Argentina is chock-full of amazing places, views, culinary adventures, and more. It seems that for every long holiday we have down here, I’m eagerly packing my bags to explore another nook of the country I’ve never been to. Whether it be the big destinations such as the snow-capped mountains in Bariloche (Patagonia), the crashing sound of waterfalls in Misiones (Iguazu Waterfalls), or the mountain range colored in red in Salta, there is an overwhelming array of things and places to see.
One of the most popular (and anticipated) tourist attractions is Mendoza. Mendoza is best known for being wine country with some of Argentina’s most delicious wine stemming from this region. Malbec – Argentina’s most famous brand of wine – is consumed by the gallon in Mendoza. The Mendoza grape is a dark and heavy, thriving in the dry, desert terrain of Mendoza. For all the wine-o drinkers out there, Mendoza is a must-see destination in Argentina.
For those with a little bit more flexibility on when you can go, the best time for Mendoza wine tours is in February through May, with March being the officially beginning of the harvest, however, there are pros and cons to all seasons.
With plenty of fall feriados (holidays) in the months between March and May, a quick 4-day trip is all you’ll need for a quick, wine-themed escape. This time is especially favored for Mendoza wine tours because of the versatility of ways you can see the different vineyards and taste-test the wine. Bikes are always a fun option, though slightly dangerous if paired with an extensive schedule of wine tastings. Nonetheless, it’s a great way to get around the vineyards quickly and efficiently. Bike rentals are by the plenty in Mendoza and you’ll surely run into other travellers doing the same. Alternatively, you can take a tour bus, rent a car of your own, or travel by foot (to just a few vineyards of course).
Mendoza is up and running and just as beautiful all year long though. Even with a cold desert climate, bright sunny days with clear skies are common in Mendoza. During the winter months of June through August, you can enjoy a quieter city, instead of the boisterous and often heavy-tourist season in March where hundreds of wine-drinkers flock to the region of Mendoza wine tours. Days will still be warm with plenty of sun, bodegas (vineyards) will still be giving tours, it’s just without the actual making of the wine.
December through February are the hot summer months in the region. It would be best to bring plenty of sunscreen and book a hotel or hostel with a pool. Though Mendoza is still dry, the sun is strong and you’ll be glad to be under the airconditioning away from heat.
National Grape Harvest Festival
And finally, March through May are by far the best times for Mendoza wine tours. Beginning in the first days of March, there is the National Grape Harvest – one of Argentina’s beloved annual festivals. In honor of Mendoza’s favorite nectar, this marvellous event starts with an artistic spectacle of dance, lights and music. Hundreds of performers display their art in an overwhelming show of fireworks and dance. Even greater is the election of the National Grape Harvest Queen – an honor amongst many in the region. Kicking off the season for Mendoza wine tours, this event is a must-see if you’re in the area at during the first week of March!
When asked when the best time for Mendoza wine tours is, I could easily say all the time. Travel to one of Argentina’s most prized locations and drown yourself in Malbec!
Written by Hillary Skeffington