4 Reasons to Hire a Guide in Mendoza
Updated: Jan 24
We typically love to do all of our own hybrid travel planning and prefer self-guided travel throughout new areas, exploring as we go. However, on our side trip to Mendoza after our hiking week in Torres del Paine National Park, we opted to hire Cinthia Zeverini and her bilingual guide from Vistalba Wine Tours for two days of wine tasting. It was one of the smartest moves we made because it made wine tasting so much more enjoyable! Here’s why:
1. Winery locations
The wine region is Mendoza has three distinct areas: Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo and Uco Valley, all of which are 45 to 75 minute drive south of Mendoza. Think of Napa Valley or Sonoma and how it is situated in proximity to San Francisco. Each area is deserved of day or more of exploration. However, unlike wine areas in other countries, where several wineries are grouped within 3-5 miles of each other, some of the better wineries in the Mendoza valley can be a 20-40 minute drive away from each other. If you are keen on sampling some of the better Malbecs at some of the more uniquely designed wineries with highly rated restaurants, then the drive is worth it! So hiring a driver who knows the area allows for you to sit back, relax and watch the scenery unfold around you, instead of being glued to a GPS and worrying about missing an unmarked turn.
2. Ease of planning
Most Mendoza wineries require reservations ahead of time. This can be a tedious job to attempt internationally or by email, as many wineries are closed on weekends or do not have bilingual staff. Having a guide provide this service makes the planning effortless. A local will also be familiar with quality of the restaurant, as well as the wines. So if you simply describe your wine knowledge the level of tasting experience that you are interested in, they can set it up for you.
3. The history and knowledge of a local guide
You can spend a lot of time reading and researching about the local wine techniques and history of the area before your trip. But having a bilingual guide who really understands the viticulture and the surrounding areas can be a highlight of your day. The guide service we used included a driver, as well as an enthusiastic bilingual guide whose narratives between stops, made the trip that much more educational.
4. More enjoyment
Eat, drink and relax, savor the views. Driving after drinking is not a good idea in any country! Uber or other on-call taxi services were not available as of January of 2017. And local taxi’s either do not drive out that far or are very expensive. Besides, the Mendoza wine region is glorious with its wide open spaces and snow capped Andes in the background. Hiring a driver allowed us to simply lean back, relax and enjoy the views! Each day, we selected three wineries (Go here for a full description of our Patagonia and Mendoza itinerary), one of which we had a fantastic wine-paired, 3-4 course meal. With full bellies, and several tastings to our name, on the drive home, we took a nap.
Vistalba Wine Tours
Vistalba Wine Tours, is a locally owned and operated company located in Mendoza, Argentina. They conduct daily tours for small groups, private tours and others activities. They know how important it is to have a guide you can trust and somebody who helps you find exactly what you are looking for
Being Mendoza locals for many years, they know many of the smaller more boutique wineries that are off the beaten path, as well as larger, more well-known wineries. They will gladly help you plan a custom tour specific to your needs and take you on an unforgettable ride in the majestic Mendoza Wine Country.