Mendoza, Argentina's Wine Country
The dollar still goes a long way in Argentina's Mendoza wine country.
March 11, 2009 — -- With the economic problems the United States is facing, many Americans are modifying their lifestyles, including the kind of wine they drink and where they travel for vacation.
Fortunately for people who love viticulture and trips abroad, the U.S. dollar still goes far in Argentina's Mendoza wine country.
Set against the foothills of the Andes mountains, the location can be both rugged and luxurious.
It's best to first orient yourself in the city of Mendoza. The town gathering place is Plaza Independencia, where craft vendors sell everything from gourds to the herbal drink yerba mate to silver jewelry.
Street performers stage shows, and young couples can be seen whispering and kissing on the benches. The elegant Park Hyatt Mendoza flanks one side of the square, and on the other is the main street, Sarmiento, where the smell of meat grilling wafts over the people gathered at outdoor tables drinking shots of strong café cortado. Along this road are the outfitters for river rafting and mountaineering guides for the nearby towering peak, Aconcagua.
Start your introduction to Argentinean wines at the centrally located Vines of Mendoza Tasting Room. The owners have selected the best wines from the region and offer flights from the 120 varieties.
"Argentina, and Mendoza in particular, is the most exciting and dynamic wine region in the world today. In many respects, it's a lot like the Napa Valley was 30 years ago," said San Francisco Bay-area transplant Matt Hobbs, the vice president of marketing and sales at Vines of Mendoza,. "Thanks to a wine-making renaissance over the last 15 years, Argentina now crafts wines of tremendous quality and value across an entire spectrum of prices."