Argentina, and more specifically the province of Mendoza, was recently named to a list of the 10 best destinations for wine tourism in 2014 by the popular Wine Enthusiast Magazine. This is truly a great recognition for the country, given the prestige of the magazine, and such a publication highlights the growing reputation of the Mendoza region for its Malbec production.
Invited to explore the tourism opportunities of the region, Michael Schachner, the magazine’s editor for Spain and Latin America, reflected extremely positive on his time in Argentina’s wine country. Addressing the development and transformation of the Mendoza region Schachner wrote, “In the last 15 years, this desert wine region has advanced to become one of the top destinations for wine tourism.”
The respected editor went on to discuss the numerous recent developments, including hotels, wineries and restaurants, which, he concluded, have culminated in a much improved destination for wine-interested travelers. Along with offering a list of suggested restaurants and accommodations, Schachner also detailed the region’s practical activities, such as horseback riding, vineyard-hopping by bike, touring the city in classic cars and exploring historic sites of Mendoza, all which combine to form a great experience for any visitor.
So what exactly distinguishes Mendoza from other great places for wine tourism in the world? In addition to the more than 1,200 wineries that account for 70% of Argentina’s wine production located here, the fertile land of the region is perfectly suited for the exceptional conditions needed to grow the variety of grapes used to make Malbec, Argentina’s most famous type of wine. Certainly “Mendoza is more than mountains and Malbec,” as Schachner put it, but it is impossible to separate Argentina’s growing reputation for world class wine from its heavy production of Malbec.
The uniquely grown grapes used to produce Malbec are rarely found in other parts of the world and Argentina has developed its wine industry around this fact. While the vineyards of Mendoza produce other types of wine also, Argentina’s reputation in the global wine community is almost always centered on the Malbec it produces.
Addressing the country’s recent recognition, Argentina’s Minister of Tourism, Enrique Meyer, described what the honor means for the future of Argentina’s booming wine and tourism industries. “… This kind of distinction reveals the great potential that our country has as a destination for wine and gastronomy.” This awareness of the region’s potential is evident when visiting Mendoza. From the reputation of a sleepy mountain town to an acclaimed top destination for wine lovers, Mendoza has already shown its potential for development and it appears that its wine-centered tourism industry will only increase in years to come.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to visit Mendoza, it is definitely worth a spot on your bucket list. With daily flights and a number of private bus companies departing from Buenos Aires, the plentiful vineyards and beautiful mountains of Mendoza await you. Check out Say Hueque’s website to find out about our wide-ranging list of trips to Mendoza or contact us to set up a personalized trip catered to your individual travel interests.
Written by Will Collier