The Toast of Argentina

Bordeaux, Napa Valley, and Tuscany, make way for Mendoza! Surrounded by the towering Andes, the province has emerged as a world-class—but astonishingly affordable—wine destination. And did we mention the impromptu tangoing in the streets?

Once I've settled in, she plops down next to me on the couch and tells me about her grandparents, who bought the vineyard in 1936. The couple used the sandy soil to their advantage, growing some of the best malbec grapes in the area. To keep the Furlotti legacy going, Gabriela bottled the family's first estate wine, Finca Adalgisa Malbec, in 2004 and built the hotel and a private eight-room guest cottage.

Chacras de Coria still has plenty of farmland to snap up—at least for now. Furlotti's latest project is Soluna, a fair-trade winery she hopes will jump-start a trend in Mendoza. With a partner, she's been traveling from finca to finca, negotiating with vegetable farmers to join her collective and harvest grapes. "Our natural resources shouldn't just benefit foreign investors," she says. "I want to make sure the children of these farmers have a future on this land."

At dusk, Furlotti encourages me to stroll into the village—and to bring my dancing shoes. Sure enough, there's a group tangoing in the tiny plaza to accordion music playing from a boom box. An older man offers me his hand. "Muy bien," he says politely as we whirl. A couple pantomimes raising wineglasses for me. That's when I realize that even though I came for the superb wine, I would come back for the people.

LODGING

Villaggio Hotel Boutique
25 de Mayo 1010, Mendoza City, 011-54/261-524-5200, hotelvillaggio.com.ar, from $130

Finca Adalgisa
Pueyrredón 2222, Chacras de Coria, 011-54/261-496-0713, fincaadalgisa.com.ar, from $235

FOOD

Azafrán
Sarmiento 765, Mendoza City, 011-54/261-429-4200, entrées from $10

La Sal
Belgrano 1069, Mendoza City, 011-54/261-420-4322, lasalrestaurante.com, entrées from $6

ACTIVITIES

Vines of Mendoza
Espejo 567, Mendoza City, 011-54/261-438-1031, vinesofmendoza.com, tastings from $3

Ampora Wine Tours
Sarmiento 647, Mendoza City, 011-54/261-429-2931, mendozawinetours.com

WINERIES

Bodega Benegas
Cruz de Piedra, Luján de Cuyo, 011-54/261-496-0794, bodegabenegas.com

Bodega Elvira Calle
Alberti 154, Luján de Cuyo, 541/388-5223

El Lagar Carmelo Patti
San Martín 2614, Luján de Cuyo, 011-54/261-498-1379

Bodegas Salentein
Ruta 89 s/n, Tunuyán, Valle de Uco, 011-54/262-242-9000, bodegasalentein.com

O. Fournier
5567 La Consulta, Valle de Uco, 011-54/9-261-467-1021, ofournier.com

NIGHTLIFE

Winery, Bar de Vinos
Chile 898, Mendoza City, 011-54/261-425-1716, winery.com.ar

CAN YOU SAY, "SALUD!"

Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

Budget Travel Real Deals


  • From $2,727

See more deals »

Video


Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices