Where to stay
If you want to experience the real Mendoza, why not stay in Chacras de Coria, an upper-middle class suburb of Mendoza city and the gateway to the Uco Valley? This will make it easier to get to and from the airport, which is located only 25 minutes away by car, and will save you lots of time on the commute, while allowing you to appreciate all that Mendoza is known for in one place.
What to do
One of the most typical activities to undertake in Mendoza is to bike around the vineyards, and Chacras de Coria is the perfect place to do this, as it’s located close to one of Mendoza’s most important wine regions, Lujan de Cuyo. Spending a day on bikes in Chacras will bring you through some typical Mendocino countryside, as well as to some of the area’s most famous wineries and vineyards.
Get up early and rent bikes from Bacchus Bikes, where you will be equipped with a bike, helmet and lock, and a handy map on which the Bacchus staff will mark out a wine route for you to cycle along. Stopping first at the family-run Pulmary organic wine bodega in the middle of the town, you can sample some Malbec straight from the tank, as well as being given a tour of this 100-year-old property.
From there, head up the road to El Mercadito, a cute establishment that serves up tasting and filling plates to act as soakage for all of the wine you are going to drink throughout the day. Then continue on the bikes until you get to the Nieto Senetiner winery. This large establishment has its very own vineyard on site, and after you take a tour of the property and wine producing sector, you can indulge in a wine tasting session in which you will be instructed on how to taste wine, what notes you should be looking for and how to tell the intensity of the wine. If you want to stick around for a while, order a glass from the bar and sit outside in the lush landscaped garden that overlooks the vineyard.
Afterwards, make your way back towards the town, and stop at a chocolate shop and another boutique bodega along the way, picking up some tasty artisanal treats as you go. The bike shop closes at 6.30, and no doubt by this stage you will be tired from your day on two wheels.
Head back to your hotel to take a much needed siesta before heading out in the evening to the famous Brindillas restaurant. This elegant eatery offers diners an exquisite tasting menu with wine pairings, and is often booked out, so make sure to reserve ahead of time. Food and drink are the order of the day in Mendoza, and if you only have one day to spend here, this itinerary will tick all the necessary boxes and leave you safe in the knowledge that you have experienced the very best Mendoza has to offer.