If you like sipping your Malbecs with sizzling sunshine and the Andes mountains as backdrop, summer (roughly November to March) is the best season to visit Mendoza, Argentina, the heart of the country's wine production. With relatively good prices for one of the wine capitals of the world, the city and surrounding areas are booming with commerce and tourism. Get in while the region is still on the upswing. Here are some packing ideas for your South American vineyard vacation.
Depending on when you plan your trip, the temperatures in Mendoza can really soar. With the mercury rising to the 80s or 90s during the day, go with a breathable tee like this chic linen printed top by Etoile Isabel Marant ($154). With stops at vineyards on the itinerary, keep the rest of the look casual, with slim bootcut jeans with gaucho-style pocket detail ($32.99) and comfortable brown leather sandals—this secure thong design by Taryn Rose ($195) has elastic straps and in-sole cushioning without looking too orthopedic. Being in the country, add a few Western accents, which will translate even across cultures and languages, like this fringed messenger bag ($89.90) and pearlized lariat necklace ($58). Finally, be sure to pack sun protection (Mendoza is near the foothills of Andes) in a straw hat ($44.50) and striking tortoiseshell sunglasses ($80).
Conjure up your own Argentinian romance by packing a few sundresses that can go from day to night, like this peachy style with halter neckline ($49.50 by Volcom). Temperatures do dip at night, sometimes 20-30 degrees, so pack a sweater, like this cardigan with open-sides ($39.99 by Urban Outfitters). Temper the sweet look with short cowboy boots ($169.95) and a statement ring featuring natural materials like this fossil stunner with inset sparkle ($140). Tuck in everything you need for the evening in this soft and thus easily packable wrap clutch with tassel ($35).
The city is surrounded by impressive natural splendor, so there are tons of activities to choose from. For utility, opt for active-wear for daytime. But if your focus is more on wineries, then these red cordster shorts are lightweight ($75 by Gant Rugger) and stand out when paired with a simple raglan tee ($65 by Reigning Champ).Keep the rest of the look sporty with these good-looking striped sneakers ($191) and Nike striped backpack ($125), for toting new bottle purchases of course. Lastly, slip on these sleek Randolph Engineering aviators, an investment at $229 a pop, but famed for its durability and craftsmanship. (The company got its start manufacturing aviators for the U.S. Air Force.)
With Argentina's European flair, dress casual but never sloppy in these trim olive chino trousers, with a cool hidden back passport pocket ($140 by Apolis), and bridle leather Filson belt ($55). Add a simple cotton t-shirt on top, but in a good cut and bright hue ($85 by Orlebar Brown). Rather than pack a bulky jacket, try this heavyweight button-down ($96 by James) instead, with Western yoke and styling. And considering footwear always takes up the most suitcase space, go with modern classics like a chukka boot that you can wear with multiple outfits. This black reflective design by Cole Haan ($328) is funky with electric blue laces, but add an extra set of black laces to your bag and you'll have a pair that does double duty. Keep with the simple look by going with minimal watch, such as this leather band style with double dial that will keep you on time for dinner ($425, a Mougin & Piquard and J.Crew collaboration).
What to Do
March in Mendoza is the liveliest time of the year. The annual Fiesta de la Vendimia, the national wine harvest festival, is the first weekend of the month and promises to be a true party. Particularly on Saturday night, the provinces come together for a giant stadium-style extravaganza, complete with shows and performers. There's also a yearly beauty pageant tied to the festival involving the entire region.
Looking for a less crowded experience? With gorgeous sunny days, there are plenty of months to plan your trip. Shoppers can stroll Avenida Las Heras for local leather items and other souvenirs. For wine-tasting, the Mendoza Wine Connection is a great place to get your bearings. You can stop by the company's regular tastings or book a more formal trip through the related Ampora Wine Tours. Keep an eye out for lunch spots at the wineries, too.
For thrill-seekers, the Paramillos ruins are spectacular. Along with mine trekking you can also book a rappelling experience to satiate your inner daredevil.
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