4 Days in Mendoza: How to Spend a Long Weekend in Argentina’s Premier Wine Region

4-Days in Mendoza: Tree-lined streets with sidewalk cafes
Why spend 4-days in Mendoza, Argentina? Mendoza is a charming city located in the heart of Argentina's premier wine region and is an easy one hour direct flight from Santiago, Chile. You can find out more about our week in Santiago here. You may be wondering where to stay in the Mendoza wine region. In my opinion, you should base yourself in the city to maximize your options. Read on for inspiration on things to do over a long-weekend in Mendoza.

Day 1: Explore the Shaded Streets of Mendoza

Start by getting your bearings. Mendoza is set-out in a grid so it's easy to get around and not get lost. The streets are lined with large, shady trees to take the edge off the desert heat year round.
4-days in Mendoza Argentina: Lunch at Bute (restaurant facade and meal)
Grab lunch at a sidewalk cafe like Bute. Nosh on gourmet cuisine with a glass of Argentinian Malbec, of course.
Woodpecker on a windowsill in Mendoza Argentina
One great side effect of all the shady trees in Mendoza is that it's very likely you'll see some cool birds. We spotted this woodpecker staring at its reflection in a window across the street from our restaurant.
stained glass ceiling at the shopping arcade in Mendoza, Argentina
Get inside out of the heat and explore some of Mendoza's historic shopping arcades.
Blue water fountains in Mendoza, Argentina
Take a walk in any one of the small, city parks that you'll find in Mendoza. During the time we visited, the water in all the park fountains was bright blue!
Tiles in the park in Mendoza Argentina

Gourmet dinner at Azafran

4-Days in Mendoza Argentina: Wine cellar at Azafran
After a day of walking around and exploring the things to do and points of interest in Mendoza, you'll definitely be ready for dinner. Make a reservation at Azafran for an upscale and modern dining experience with roots in old-school Argentinian cuisine (i.e., expect to see lots of meat on the menu).
Fun things to do in Mendoza Argentina: Eat dinner at Azafran (collage)
The most unique feature at Azafran is the wine cellar. After sitting and placing your order, you'll be escorted to the wine cellar to pick out a perfectly matched bottle of wine with help from Azafran's sommelier.
Fun things to do in Mendoza Argentina: Eat dinner at Azafran (collage)
We sampled provoleta, Argentinian grilled cheese served in a skillet, a rich risotto, and chicken grilled to perfection. There was no way to save room for dessert!

Day 2: Taste Mendoza Wines on a Trout and Wine Day Tour

Our four days in Mendoza revolved heavily around sampling Argentina's famous wines. We signed up for a wine tasting day tour from Mendoza in the Lujan de Cuyo region with Trout and Wine ($165 USD per person including lunch). Our expert and energetic guides Clara and Augustine made sure that we had an amazing day tasting wine at three vineyards near Mendoza. We also enjoyed a 6 course lunch with wine pairings to round out the day. In contrast to the U.S. and similar to what we found in Chile, Argentinian wine tastings are by appointment only so it's easier to sign-up to a tour to make the rounds of various vineyards.

Alta Vista

Alta Vista Vineyard near Mendoza Argentina (with the Andes behind)
The first stop on our Trout and Wine Day Tour was to Alta Vista. The vines were backstopped by beautiful views of the Andes. We were in for a real treat when we were taken through a high-end tasting by Martina in a room complete with individual sinks for spitting and rinsing.
Fun things to do in Mendoza: Tasting room at Alta Vista Winery

Bodega Budeguer

Next up on our Trout and Wine day tour was Bodega Budeguer. Georgina showed us around this more modern property. I liked their approach to wine tasting which included chocolate dusted with curry powder to bring out the unique flavors in their wine.
Chocolate dusted in curry powder and a bottle of wine from Bodega Budeguer near Mendoza Argentina
Bodega Budeguer vineyard near Mendoza Argentina

Lunch at Casarena

Our Trout and Wine Day Tour continued with a 6 course lunch with wine pairings at Casarena. The food was absolutely amazing.
4-days in Mendoza Argentina: Lunch at Casarena
 The menu included:
  1. Chickpea citrusy paste with cauliflower pickle, crouton, and lemon emulsion paired with Espumante. 
  2. Seasonal vegetable soup served with breaded cheese and paired with Chardonnay 505.
  3. Mote wheat over carrot paste and pickled beets served with Rose 505.
  4. Spicy lamb gigot served with spiced squash and paired with Ramanegra Reserva Cabernet Sauvingnon
  5. Hereford cast-iron filet mignon with sauteed vegetables and paired with Casarena S.V. Malbec - Naoki's Vineyard, Agrelo
  6. Alfajor served with Ramanegra Sparkling Cider.

Mendel

The final stop on our day trip to Argentinian wineries from Mendoza was to Mendel where Silviana gave us a tour of the property and a guided wine tasting. We arrived just as the workers were hand labeling bottles.
Sign for Mendel winery near Mendoza Argentina
Workers labeling wine bottles at Mendel Winery near Mendoza Argentina
As you can imagine, we had no room for dinner after an amazing lunch like this!

Day 3: Saturday Lunch at Bodega Clos de Chacras

Another fun thing to do in Mendoza is take a taxi to a nearby winery for lunch. Make sure to call in advance for a reservation because the most popular wineries book up fast. We spent an amazing Saturday afternoon as Bodega Clos de Chacras where we sampled a 7-course tasting menu and 6 wine pairings.
Fun things to do in Mendoza Argentina: Gate at Clos de Chacras winery
We took a moment to admire the grounds of the winery before moving inside for lunch.
Clos de Chacras vineyard in Mendoza Argentina
Pink building at Clos de Chacras winery near Mendoza Argentina
Our 7 course tasting menu included:

  1. Panna Cotta: Greek yogurt, pink pepper, asparagus, and strawberries
  2. Pimiento Relleno: Piquillo pepper, surubi, saffron, and parsley
  3. Terrina de conejo: mushrooms, figs, truffles, and herbs
  4. Roll de chivo: goat, sweet potato, and criolla sauce
  5. Bife a la criolla: sirloin, broad beans, chocolate, and potatoes
  6. Plato de quesos (aka a cheese plate)
  7. Postre: dessert consisting of beet, carob, grapefruit, and thyme

7 course tasting menu (collage) at Clos de Chacras vineyard near Mendoza Argentina

Argentinian wine was poured to accompany all courses except for dessert. The wine pairings were:

  1. Clos de Chacras Cavas Malbec Rose 2017
  2. Clos de Chacras Cavas de Crianza Chardonnay 2017
  3. Clos de Chacras Cavas de Crianza Merlot 2015
  4. Clos de Chacras Eredita Malbec 2014
  5. Clos de Chacras Gran Estirpe Blend 2014
  6. Clos de Chacras Memorias de Ida Malbec 2014

6 course wine pairing menu (collage) at Clos de Chacras vineyard near Mendoza Argentina
Once again, we ate and drank so much for lunch that there was no way we could possibly consider having dinner that evening.

Day 4: Sunday Walk in General San Martín Park

If you spend a long weekend in Mendoza, you'll be bound to ask yourself: "What should I do on Sunday?" Most shops and area vineyards are closed on Sunday so you'll need to get creative. We spent the morning doing an alfajor taste test in our hotel room and then walked off the calories with a visit to General San Martín Park. General San Martín Park is where locals go to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. The fountains and lake provide a cooling influence and a nice place to have a picnic.
Fountain in General San Martín Park in Mendoza, Argentina
Fountain (with rainbow) in General San Martín  Park in Mendoza, Argentina
Lake in General San Martín Park in Mendoza, Argentina

Sip A Craft Beer and Dine al Fresco on Aristedes Villanueva

We rounded out our time in Mendoza with an early evening stroll on Aristedes Villanueva, a buzzing area filled with bars and restaurants. The shops along Aristedes Villanueva are closed on Sunday but many of the bars and restaurants are open. We stopped at Cornelius Beer and Wine plus Antares Cerveceria for happy hour. Cornelius Beer and Wine let us avail of their buy-one-get-one-free special and order 2 beers for 2 people. Antares Cerveceria insists that you buy two beers per person to get the B1G1F discount. It felt a little weird drinking craft beer instead of wine in Argentina, but on a hot day, there is nothing more refreshing. As our Trout and Wine tour guide pointed out: you simply can't gulp down a cold and refreshing Malbec. The craft beer scene is Mendoza's answer to the heat.
Collage of craft beer places on Aristedes Villanueva in Mendoza Argentina
I hope you've enjoyed reading about our adventures in Mendoza Argentina. Have you visited? What would you recommend?

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 4 Days in Mendoza: How to Spend a Long Weekend in Argentina’s Premier Wine Region
4 Days in Mendoza: How to Spend a Long Weekend in Argentina’s Premier Wine Region
Read about fun things to do for four days in Mendoza Argentina. Sample Mendoza wine paired with gourmet Argentinian cuisine, take a walk in Mendoza's General San Martin Park and soak up the buzz on Aristedes Villanueva.
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