A honeymoon should be decadent, relaxing and indulgent, and the Uco Valley wine region in Mendoza is all of those things. Couples that appreciate fine wine and good food should definitely plan their honeymoon at Bodega La Azul in Argentina.
Travelers used to the high costs associated with wineries and tasting menus in regions like Napa Valley or throughout Europe will be pleasantly surprised by Mendoza. A young couple can easily make their dollars last here.
FINCA LA AZUL GUESTHOUSE
This family owned winery is the only vineyard in the Uco Valley owned by Mendocinos and they have clearly poured their hearts into their winery, restaurant, and boutique hotel. The small property has only 6 guestrooms, and is set far back the main road, hidden among the vines and trees.
The hotel and rooms are constructed with locally sourced materials, like an accent wall built out of smooth stones from the river. For chilly and romantic nights each room has a fireplace and large tub for a hot bubble bath.
There’s a pool in the large yard so there’s no need to fill your day with activities. It would be easy to spend a lazy afternoon enjoying the Mendoza sun by the pool with the property’s two resident border collies.
Being on a winery, naturally the gastronomic offerings at the Guesthouse don’t disappoint. The buffet breakfast is included and would please any American (eggs, avocado, and other items not normally served in Argentina).
Lunch at the restaurant is a must for anyone visiting Mendoza. They serve local dishes but cooked to perfection, paired with the family’s wines. If you have any room left for dinner, they serve a three course dinner for around $20 US. It will be a lighter meal than the lunchtime feast.
Staying in for dinner is ideal as the big meal out in Mendoza is typically lunch on the wineries. Dinners are more low key, which makes sense after so much eating and drinking throughout the day.
The main activity in Mendoza is obviously wine tasting. The Uco Valley is located at the foot of the Andes and is the source of Argentina’s finest wines.
The best wineries in Mendoza are here, so spend a day or two visiting different bodegas. A varied itinerary can be built by visiting a large scale production vineyard, a boutique winery, organic winery, and so on.
When San Martin liberated Argentina from the Spanish, he famously crossed the Andes here. A number of tour companies can retrace his steps. Most tours last half a day and offer a wine tasting in the mountains.
For the more adventurous couple, the nearby town of Potrerillos is famous for its outdoor activities. For a day trip go whitewater rafting. In summer, the snowmelt will make for a wild ride. In winter or early spring, it will be much milder.
A room at the Azul Guesthouse ranges from $150-200 US a night, depending on the season. Five course lunches with bottomless wine cost around $40 US, while tastings at the region’s best vineyards cost on average $10 US.
One thing to keep in mind is that this area of Mendoza is best seen with a car. The Uco Valley is an hour and a half drive from the city and the wineries are spread out. It’s possible to hire private drivers or take tours, but this will increase costs significantly.
While rental cars in Argentina aren’t the most affordable in the world, it is the best way to enjoy a stay at the Finca La Azul Guesthouse.
My husband and I visit Bodega La Azul every time we’re in Mendoza. It’s without a doubt the best meal we’ve ever had, so we were excited to be able to stay in their boutique hotel on our most recent stay.
We spent hours at lunch because there is literally no rush. The servers encourage you to fill your glass and walk around between courses. It’s possible we spent a bit too much time relaxing on the lounge area in the grass, but the view was too beautiful to not take in.
Our experience at the hotel was on par with the restaurant. The large bathtub was a warm welcome after a long, grueling day of wine tasting. I also spent my fair share of time playing with the family’s pups, who love to play fetch with stones (of all things). Honestly, my only complaint is that we didn’t visit in summer to take advantage of the pool.
Submitted by Erin Mushaway from Sol Salute