Mendoza dominates wine travel in Argentina. Be careful who you travel with

If you are thinking of going wine travelling in South America you will inevitably have thought of Mendoza in Argentina. You are not alone in that. Mendoza is the largest wine tour destination in South America. It is also the largest wine region in South America. Mendoza accounts for some two thirds of the wine made in Argentina and Argentina is by far the biggest wine producer in South America.

Mendoza accounts for 63% of all wineries open to visitors in Argentina. Add to that a further 12% in Salta, further north, and those two wine regions account for 75% if the wine tourism offer in Argentina.

A view over a winery and the Andes in Mendoza

A view over a winery and the Andes in Mendoza, copyright BKWine Photography

The number of visitors is quite impressive. In total the Argentinean wineries received almost 1.5 million visitors in 2013. But in spite of this impressive number only 199 wineries were open to visitors. But only two out of ten winery visitors come from abroad. Most wine tourism visitors in Argentina are actually Argentinian. Quite natural of course.

So who visits the wineries in Argentina except the Argentinians themselves. Here are the top six countries / nationalities coming to Argentina to visit wineries:

  • France
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Spain
  • England
  • United States

The only surprise here, to me at least, is France. Brazil and Chile are neighbours. Spain has close links to Argentina, linguistic at least. And Americans as well as Brits have a tradition of going wine touring. But the French like to travel to far-away destination and they are used to visit wineries when travelling at home in France. In fact, for most French, wine and food are an important element of any vacation. I guess the explanation is not more complicated than that.

All these numbers come from the 8th National Report of Wine Tourism in Argentina, giving numbers for 2013, as reported in WineSur.

The barrel cellar with grand piano, Bodega Salentein

The barrel cellar with grand piano, Bodega Salentein, copyright BKWine Photography

One conclusion from this is that on average a winery in Argentina received 7500 visitors in 2013. That means that a lot of wineries are set up to receive large numbers of visitors. So if you want to travel to Argentina and go visit wineries, it can be a good idea to travel with someone who knows where to go and who can take you to the places that are not just mass tourism processing facilities.

That, for example, is BKWine. We have a unique network of contacts with the wine producers in Argentina (as well as in other wine countries). We know where to go to make your wine travel experience in South America memorable. On most visits that we organise in Mendoza (as well as in all other wine regions we travel to) we meet with the winemaker and/or with the owner of the wineries we visit. We organise private tastings for you, gourmet meals at the wineries and much more.

Read more about our wine tours to Argentina (including Mendoza) and Chile here.

Lunching at the Zuccardi winery in Mendoza

Lunching at the Zuccardi winery in Mendoza, copyright BKWine Photography

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