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.”

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!

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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