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Mendoza, Argentina - Wine Tours Include An Olive Oil & Cheese Factory

Argentina travel blog by Mark Berman - April 2014   » View Photoset (75 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
Mendoza is the center of winemaking and adventure tourism in Argentina, there is so much you can do here - snow sports, mountain climbing, wine tours,
Argentina Photo - A large piece of graffiti art in Mendoza, 'Owlman', 2 girls walk past.
A large piece of graffiti art in Mendoza, 'Owlman', 2 girls walk past.
hang gliding, parachuting, kitesurfing, rock climbing, trekking, zipline canopy, horseriding, kayaking, longboarding, rafting and biking to name just a few. My main reason for visiting Mendoza was to do a wine tour and see the city. I arrived by bus from Santiago in Chile. The bus terminal is not in the very center of town, it's close at 10mins walk. Across the road from the bus terminal are a few restaurants, these are some of the cheapest in town, make the most of them, in the center everything is more expensive. There is a hostel across the road also but I walked into the center and found a cheap room in a hotel.

Book Wine Tour and See City

In the afternoon after my arrival I booked a tour for the next day for the afternoon, a tour to see some wineries, an olive oil factory and a cheese factory. I spent the morning walking around the city. Firstly I visited Parque San Martin, this is a huge park that covers a seriously large portion of the city. I only skimmed the surface of things to see in the park. I saw the lagoon and a bunch of monuments scattered amongst the trees around the lawns. Parque San Martin also has a zoo garden, theatre, a hill (Cerro de la Gloria) and an indigenous park. I would be careful if you are in this park. I was here 5 days before a botched robbery and murder took place in broad daylight. From here I walked back into the center and visited a bunch of plazas - Plaza Italia, Plaza Independencia, Plaza Espana, (Spain) and Plaza San Martin. There are a ton more plazas in Mendoza, nice shady leafy relaxing places! I had a city map
Argentina Photo - Huge vats of wine inside the factory at Bodega Domiciano in Mendoza.
Huge vats of wine inside the factory at Bodega Domiciano in Mendoza.
and walked in the direction of some historical sights several blocks out of the center. I came across a little graffiti art, but in the end I gave this a miss and headed back into the center, it didn't seem safe. Actually a couple of times in the central city while I was walking from plaza to plaza locals
Argentina Photo - There's lots of space at Plaza Independencia in Mendoza.
There's lots of space at Plaza Independencia in Mendoza.
told me to put my camera away because it was not safe. I visited Paseo Alameda, a 7 block pedestrian walk built in 1808 where there are a lot of colorful flower stands. It also has a museum, restaurants, pubs and cultural area. In the center of the city is Paseo Sarmiento where there are many outdoor restaurants all next to eachother. I enjoyed a meal here one evening but it wasn't so cheap.

Wine Tour, Olive Oil & Cheese Factories

Wine Processing / Tasting

The afternoon of my tour arrived and my group of about 9 set out by van to the first winery 'Bodega Domiciano'. We had a quick look around the factory and then got down to business with some wine tasting. Afterwards we had a look at the vineyards and listened to the guide speak about wine etc.

Olive Oil Plant

Next we drove to an olive oil plant called 'Pasrai'. We listened to their guide talk about the process of making oil and saw the factory before we had a fantastic taste test. They gave us plates and plates of delicious bread pieces with toppings
Argentina Photo - Inside the cheese making room at Qualtaye cheese factory in Mendoza.
Inside the cheese making room at Qualtaye cheese factory in Mendoza.
like dried tomatoes topped with dripping olive oil. It was fantastic and I made the most of it!

Wine Tasting at Florio

Our next destination was to another winery called 'Florio'. We had a very friendly and informative guide who showed us around the plant and again we then got down to business with the winetasting. This time we got quite a lot of wine to drink. I lost count of the glasses and I certainly was not spitting it out.

Cheese Making

Lastly on this tour we went to a cheese making place
Argentina Photo - Fountain, buildings and trees in central Mendoza.
Fountain, buildings and trees in central Mendoza.
called 'Qualtaye'. We had a quick look around, saw a cheese making room and then tasted a little cheese. Several people in my group bought products at each place we visited but I didn't. It is just not practical carrying glass wine and olive oil bottles around in a backpack. It was a very enjoyable day though and by early evening we had arrived back in central Mendoza.

Bus to San Juan / Distances

Early the next morning I took a bus 2hrs 15mins north to San Juan. Distances to some other places in Argentina from Mendoza: Cordoba 622kms, Neuquen 791kms, Buenos Aires 1048kms and Salta 1261kms.

     

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Distances & times (if available) from Mendoza (Argentina) to:


Map location: Mendoza, Argentina. I did a fantastic wine tasting tour which included visiting an olive oil factory and cheese maker too! The city is pleasant enough.
 A : Mendoza from Santiago - Argentina 81 kms 81 kms straight distance | 2hrs 22mins 2hrs 22mins by car (169 kms) | 2hrs 50mins 2hrs 50mins by bus (169 kms) (169 kms)
 B : San Juan - Argentina 153 kms 153 kms straight distance | 2hrs 14mins 2hrs 14mins by car (179 kms) | 2hrs 40mins 2hrs 40mins by bus (179 kms) (179 kms)
 C : Santiago to Mendoza - Chile 162 kms 162 kms straight distance | 4hrs 13mins 4hrs 13mins by car (275 kms) | 5hrs 3mins 5hrs 3mins by bus (275 kms) (275 kms)
 D : Santiago - Chile 198 kms 198 kms straight distance | 5hrs 17mins 5hrs 17mins by car (373 kms) | 6hrs 20mins 6hrs 20mins by bus (373 kms) (373 kms)
 E : Valparaiso - Chile 253 kms 253 kms straight distance | 5hrs 48mins 5hrs 48mins by car (416 kms) | 6hrs 57mins 6hrs 57mins by bus (416 kms) (416 kms)
 F : Cordoba - Argentina 459 kms 459 kms straight distance | 7hrs 52mins 7hrs 52mins by car (664 kms) | 9hrs 26mins 9hrs 26mins by bus (664 kms) (664 kms)
 G : Coquimbo - Chile 400 kms 400 kms straight distance | 8hrs 30mins 8hrs 30mins by car (689 kms) | 10hrs 12mins 10hrs 12mins by bus (689 kms) (689 kms)
 H : La Serena - Chile 402 kms 402 kms straight distance | 8hrs 33mins 8hrs 33mins by car (694 kms) | 10hrs 15mins 10hrs 15mins by bus (694 kms) (694 kms)
 I : Santa Fe - Argentina 775 kms 775 kms straight distance | 10hrs 33mins 10hrs 33mins by car (905 kms) | 12hrs 39mins 12hrs 39mins by bus (905 kms) (905 kms)
 J : Rosario - Argentina 758 kms 758 kms straight distance | 9hrs 49mins 9hrs 49mins by car (906 kms) | 11hrs 46mins 11hrs 46mins by bus (906 kms) (906 kms)
 K : Parana - Argentina 790 kms 790 kms straight distance | 11hrs 35mins 11hrs 35mins by car (954 kms) | 13hrs 54mins 13hrs 54mins by bus (954 kms) (954 kms)
 L : Buenos Aires - Argentina 972 kms 972 kms straight distance | 11hrs 2mins 11hrs 2mins by car (1037 kms) | 13hrs 14mins 13hrs 14mins by bus (1037 kms) (1037 kms)
 M : Cafayate - Argentina 807 kms 807 kms straight distance | 13hrs 22mins 13hrs 22mins by car (1050 kms) | 16hrs 2mins 16hrs 2mins by bus (1050 kms) (1050 kms)
 N : Salta to Cafayate - Argentina 885 kms 885 kms straight distance | 14hrs 58mins 14hrs 58mins by car (1158 kms) | 17hrs 57mins 17hrs 57mins by bus (1158 kms) (1158 kms)
 O : Salta - Argentina 957 kms 957 kms straight distance | 14hrs 53mins 14hrs 53mins by car (1297 kms) | 17hrs 51mins 17hrs 51mins by bus (1297 kms) (1297 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Mendoza, Argentina:

Galicia Hotel, Mendoza, Argentina - Large Photo
Galicia Hotel, Mendoza, Argentina (April 2014 - 2 nights) - I stayed in the smallest room available, it was half the price of one of the normal rooms. The room fitted a single bed and then had about half a foot of space down the side for my things. It was a tight squeeze, possibly the smallest room I have ever slept in. Fine for a couple of nights and better than sleeping in a dorm. Located in the center of town, the girl at the front desk was very helpful.

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