*Disclaimer … I don’t know anything about wine … I’m Trinidadian. If a Trini says they know anything about wine … they’re either lying, have a wife/husband/nennen not from Trinidad or did I mention lying?*
Now that we got that out of the way … the only thing to do in the day time in Mendoza, Argentina … is drink wine at wineries. Mendoza is a beautiful city located in the “hinterlands” of Western Argentina. For those from the Caribbean … it’s not close and you cannot really drive from Buenos Aires to Mendoza unless you have about 12 years to kill.
The interesting thing is that wine-making talent and investment money have been streaming in from Europe and beyond, dramatically altering Argentina’s vinous landscape with hundreds of acres of new vineyards, several dozen new wineries, and entire categories of new wines. There are a lot of wineries in Mendoza … by a lot, I mean a LOT! Heading to Mendoza wine country will absolutely require a car, otherwise you’re going to pay a lot of money to be shuttled into some stock wineries. The prices that people will pay for even the “luxury” tours are ridiculous in my opinion.
Here’s my tips for getting the best wine tour:
- Know the wineries that you want to visit.
- Be specific and find the right tour or customize one that you want
- Rent a car
- Check the opening times and make reservations at your favorite winery
- If you are going to drop in, be forceful and demand that the guards let you in. You didn’t come all this way to be stopped by some guard making 5 pesos an hour.
- Ask tons of questions. People here respond to a personal touch.
- Friendliness and engagement go a long way here.
How to get there for the Domaine Bousquet Winery Tour:
Going wine touring in Mendoza means that you’ll have to get from Mendoza to Tupungato.
As a Trini … I have to admit, that I am not nor will I ever be a wine fan, but my wife and friends all like wine. Some of them really like wine and are very knowledgeable about wines and grapes so going to wineries are always part of the learning experience. The first winery that we visited was Domaine Bousquet. We would then go on to a couple others, but the vast majority of our day was spent at Domaine Bousquet.
This was my Russian buddy’s favorite winery and in true traveller style, we got there without any reservations. Of course, we found that the gate was locked and the guard wouldn’t let us in. This was a game changing problem! That being said, we did some negotiation with the guard and told him that we were wine journalists who had come to visit. He didn’t really believe us, but in the end, he relented and let us in, on the premise that we would only have lunch at the restaurant.
Once we got into the compound, we charmed our way into a tour with our lunch.
We ended up all having the Menu Grande Reserve, which was a 6 course menu and 6 wines. The price was 295 Argentine Pesos, which worked out to around 32$USD – which is a phenomenal price for us from North America.
- Mise en Bouche
- Two Starters
- Cheese plate
- One wine from the Premium line
- Three wines from the Reserve line
- Two wines form the Grande Reserve line
Prior to lunch, we had our tour and I was surprised at the detailed knowledge we go from our hostess. Definitely exceeded my expectations as a non wine lover. I learned a lot of things that were absolutely new to me without having any restrictions due to my ignorance of the wine culture, and the wine experts got all the answers to their most difficult questions.
After a great and informative tour … it was on to lunch.
After a couple bottles of wine, a great lunch and some fantastic wine knowledge, we can definitely say that the Domaine Bousquet Winery Tour is a highly recommended addition to any ad hoc wine tour or “do it yourself” wine tour. If you happen to love their wines, then you’ll have an even better time.