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for Independent Travel:

Argentina Arts & Epicurean

Includes Buenos Aires and Mendoza Wine Country

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Located on a high-altitude plateau (elevation approximately 3,250 feet), Lujan de Cuyo was Mendoza’s first delineated appellation (1993). Located to the south of Mendoza City, beginning just 11 miles from the city, the region is premier Malbec country and a natural starting point for any Mendoza wine tour and travel program. Key terroir characteristics include sandy soil with stone surfaces and clay substrata due to proximity to the River Mendoza. Other terroir elements include classic Mendoza characteristics such as ample sunlight, a long growing season and significant daily temperature variation. In addition to Malbec, popular varietals in Lujan de Cuyo include Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Lujan de Cuyo Wine Country is populated with quaint historic wineries, some of which date to the late 19th century, along with modern boutique wineries. Several of our favorite wine country accommodations are located in the region, along with exceptional restaurants, many of which are located at wineries. The five-course wine tasting lunch at Ruca Malen is a particular favorite.

We would be delighted to customize your stay in Mendoza to include deluxe wine country accommodations, private Mendoza wine tours and other activities that could involve a private Mendoza city tour, outdoors activities in the foothills of the Andes and private culinary lessons. Of course, we customize dining programs in the region for all clients.

Wineries you may wish to visit during your Mendoza wine tour include:

  • Achaval-Ferrer: Founded in 1998, this Argentine-Italian partnership is considered by many to be the top producer in Argentina. Wines from here routinely rank in the mid 90s. Credit head winemaker Roberto Cipresso from Italy, whose attention to detail is legendary.
  • Catena Zapata: The Catena family without question is the best known wine family in all of Argentina. Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, first planted Malbec rootstock in the region in 1902. Today, Laura Catena, the fourth-generation family winemaker, operates Catena Zapata, a boutique winery focused on the production of exceptional Malbecs. The fabulous winery architecture, intended to resemble a Mayan pyramid, is evocative of this superb, new-world terroir.
  • Viña Cobos: We are big fans of American vintner Paul Hobbs, who co-owns Viña Cobos and is the winemaker there. The winery faces the Tupungato, the great mountain whose name means Stone Guard in the indigenous language. The design for the state-of-the-art facility uses large, simple geometric forms, open space and natural light to complement the majesty of the landscape.
  • Bodegas Norton: Founded in 1895, wines from Norton are quite popular in the U.S. and the U.K. The large estate, at which more than 600 winery workers and their families live, today is owned by the Austrian family behind the Swarovski crystal brand. Across five vineyards are extensive plantings of 80-year-old Malbec.

Please contact us so that we may begin the process of handcrafting an exceptional Argentina travel experience including a Mendoza wine tour for you and your group of two or more.