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Mendoza, a land of pleasures

Mendoza, a land of pleasures:

Mendoza, a land of pleasures

The wine. The spas. The meat. The Andes. Located in the far west of Argentina, Mendoza is the perfect balance between life’s most complementary (and contradictory) delights

 

Wine pleasures

Those who come to Mendoza want wine, of course. And it’s not for nothing: there are over 100 wineries open to visitors. Home of the malbec grape, Mendoza requires strategy in order to explore the vineyards that are scattered throughout three regions: Maipú (the oldest), Luján de Cuyo (where you’ll find the most famous bodegas) and the Uco Valley (which has the newest enterprises).

 

In addition to explanations about tannin, harmonization and aromas, you can also get the experience of being among the grapevines in other ways. Nieto Senetiner (in Luján), for example, takes visitors on horseback rides alongside fields of malbec, syrah and cabernet sauvignon vines. A narrow trail lined with loquat trees leads to an overlook of the Vistalba Valley, which has an unforgettable view of the farms and mountains.

 

Bike rides on trails that run in between the vines also allow you to observe details such as rose bushes growing together with the grapes, the shapes of the leaves, the ground covered with rocks and the sounds of the birds. Trivento (in Maipú) is one of the addresses that offer this kind of visit, in combination with tasting sessions and tours. The modern O. Fournier (in the Uco Valley) features a unique opportunity: with the help of an enologist, tourists get to create their own wine, mixing the flavors they find most pleasing.

 

Bucking the trends of industrial-scale wineries, Carmelo Patti’s tiny bodega (in Luján) looks like nothing more than a dimly lit warehouse, but it produces some of the best wine in the region, with more artisanal methods and resisting the fads. As a result, his harvests have become famous around the world. A hearty fellow, Patti welcomes customers personally, enthusiastically explaining how to remove a cork without breaking it and what temperature is right for drinking malbec.

 

Pleasures of well-being

You could say that Mendoza has been taking on a “Mendo-zen” personality. Spas and activities related to well-being are popping up left and right, including such relaxing options as Pilates and yoga – perfect for detoxing from alcoholic and culinary excesses. For obvious reasons, oenotherapy is the most common treatment there. Rich in polyphenols (antioxidants), cosmetics made with grapes help to prevent premature aging. The spa at the five-star Cavas Wine Lodge features “express wine therapy,” combining exfoliation with malbec seeds, a bath with bonarda grape extract and a massage with essential oils.

 

At the hotel Entre Cielos you can experience the effects of a hamman, a traditional Turkish bath. Visitors alternate between herb-scented saunas and bathing in a pool of hot water.

 

But to feel entirely immersed in the Andes, you should head for Termas de Cacheuta, a hotel/spa (which also offers a day-use option), just under an hour from Mendoza. Embedded in a valley by the banks of the Mendoza River, it’s home to rock-lined pools of hot spring water, making for the perfect locale to spend hours admiring the scenery.

 

Pleasures at the table

In Mendoza, eating is a ritual that’s taken seriously: people eat (very) well here. Harmonized with the many red wines, the beef cuts are the main attractions. It’s no coincidence that Argentine celebrity chef Francis Mallmann, known for his grilling mastery and knowledge, has two houses in the region, Siete Fuegos, at the hotel The Vines, and 1884, located in a residential area of Mendoza and more traditional, sitting it's customers on an outdoor patio. The parrilla there serves up classic cuts like ojo de bife, entraña and lomo cooked to tender perfection.

 

A favorite among Mendoza residents, Don Mario, located a bit distant from the city center, also serves a top-notch parrillada. Around 10 p.m., the house gets crowded and the nonstop parade of steamy pieces of meat garnished with crispy french fries begins. The wineries’ restaurants provide feasts for the eyes as well. At Família Zuccardi, located in the Uco Valley, the boldly designed building features glass walls, which have the effect of bringing the vines inside the room. While enjoying this view, diners devour grilled ribs at their leisure. The pleasure of licking your fingers as you eat – and not worrying about it.

 

LATAM has direct flights tem voos diretos para Mendoza a partir de Santiago, Lima, Buenos Aires e outros destinos.

 

Special thanks: Ente de Turismo Mendoza  


Júlia Gouveia
Giselle Galvão