Ok so you don't HAVE to visit these, but we highly recommend it! There's another billion we could recommend as well, but if I had to make our Mendoza itinerary over again, I would definitely be sure to include these five amazing wineries. Some for the view, some for the wine, but ALL for the food.
This was the one we were most excited about before coming to Mendoza and for good reason! the wine was fantastic, the views were absolutely incredible, but as always with us we were most excited to try the food.
Normally I would say the biggest hunk of meat is probably my favorite thing on the menu, but the real winner of the day here was the Patagonian trout and fried kale. I personally hate kale in just about every instance, but this had such a fantastic crispy flavor it tasted like extra fish skin if you can believe it. We were already familiar with the tenderness and unique pink color of Patagonian trout from Buenos Aires, but this was cooked to absolute perfection!
Before heading out to Riccitelli there is one thing you should know. You will leave the property absolutely smashed. You could go for lunch, one glass of wine, a light snack, it doesn't matter - roasted, every time. The wine and food individually, objectively makes Riccitelli one of the best wineries in Mendoza, but the PAIRINGS elevate it to its own list! I dare you to try their tasting menu and not drool over every single dish. Throw in the amazing service and quiet scenic backdrop and you have, in our opinion, the top winery to visit in Mendoza.
We may or may not have gone twice and purchased a few extra bottles to take home as well. I highly recommend the vintage in the first picture, we bought two extra bottles to take home and it just wasn't enough.
Bodega Renacer was recommended to us by a friend we met in Mendoza and given the closeness to the city (and ease of access for those with no car) we were shocked by both the food and the wine. Immediately we were greeted by what I can only describe as a green apple champagne followed by the best focaccia bread we've had in quite some time.
If you just go for a quick wine tasting and bread it is certainly worth it, but we do highly recommend you strap in for the whole shebang. From corn alfajors to a Buenos Aires grade cut of ribeye every dish was killer and paired perfectly.
Ojo de Agua
We stumbled on Ojo de Agua purely by accident and some late night googling to fill a hole in our weekend, but wow what a find! The wine, food and service were all outstanding, but what really stuck out here was 1,000% the immaculate views at Ojo de Agua. The huge man-made waterhole is surrounded by trees and wildlife that makes you feel like you're standing in a safari.
The Malbec pear pictured above will haunt my daydreams for the next 20 years so if you do make it out here, definitely order that. A word of caution to those with no steady transportation, a cab will never find you or pick you up here, make sure to have a dedicated driver to take you back to the city.
Last, but certainly not least, Zuccardi wines was on our list from the start as it was recommended to us by a sommelier back in Buenos Aires and we're thrilled we got a chance to visit. This is also located closer to the city than most of the more recognizable names in Mendoza, but has a uniquely Argentine vibe to it that makes it one of our all time favorites. The first course is taking a step outside to the grill for a fresh plate of empanadas and while it still maintains that "fancy" feel of a fine dining restaurant it's hard to be too posh while stuffing a dough pouch of hot meat mix in your face.
You do get back to the finer things in life directly after however with an incredible array of sides, entrees and even a sweets and cheese platter to finish. We were also pleasantly surprised to learn that the "dulce de leche port" tasting wine we had fallen in love with back at Julia in BA was in fact a Zuccardi wine so this assured us we were in the right place.