When you think of Mendoza in Argentina, the first thing that probably comes to mind is wine. So of course, sampling a glass or nine is a must when there. And one of the best ways to do this is to take a self guided Mendoza wine bike tour.
Being one of the most famous wine regions in the world, naturally Mendoza has a lot of wineries and vineyards. But because they are so spaced out, all around Mendoza province, many are only accessible by either hiring a car, a driver or taking an organised tour.
However there is a small cluster of Mendoza wineries, close to Mendoza city centre, based around a rural district called Coquimbito in the Maipú Department of Mendoza Province.
And these Maipú wineries are perfectly accessible by bike.
Mendoza Wine Bike Tour
We had an absolutely cracking day whizzing around on our bikes. Sampling the different wines and learning about the individual wine making processes at the various Mendoza vineyards around Coquimbito in Maipú.
Our day biking Maipú wineries literally couldn’t have gone better. So we’re going to give you the exact itinerary of where we went, what we did, what we ate and what we spent.
Maipú Wineries Bike Hire
So there’s three different places you can hire bikes from for cycling around the Maipú wineries; Mr Hugo’s Bikes, Orange Bikes and Maipu Bikes. We went with Maipu Bikes and can’t recommend them enough.
The guys were just an absolute pleasure to deal with. And also super efficient at getting us away on our bikes to do what we came to do.
They speak English and Spanish. Plus they have an awesome happy hour at the end of each day (5pm – 6pm) where you can sample as much as you like of the owner Christian’s homemade wine. It’s good too!
We paid $350 ARS ($7.75 USD / £6 GBP) each to hire the bikes for the day. The shop is open 10am – 6pm, Monday – Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
To make the most of your day, you should be there at Maipu Bikes for 10am. When taking a self guided Mendoza wine bike tour, time means wine. Don’t waste it!
You have to pay in cash at Maipu Bikes, but you can pay by card at all of the Mendoza wineries we’ll be mentioning in this blog post.
Oh and if you want to go on a tour of the Trapiche winery you will need to book it in advance, you can’t just rock up. You can do it while hiring the bikes at Maipu Bikes, they will make the call & give you a voucher so you just pay them along with your bike money.
The cost is $385 ARS ($8.50 USD / £7 GBP) per person for a tour and 3 tastings.
I’m not sure about the other Mendoza wine bike tour hire places, although I’m sure they all have similar arrangements with the Maipú wineries.
If you want one, you’ll get a helmet with your bike tour Mendoza. Plus a map of where all the Maipú vineyards are and the routes to get to them.
By the way we weren’t working with Maipu Bikes, we just really dug their service. I’m sure the other Mendoza wine bike tour rental places are great too. And we also heard that Mr Hugo’s bikes were slightly cheaper.
How To Get To Coquimbito by Bus
The good thing is that whichever self guided Mendoza wine bike tour company you choose to go with they are all in the same place in Coqiumbito.
Literally on the same street – Calle Uriburu.
There are a few different ways to get there. We went by bus and it was super easy. So I’ll give you the heads up on that first, as it is how we would recommend getting to the Maipú wineries bike rentals.
First you are going to need to pick yourself up a Red Bus card. They sell them all over Mendoza city, you’ll see the signs in front of the kioskos. You have to get one – you cannot pay in cash on the buses in Mendoza.
It will cost you $30 ARS ($0.75 USD / £0.55 GBP) for the Red Bus card, but if there’s more than one of you, just get one and top it up accordingly. You don’t need one each.
A one way bus journey to Coquimbito will set you back $18 ($0.40 USD / £0.30 GBP). So you’ll need $36 ARS ($0.80 USD/ £0.60 GBP) each to get to the Mendoza Wine Bike Tour rentals places and back.
Do double check at the time though with the kiosko, or wherever you are staying, because prices in Argentina go up and down like I don’t know what.
Also – bear in mind that the Red Bus cards are completely different to the Sube cards they have in Buenos Aires and other cities in Argentina. They are not compatible.
Okay, now you’re sorted with that, there’s a few different buses you can take to get from Mendoza to Coquimbito. The good news is they all go from the same stretch of road in the city centre. And that’s Rioja street between Garibaldi and Catamarca streets.
The bus numbers are ‘811 Coquimbito’, ‘816 Expreso Diferencial’, ‘817 Coquimbito’, and ‘920 Expreso’. They don’t all go from the same stand but you can kind of straddle between two and watch for them coming down the street.
We took the 920 Expreso because that was the one that came first.
I don’t know if he’s always there, but there was also a chap from Maipu Bikes knocking about on Calle Rioja with leaflets, giving people information about which buses to jump on.
When you get on the bus you can either show the driver the address on a leaflet, if you have one, or simply just say ‘bicicletas y bodegas por favor’. It’s pretty much the only place tourists will be going so they’ll likely tell you where to get off too.
The journey takes around 25 minutes.
We had the corresponding area downloaded on Maps.Me so we could see for ourselves too. Either way look out for the YPF gas station in Coquimbito – that’s your queue to get off and get your wine on.
By the way there’s quite a lot of outdated information on line with details of the G10 171/172/173 bus numbers – these belonged to the old bus transport system in Mendoza.
Others Ways To Get To Coquimbito
By taxi or Uber tell the driver to take you to the ‘Coquimbito bicicletas y bodegas’ or alternatively the address of Maipu Bikes is Calle Urquiza 2499, Flor de Ceibo, Coquimbito. You should expect to pay around $300-400 ARS ($6.50 – $9 USD/ £5 – 7 GBP).
There is also a tram-bus combo route that you can take if you fancy that. You’ll need to take the Metrotranvia de Mendoza until the last stop, Estación Gutiérrez. And then jump on the ‘812 Maipu’ on Calle Uriburu, getting off at the YPF gas station in Coquimbito.
As I say we went on the bus, which was straightforward so I can’t personally attest to tram-bus combo or give you an exact time. Just take the bus.
Mendoza Wineries by Bike Safety
It’s a funny little town in a way, Coquimbito, because from the main road, Urquiza, it looks very industrial and a little rundown. And all the Mendoza wine bike tour stops run of the main artery. But once you turn off onto the side streets it feel like you’ve been magically transported into the countryside.
Calle Urquiza is busy and quite fast. But there are specific bicycle paths so it’s safe enough even for inexperienced cyclists. Just do remember which side of the road the traffic is coming from as it may well be different to home and hence the opposite of your reflexes.
There aren’t cycle lanes on the side roads but they are much quieter so you’ll be right.
Mendoza Wine Bike Tour Itinerary
Okay now let’s get into the nitty gritty of why you’re here.
As I said above I think we picked a pretty perfect self guided Mendoza wine bike tour route, so I’m going to give you the exact rundown, plus costs, of that first. And then some alternative options just in case that doesn’t float your boat.
First up we opted to visit the Mendoza winery furthest away on cycling map given to us by Maipu Bikes. This is called MEVI and it’s a delightful way to start off your Mendoza wine bike tour.
To get there you’ll head south over the roundabout, over the railway tracks and turn left onto Perito Moreno. It’s a flat 6km ride and shouldn’t take more than half an hour.
As you turn into the driveway you’ll be greeted by the vines. Carry on a little further around and you’ll see the bike stand where you can park up.
It’s labelled as a modern boutique winery and I’d agree. They don’t do any vineyard tours here but that’s okay, that’s not the reason you’re going here. You’re after the views, the wine and the cheese.
You see, they have a restaurant onsite and even though it will be a little early for lunch , we recommend ordering yourself a cheese and salami board to pair with your wine tasting. If you’re in a group there’s plenty for two and enough for three or four at a push.
You should also take the ‘reserva’ tastings rather than the young ‘varietal’ wines because they isn’t much difference price wise and they are much better. Or better still if there’s two of you, order a tasting of both so you can try both the young and mature wines to compare.
The best spots to sit are on the back balcony with the vineyard and mountain backdrop, but the front balcony seats aren’t half bad too.
MEVI opens at 10:30am so you should be getting there not long after it’s opened. It closes at 5pm and isn’t open on Sundays.
A tasting of three varietal wines costs $90 ARS ($2 USD / £1.60 GBP) compared to $130 ARS ($2.90 USD / $2.30 GBP) for three reserva wine tastings.
The cheese board cost us $320 ($7 USD/ £6 GBP) and we also took away a bottle of our favourite tasting – Syrah Reserva – for $270 ARS ($6 USD / £5 GBP).
So in total at MEVI we spent $850 ARS ($19 USD / £15 GBP) for the two of us. If you’re on a tight budget you could just try the young varietal wines and keep your cost to $90 each.
If you’re paying on card, they only take VISA here, not mastercard.
Viña El Cerno
Next we dipped into this little gem of a vineyard, Viña El Cerno. An old artisan winery, the extra special thing about this stop on the Mendoza wine bike tour is that it makes organic wine.
Keep an eye on the time because in order to follow our exact itinerary you’ll need to be here for no later than 12pm. It’s literally a few minutes down the road from MEVI though, you’ll pass it on your way there.
There is an option to do a tour and tasting for $210 ARS ($4.70 USD / £3.70 GBP), we just opted for the tasting because we needed to skedaddle along to the next Mendoza wine tasting session and lunch. The cost of tasting three wines here is $120 ARS ($2.70 USD / £2.10 GBP).
It’s open from 10:30am – 4pm, Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
Also described as a modern boutique winery, Tempus Alba is a little grander than MEVI. It’s terrace up top overlooking the Maipú vineyards is absolutely stunning. This is where you should take lunch. Along with your wine tastings, of course.
Wine tasting wise, they have a quite a lot of both varietal and reserva wines to choose from. As there were six different ones, we just opted for the varietal wines tasting here and tried them all between the two of us.
Food wise, they have a lots of options on their menu including starters, mains and deserts. I had a chicken casserole type dish and James has cannelloni. Unfortunately we didn’t have room for desert. This was my only regret of the day because I’d heard such good things about the pears in Malbec! If you go and get this please tell me what it was like!
The only bad thing that I will say about Tempus Alba is that the service is a bit slap dash. You have to be on them a little to get served in a timely manner and onto the next winery tour for 3pm.
There is a self guided tour here too but it’s nothing more than a few different areas of the winery with some signposts explaining different processes. Still it’s interesting enough and the explanations are in both English and Spanish. We ate first just in case we didn’t have time, but we did.
In total at Tempus Alba we spent a total of $910 ($21 USD / £16 GBP) for two main courses and two varietal tasters. The cost is $130 ARS ($3 USD / £2.25 GBP) for three varietal wine tasting or $180 ARS ($4 USD / £3 GBP) for 2 varietals and a blend reserva tasting.
Again if you’re after keeping your costs as low as possible, you obviously don’t have to eat here. You could bring a picnic, eat it on route somewhere on your Mendoza wine bike tour and just try the $130 tasting option.
Tempus Alba is open Monday to Friday, 10:30am – 5pm. It is closed Saturday and Sunday.
Okay now onto the big guns and the fourth stop on our Mendoza wine bike tour route, the mighty Trapiche. They produce 10 million litres of the good stuff each year so if you’ve drank Argentinian wine before, it will likely be from this vineyard.
If you’ve hired your bike through Maipu bikes you’ll already have a pre-booked time slot and voucher. We booked our Trapiche winery tour for 3pm, because that’s what fitted with our Mendoza wineries biking itinerary. But I’m sure they have other times if you are not going to follow it.
The Trapiche wine estate is humongous, it’s a seriously big operation. It’s only a slice of it too as they have more vineyards elsewhere around the province. And recently a new project in Buenos Aires!
The tours are available in English. And a sommelier will take you around so show the various parts of the winemaking process and answer any questions you have.
It’s pretty interesting because you get to see the old equipment from when they used to make wine by foot. Right through to the new innovative equipment where the wine is aged in these concrete egg like structures.
Plus the old train tracks that used to transport it all. Unfortunately the government shut the rail system in Argentina following an economic crash in the 1970’s and it hasn’t been able to be reopened since.
Then you’re onto the best part, the wine tasting. You get to try three different wines. When we were there they gave us a young white, a red blend (from the concrete eggs) and an older red reserva.
As I mentioned above the cost of the tour and tasting is $385 ARS ($8.50 USD / £7 GBP). We really liked the concrete egg wine so we bought a bottle of that from the gift shop at $290 ($6.50 USD/ £5 GBP). By the way ‘concrete egg wine’ is not what its called, I just made that up.
You need to be swift afterwards, because if you’re following this Mendoza wine bike tour itinerary you need to be somewhere else for 4:30pm.
Trapiche is open Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
This was our last stop on our Mendoza vineyards biking route and it’s at the other end of Calle Urquiza, back past Maipu Bikes rental shop.
The unusual thing about this old family run vineyard is that they pick their grapes at night. The reason? So temperatures are lower to prevent the grapes from immediately starting to ferment in the heat.
As I said above, you’ll be grabbing the 4:30pm tour and tasting session. The last one of the day. Don’t worry if you are a tad late. None of the tours we went on started right on time.
And plenty of people turned up during/after the tour – obviously that’s not ideal as you’ll be missing bits.
The cost to visit Domiciano bodega is $200 ARS ($4.50 USD / £3.50 GBP), which includes an English spoken tour and 3 wines tastings. For $300 ARS (£6.50 USD / £5.50 GBP) you can upgrade to premium wine tastings. We chose one of each so we could taste them all.
They also do a sweet tasting option for those who like their wine with a spoonful of sugar.
There are also tours available at other times; 9:30am, 10:30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm and 3pm.
And Domiciano is open Monday – Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
The beauty of exploring Mendoza vineyards by bike is that your day is completely self guided. So if you don’t fancy following the same Mendoza wine bike tour route as us, you can just make your own up.
We headed south first, but you could head north up the main road of Urquiza instead first.
Although if you’re aim is to try and fit in more than five Maipú wineries in one day, you’ll have to be super quick. It’s not impossible – some people do. It’s just personally I think it would mean rushing around too much and would take some of the enjoyment out of your Mendoza Argentina wine tour.
Here’s some different self guided Mendoza wine bike tour route options.
This is the oldest winery on the Mendoza vineyards bike circuit and it has an onsite museum.
A ticket into this Mendoza winery is $270 ARS ($6 USD / $4.70 GBP) and it includes a tasting of two wines. At the end you can either exchange your ticket for more wine tasting or a bottle to take away with you.
The tours at La Rural bodega run at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 3pm and 4pm. It’s closed on Sundays.
Tierre de Lobo
If you fancy a change from the wine, you can try a tour and tasting at this distillery which makes Vodka, Gin, Pisco and liquors.
Tierre de Lobo open Monday to Saturday but only from 3pm to 5pm. A tour and tasting session costs $220 ARS ($5 USD / £4 GBP).
Another alternative to the Maipú wineries, this stop is instead an olive oil, jam and liquor maker.
Tasting sessions start from $100 ARS ($2.20 USD / £1.75 GBP). It’s open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 5:30pm.
Casa de Campo
An alternative to eating at the MEVI or Tempus Alba wineries, this restaurant at the north end of the bike tour Mendoza circuit was recommended to us by Maipu Bikes.
It’s open 12pm – 5pm, Monday – Saturday and main meals start at around $350 ARS ($ 8 USD / £6 GBP).
What To Take With You
On average Mendoza has less than 40 days of rain per year, it’s one of the reasons that makes it so great for growing grapes. So we that being said you probably don’t need to take a raincoat with you.
However what you will need is plenty of sunscreen and a hat. We were there in May and it was still pretty hot.
And even though your main objective of the day should be to try as much wine as you can, be sure to take a refillable water filter bottle so you can stay hydrated too.
It can get cooler later in day, especially depending on how long you decide to stay at Maipu Bikes happy hour(s), so a light jacket might come in handy.
Oh and a rucksack to carry any bottles of wine you purchase. Some bikes have baskets, but some of the side roads off Calle Uriburu are a little bumpy so it’s not the best spot to keep them.
Obviously wear comfortable clothes for cycling around all day. And that’s pretty much it, you’ll be all set.
Where To Eat in Mendoza
If you’re looking for somewhere great to eat after your booze induced cycling day, we have a few suggestions for Mendoza restaurants that we personally recommend.
Fuerte y Fonda $$
The food here is absolutely lovely and the service is impeccable. The mains are huge & served for two people. They come with a small starter to share and two deserts included.
There is also a large selection of starter dishes for if you’re not so hungry or dining for one. And Fuerte y Fonda have a big wine selection to boot.
Address: Montevideo 675
Anna Bistró $$
A relaxed restaurant with a really cool vibe. Try and nab one of the tables on the outside patio area, it’s lush. And don’t worry there’s heating out there. The menu is extensive. But Anna Bistró have a few great value dishes of the day which include deserts which we recommend.
Address: Av. Juan B. Justo 136
If you fancy pushing the boat out, this restaurant is touted as the best of the best in Mendoza. It has a cracking ambiance. But it’s pretty fancy mind! Originally just a deli selling local meats, Azafran expanded to serve top nosh with a gigantic wine selection.
It’s seriously popular and best to make a reservation.
Address: Av. Sarmiento 765
Where To Stay In Mendoza
Affordable Luxury: Amérian Executive Hotel Mendoza
Located opposite Plaza Italia, just a few blocks from Mendoza city centre, guests can enjoy stunning views over the whole city from the 17th floor roof top terrace. And what’s more is there’s an outdoor pool and sauna.
The spacious rooms have a TV, WiFi, air conditioning, minibar and bathrooms with bath, shower and hairdryer. A great buffet breakfast is also included in the price.
Mid-Range: Apartamentos Mendoza
This Mendoza self-catering accommodation is such a great deal. Centrally located you will be close to everything you need. Large windows make the place light and airy, plus there’s also a small garden.
Each apartment has a TV, WiFi, air conditioning, seating area and kitchenette with an oven and refrigerator. Bathrooms feature a shower, bath and a hairdryer. Oh & there’s private parking included too.
Cheap & Cheerful: Hostel Estacion Mendoza
Just 200 yards from Mendoza City centre and 650 yards from the main bus station, this hostel has a great location. There’s a fully equipped shared kitchen and basic breakfast included. There’s also a game and TV room.
But the real draw of this Mendoza hostel is the garden with outdoor swimming pool. You can choose from rooms with private or shared bathroom facilities and lockers and WiFi are provided.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Even though technically, if you’re boozing it up, you won’t be covered if you have an accident while on your self guided Mendoza wine bike tour, you should still take out a quality travel insurance for all the other days.
World Nomads is our preferred choice for great cover and a no bullshit approach, grab yourself a quick quote below:
Good Reads About Argentina:
If you are travelling around more of North Argentina, you Amy also find these blog posts helpful:
- How To See Purmamarca Rainbow Mountains
- Visiting The Humahuaca 14 Coloured Mountains
- Trip Guide To The Salinas Grandes (Salt Flats)