Mendoza: Wine Tours by Bike

Posted by on Jun 4, 2011 in Argentina | 4 comments


Leah and I took the night bus from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, Argentina. To be honest, I’d never heard of Mendoza before arriving in Buenos Aires. Now we realize its a must stop destination for anyone visiting Argentina. It’s the Nappa Valley of Argentina, producing much of the countries wine. Aside from wine, Mendoza has much to offer.  Being at the base of the Andes brings lots of things to see and do thermal spas, mountain climbing, white water rafting, and the chance to be a genuwine Gaucho (Argentinian cowboy). We decided to tackle the important things first, wine tours. The an unique way to tour a winery in Mendoza is on bike. Mr. Hugo is the local legend when it comes to wine tours, every traveller we met said we must take his bike wine tour. So we headed to the nearby city of Maipu to check it out. Immediately upon arriving at Mr. Hugo’s home we were greeted with a big smile and a firm handshake. Mr. Hugo stands outside his home/business and greets every customer with a warm welcome. For $5 usd we were given a bike and a map of the region with all the wineries, olive oil producers and restaurants on it. We were on our way. We decided to bike to the farthest away winery on the map and then make our way back. Maipu is a nice flat city, so we had no problem biking around with ease. Then the road construction started… This was turning into a mountain biking wine tour. It was still fun but I was getting thirsty, and when Leah said “lets go to the next winery we see” I was in full argeement. We saw a sign for Tempus Alba winery and turned left. We found ourselves biking in the cool fall air down a beautiful street lined with trees of vibrant fall colors. It was like a picture from a post card.

After 5 minutes of biking in paradise we arrive at our first winery. Our tasting consisted of 4 glasses of Malbec and was enjoyed from the view of the winery’s terrace. The view was a combination of fall vineyards and olive tree groves It was magical: we were in for an amazing day.

On the Terrace at Tempus Alba

We hopped on our bikes and continued down the road to the next winery. With almost a dozen wineries on the map, we decided we should start to share tastings. If we each had 4 glasses of wine at each winery things could get interesting. So we went through 2 more wine tours and then decided to head for lunch. On our way down the road I heard a CRASH! BAMN! SCRAPE.


I look back and Leah is on her butt. Bike is on the ground, and Leah is laughing. Granted we each had a bottle of wine by this time in the day, so a drunken spill was understandable. Leah just ate some serious asphalt. What kind of wine should you pair with ashpalt? She was laughing so I knew she was ok. We both laughed together for a bit, and then she explained that the bike’s pedal fell off. Seriously? Yep, snapped right off the bike. So I asked her to hop on the back of my bike and we’d ride double back to Mr. Hugo’s and get a new bike. That lasted all of 15 feet. I’m not sure if I’m just not corrodinated enough to ride double on a bike, or we were laughing too hard. So I gave Leah my bike and I devised a way to ride hers back with one pedal. See picture below. Very effective way to ride a one pedal bike. It was difficult on the off-road terrian of the construction sites, but we got back to Mr. Hugo’s at about closing time, so he gave us a voucher for a free day of bike tours.


  1. That was hilarious! I am laughing SO HARD!!!

  2. I’m really glad that Leah didn’t get hurt too badly…. but that is very funny! The pedal snapped off?! Beautiful pictures, by the way!

  3. What a hoot!! (Of course, it’s only funny AFTER we know that Leah is OK!) What a surprise when the pedal fell off! Guess it’s good that you had had some wine! Think you are a master of improvising, Ben! The pictures and descriptions are great. My very favorite picture is the one you are now using in you heading–you two bikers pedalling through vinyard. Stay well. Stay happy.

  4. Oh my gosh, sounds like quite the hilarious adventure. Maybe next time spit out a little more of the wine you are tasting. Anna Longmore also recounted her recent experience of exploring the Mendoza vineyards on two wheels, and offered some helpful tips, in a post for our blog — check it out:

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