Wine Tours

Most wineries require reservations, so it's easiest to arrange visits through your hotel, a tourist office, or a local tour operator. Organized tours are particularly good if there’s a specific bodega you wish to see or if you're traveling with a group and/or during the harvest. Most last a full day and include transportation from city hotels. If you do head out yourself, remember that many wineries charge for tastings; be sure to ask about fees when making your reservation.

Organized Tours

Ampora. This well-established outfit runs full-day group tours (maximum eight people) to Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. Ampora also has a private wine bar above the booking office. Sarmiento 647, Mendoza, Mendoza, 5500. 261/429–2931; From $185.

Aventura and Wine (Bacchus Tours). Over the last 10 years this company has been creating private tours for individuals and groups. 261/420–4230; From $195.

Aymará Turismo. In business for 20-plus years, Aymará offers a variety of tours—the most popular of which includes two Maipú wineries and an olive oil producer. Prices are cheap but groups are large. 261/420–2064; From $25.

Malbec Symphony. Directed by a sommelier, this agency offers tours in Mendoza and the San Juan region. Each itinerary is custom-made, so you can take a more thematic approach (like organic wine tastings) if you'd like. 261/429–3696; From $180.

Mendoza Viajes. This big agency offers all sorts of excursions (usually in large groups and in Spanish); wine-themed options include half- or full-day tours. Prices are reasonable, but the service is less personal. 261/461–0210; From $50.

Mendoza Wine Camp. This company has full- or multiday tours to Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley. You can also sign on for an asado master class to practice your Argentine BBQ skills. 261/423–6958; From $195.

San Rafael Wine Tours. Veronica and her small team lead hands-on experiences at a local winery; transfers and reservations for unguided visits to wineries in San Rafael or the Valle de Uco can also be arranged. 260/442–0155; From $170.

Trout & Wine Tours. Owned by a cheery Irish expat, one of the longest-running, high-end operators in Mendoza offers full-day group tours (eight people maximum) to Luján de Cuyo and the Valle de Uco. Private tours are available, too. 261/425–5613; 261/15–541–3892; From $185.

Uncorking Argentina. This custom-package creator will book the wineries and driver for you. Most clients opt to visit the Valle de Uco or Luján de Cuyo, but the choice is yours. 261/429–6955; From $140.

Self-Guided Tours

Each area has its own unique caminos del vino (wine routes), and the Caminos del Vino de Argentina’s Spanish-language website is a valuable trip planning tool ( Wineries in San Juan Province have pooled their resources to print a booklet, Ruta del Vino, with maps, photos, and information in Spanish. In Mendoza Province, you can pick up the free WINEMAP at bookstores and wineries; it consists of four maps and a guidebook in Spanish. DIY types based in Mendoza City can also take advantage of the convenient, cost-effective Vitivinicola bus service.

Bus Vitivinicola. Mendoza’s hop on–hop off Vitivinicola bus is the most affordable way to reach area wineries without your own transportation. Wednesday through Saturday, the comfy, air-conditioned vehicle picks up passengers at various points in the city and then starts its run to select venues. Because you’ll be going without a guide, you’ll need to make your own advance reservations for the wineries you wish to visit and pay your own way at each once you arrive. Bus tickets can be purchased online or on-board; they're also sold at visitor information centers and participating hotels. Full-day ticket $15.

Insider Information

Vines of Mendoza. Before heading out to the wineries, stop by the Vines of Mendoza's Tasting Room, where you can sample the wares from a vast number of smaller producers. It's owned by an American entrepreneur, Michael Evans, and Pablo Gimenez-Riili, a third-generation winemaker from Mendoza. Their intention was to create a gathering place where English-speaking visitors could explore the region's wineries with an insider's perspective. More than 100 boutique wines are available by the glass and flight; and each Wednesday in high season winemakers present their products during a public Q&A tasting session. You can also learn from sommeliers in the Vines' private blending lab. Belgrano 1194, Mendoza, Mendoza, 5500. 0261/438–1031;

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