The constant sunshine throughout Mendoza province invites tourists from all over the world to sample Argentina's "wine country". Although originally the area was not a tourist a site, the bodegas, or wineries, their storied history, beautiful settings, and of course, their wines, became a draw for many. Nowadays, tourism related to wineries is the largest source of income for the region. The magnificent views of the Andes, little rainfall year-round, and the romance and history of these wineries makes Mendoza an ideal spot for a vacation, and for tasting the essence of Argentina itself.
As Mendoza grew as a wine destination, literally hundreds of vineyards, more than sixty hotels, and dozens of first-rate restaurants appeared in the greater Mendoza city area, with more on the way. Many of the wineries now offer wine tasting for free, and several have deluxe accommodations and/or restaurants. Wineries, or bodegas as they are called in Mendoza, are all shapes and sizes, and number more than 700 across the province. Some reflect the traditional styles of architecture while others have taken on a modern spin. All want to share the beauty of wine-making so evident in their tours and open-door policies.
Geography and Weather
The best time to visit Mendoza is all year round! Sun is part of everyday life, shining for more than 300 days a year. Even in the winter, sunshine is ever present (the temperature fluctuates between 35 degrees to about 60 degrees). As it is south of the equator, seasons are opposite those of the United States, so spring arrives in September while summer begins in December. Summer temperatures can reach above 90 degrees, but the heat is dry with low humidity. Rain is a rarity; average rainfall is just over eight inches. This weather not only benefits visitors but also the wine-making process. The climate in Mendoza, from the sunshine to the rainfall to the low humidity, all contribute to the successful harvest of grapes and delicious production of various wines.
If you love wine then March is the time to plan your trip to Mendoza. The Vendimia Festival takes place in major cities for two weeks, commemorating the gathering of grape crop. Music and events at the various wineries fill the days with revelry and enjoyment. This is a popular time to visit Mendoza so be sure to make reservations well in advance to ensure a place to stay.
Wine Festival Website (External Site)
Wine-Making through the Seasons
The beauty of autumn in Mendoza can be experienced in April and May. With fewer crowds and the multicolored hues of trees, this is a wonderful time for a holiday. The bodegas are alive with wine making as well as the harvesting the various varietals of grapes.
Other times of the year also offer a chance to see the many activities surrounding a vineyard. Throughout June, July and August (the winter months) the vines are cut back to guarantee future growth. The following months, September and October, are a time of preparation, when the grounds are tidied and vines are groomed. The mix of proper grapevines is decided on in November, while the constant nurturing of and tending to the young vines continues throughout the next few months.
The Mendoza region is full of rich vineyards, but the area offers much more for the traveler. In close proximity to the Andes Mountains, sightseeing, hiking and horse-back riding all are a must. So are kayaking and fishing the province's many crystalline lakes and rivers. Just accross the Andes to the West, nearby Chile is the perfect local for more sights, adventures, and of course, wine tasting as well.
Further Mendoza Region Information
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