in 2018. Regarding the restaurant, he referred to Espacio Trapiche as’ a contemporary-style place, surrounded by an organic garden, the imposing Florentine-style winery originally built in 1912 ‘. Critics were undoubtedly captivated by the combination of its wines with local dishes in an environment that knows how to combine the best of a classic style with a completely contemporary one. As in the case of Ruca Malen, the prestigious chef Lucas Bustos also intervenes in this kitchen.

3.Casa Vigil

The last restaurant to be included in the Guide was Alejandro Vigil’s restaurant at Aleanna winery, an undertaking that he shares with Adriana Catena. Casa Vigil is located in the Chachingo area in Maipú, 25 km from the City of Mendoza. It is a restaurant where the main protagonist is the wine from El Enemigo, it is also characterized by making use of products from its own garden and other local products that seek to generate a triple impact by collaborating with local economies. The chef in charge of the gastronomic venture is Santiago Mestre, who describes the kitchen of the premises as “simple and with top-quality products.”

Tribute to SuperUco and their wines to celebrate Earth Day

On the occasion of the commemoration of International Earth Day, in this edition we will review the most sustainable and ecofriendly winery in Mendoza: SuperUco winery.

On every April 22nd, the International Day of Mother Earth is celebrated to call for reflection and awareness about taking care of the environment. This commemorative date that you have surely heard more than once had its origin in 2009 when it was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in what was a clear effort to promote awareness and the generation of concrete actions for the care of the planet.

In the city of Mendoza we have a winery that is an example of sustainability in all the actions carried out to make its wines. The SuperUco winery, located in The Vines Resort & Spa complex 104 kilometers away from the City of Mendoza, is a winery that has received international awards on multiple occasions for its sustainable practices. We can say that SuperUco is not only an ecofriendly winery, but that it goes a step further by making biodynamism and sustainability as part of its philosophy when designing its winery, taking care of its vineyards, making its wines and even carrying out the bottling of each unit.

SuperUco is a new winery in the Uco Valley area that was born as the materialization of the dream of the Michellini brothers in 2011. The imprint of these four brothers soon became a unique seal that converged with the terroir of their estates in Gualtallary and Altamira to create their most outstanding labels: Calcáreo, SuperUco and Genitori.

One of the objectives of the brothers when thinking about both the oenological and commercial proposal of their winery was to make wines of the highest quality and following 100% biodynamic processes, betting on organic agriculture working in an ecological way and intervening as little as possible in the maturation of the vine. At the SuperUco winery, which we visit almost daily on our private wine tours, it is completely designed in a circular fashion following the shapes of nature, which are never straight or perfect. At SuperUco everything is circular: the winery, the vineyards and the organic garden.

As a result of these efforts, in 2020 the winery was awarded the first prize in the Sustainable Practices category awarded by Best of Wine Tourism, organized every year by Great Wine Capitals. Pretty impressive isn’t it?

Organizing my trip to Mendoza: everything you should know

What a better way to wait for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic than to dream of all the destinations to visit in the future? For this reason, in this edition of the Driver in Mendoza blog we will go over some issues that we consider important when organizing a trip to the land of the sun and good wine: Mendoza, Argentina.

Driver in Mendoza is not only an agency specialized in private wine tours and tours through the wine regions and wineries of Mendoza, but we like to define ourselves as something beyond an agency: we design wine experiences in Mendoza to the ideal fit of each one of our visitors and it is precisely because of our experience with hundreds of tourists over the years that we want to transmit the fruit of those experiences to our future visitors.

1.Choosing the perfect hotel for your trip is Crucial

When our visitors ask us for recommendations on where to stay in Mendoza, the first thing we ask is how do you imagine living this experience? In the region we have many types of hotels but it’s necessary to know if you are looking for a quiet and relaxed experience in the middle of vineyards such as Entre Cielos, Cavas Wine Lodge, Alpasión Lodge and Casa Petrini, among many other excellent wine hotels. Or maybe do you just want to experience everyday life in the middle of the city of Mendoza? In this case, our recommendations are classic hotels such as Sheraton, Park Hyatt, Huentala, Diplomatic and Raíces Aconcagua.

2. Design your itinerary so that you can visit the three most important wine regions of Mendoza:

When planning a trip to Mendoza, Argentina especially to savor its different terroirs and enjoy its Malbecs, we insist on the need to reserve three days to get to know the three regions: Valle de Uco, Luján de Cuyo and Maipú. Each of the regions with traits that totally distinguish it from the other regions, you can learn more about these traits in the following link

3. Choose the right combination of wineries for you:

Mendoza is one of the top destinations in the world for wine tourism, so it’s not surprising that we offer a wide range of wineries for all tastes: from small, family or boutique wineries to large highly industrialized wineries with cutting edge technology. Our Driver in Mendoza team will make sure to guide you through the selection process so that you can choose the perfect combination of wineries to spend an ideal tour day. We are passionate about guiding our visitors around our land and taking them to their dream places.

Time to plan that trip to Mendoza!

Wine experience in Monteviejo Winery

Learn more about wine tourism at the Monteviejo Winery, one of the favorites for visitors who come to Mendoza in search of the highest quality private wine tours in the region.

Only 120 kilometers from the capital of Mendoza, is the Monteviejo winery, internationally recognized for a quality of wines that exquisitely combines with landscapes capable of confusing the visitor between reality and fantasy. Monteviejo is a winery at the foot of the Andes Mountains that stands out with labels such as the Linda Flor and Petite Fleur lines of wines.

The winery, which is located within the Clos de los Siete group of properties in the department of Tunuyán and in the heart of the Uco Valley, began construction at the beginning of 2001, making its first harvest only in 2002.
In our private wine tours through the Monteviejo winery, our visitors enjoy tastings in the winery, a dreamy landscape on the terrace of the winery or a perfectly paired lunch by the chef in charge of the kitchen and the team of sommeliers from the winery. Definitely, these are some of the qualities of the wine experience in Monteviejo that make this winery one of the favorites for visitors to Driver in Mendoza.

Everything you need to know about the main wine regions of Mendoza, Argentina

Welcome to the new Driver in Mendoza blog! In this space we will share reviews, stories, sites of interest and information in general that may be of help to all those who wish to visit our city in the future.

In this first edition, we will be presenting the three main wine regions of Mendoza: their differences, similarities, landscapes, their most well-known wineries and labels. The regions that we will talk about in this article are: Maipú, Luján de Cuyo and Valle de Uco or Uco Valley.

1. Maipú: everything you need to know about the first wine-growing region
First of all, you should know that Maipú is a department in the province of Mendoza that was created in 1858, a fact that is not minor when talking about the long history of winemaking in Argentina. Even before its formal creation as a location, the area is definitely a pioneer in the region in terms of Argentine wine production. In our wine tours through this region, we like to highlight the way in which you will find a great mix of wineries: from the oldest and most historical, to the most modern and innovative. The region has 154 wineries and 35 olive farms, many of them open to national and international tourism. The wineries most visited by Driver in Mendoza passengers are: Familia Zuccardi, Rutini, El Enemigo (Casa Vigil), Trapiche, and Trivento, among others.

The region enjoyed an impeccable reputation as it became the richest industrial area for Argentine viticulture, even today Maipú is in the first place on the olive-growing map of the province for a significant production and quality of olives, which has marked the production of dozens of products derived from the olive tree such as oils, olives and even cosmetic products. The geography of this town is characterized by being a plain within the Mendoza territory, which together with the rivers that cross the region have allowed an optimal development of agriculture, mainly for the vine, olive trees and other fruits and vegetables.

2. Luján de Cuyo: an unmissable Malbec classic, from Agrelo to Las Compuertas
Located on the banks of the Mendoza River is the department of Luján de Cuyo, land of the world famous Malbec. A region known for its famous wineries and incredible landscapes that meet the vineyards and the Andes. This department of the province of Mendoza is located only 19km south of the capital and has managed to position itself as one of the most chosen destinations by tourists who visit Mendoza. Luján de Cuyo seems to bring together the best of Mendoza: mountains, rivers, vineyards and wineries, reservoirs and even has one of the most important gastronomic centers in Mendoza: the picturesque town of Chacras de Coria is a small urban center always at the forefront of the latest gastronomic trends, ‘Chacras’ as we people from Mendoza calls it, have become one of the must-see destinations for those who visit us. A dinner in this town followed by a walk through its main square is a must.

On the other hand, it is worth highlighting the famous Agrelo region in the world of wine, noted for its production of high quality Malbec, it has its own denomination of origin controlled since 1989, becoming the first region of Mendoza to receive this very important distinction. Agrelo is home to some of the most important wineries in Mendoza such as Catena Zapata, Viña Cobos, Chandon, Dominio del Plata, Ruca Malen and Pulenta Estate, among others. However, despite the fact that this is the best known region of Luján, we cannot forget that in this department there are also other renowned wineries such as Lagarde, Luigi Bosca, Norton and Nieto Senetiner, among a dozen other large, medium and little.

3. Valle de Uco: high altitude wines inspired by the Andes Mountains

The world-famous Uco Valley is located 90km from the City of Mendoza and extends throughout three departments of the province: Tupungato, Tunuyán and San Carlos. The newest and most innovative region in the Mendoza wine industry, specialized in high altitude wines, is located at an altitude of 1,200 meters. Valle de Uco is an area that borders the Andes mountain range and, therefore, is characterized by altitudes that range between 900 and 1700 meters high. It is the optimal combination of climatic and geographical conditions: high altitude, 250 sunny days a year, little rain and temperature range, among others, that make Valle de Uco wines unique in the world.

Within the Uco Valley, of course there are micro regions such as Gualtallary or Paraje Altamira, micro regions that stand out for having small differences with respect to the terroir of other areas of the Uco Valley. Differences that in the final result of each label seem not to be so small and that is why each of these regions has been struggling for some years to obtain its own controlled designation of origin. Among the most visited wineries in the Uco Valley are Salentein, Andeluna, Monteviejo, La Azul, Piedra Infinita de Zuccardi, Clos de los Siete and Piedra Negra.

This area, home of luxury wine tourism in Mendoza, not only has large wineries of international weight, but also in the area there are more and more luxury hotel developments specialized in providing a wine experience in Mendoza, an example of these resorts are complexes such as The Vines, Casa de Uco, Casa Petrini, Posada Salentein, Lodge Atamisque and Alpasion Lodge, among many more.

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