Mendoza, a city near to the Argentinian border with Chile in the Cuyo region of the country, is famous for its wine (specifically Malbecs and other reds), wide leafy avenues and its laid-back vibe.
During our time in Mendoza, the definite highlight was a winery (or bodega) tour, where we got to visit three vineyards as well as an olive oil and balsamic vinegar maker. The latter was probably a good idea, since you can always do with bread dipped in olive oil after multiple wine samples! The wine in Mendoza didn’t stop on the tour however, almost every other shop in the town is offering to sell you a bottle and you can pick up a local vino for as little as £2.50 (although you can end up falling for much pricier bottles). Most restaurants will even allow you to bring your own bottle for a small corkage fee.
Elsewhere in Mendoza we enjoyed the street art (which we’ve found fascinating all over Mexico and South America) and walks around the squares and parks of the town. Mendoza was quite quiet in low-season, however this plays to its laid-back vibe. Our hostel was filled with American, French, Swiss and South American backpackers all looking to soak up the atmosphere, meet new people and enjoy the slightly slower pace (a pace we haven’t seen on much of our trip!)
Plenty of time to raise a glass (or three) to our first stop in Argentina – salud!