Vistalba: views and vines in Mendoza

Mendoza, Argentina is famous for one thing when it comes to tourism: wine. While Malbec is the region’s specialty, there are plenty of other grapes both red and white to try. This meant that choosing which wineries to visit during our two days in the area was a challenge involving an Excel spreadsheet and far too many tabs open in Chrome.

Vistalba Mendoza

I’ll touch more on how I narrowed it down – nerdy Excel set-up aside – soon, but for now the important part is that we chose Vistalba as our first winery of the trip.

Vistalba winery

Obviously, a large part of why I like wine tasting is because I like…tasting…wine. That said, if the experience were only about the drinking, we could do it locked in a darkened room. And that sounds not so fun and frankly a little scary.

Vistalba wines

While I didn’t love the Vistalba wines that we tried, I definitely loved the setting. The grounds are beautiful, and on the day we visited, the clouds cooperated to add interest to an otherwise perfect blue sky.

Vistalba

The best part of Vistalba, however, is actually a darkened room. The tour ends in Club V, vineyard owner Carlos Pulenta’s semi-private underground clubhouse. Rather than being scary, it’s a beautifully decorated space that tempts you with bottles of Pulenta’s personal stash just out of reach behind locked doors.

Bodega Vistalba

Our tour guide suggested a basic tasting for the large group, and while I appreciate her not going for the hard sell, I think that my family might have preferred the wines offered in the upgraded tasting. What we had wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t something I’m going to rush out to buy.

Vistalba wine

That said, when you’re drinking next to a cross-section of the soil where the grapes are grown, complete with roots snaking down from some of the oldest vines, it’s hard to do anything but enjoy the moment.

Vistalba tasting room

Becauase really, if Vistalba only warrants a rating of “average” when compared with some of my other wine tasting experiences, I think it’s clear that I am completely spoiled. Lucky me.

Vistalba Corte B

More in this series:
Vines of Mendoza: your guide to Mendoza wine
Keeping it simple at Carmelo Patti
Lunching in luxury at Ruca Malen

24 Responses to “Vistalba: views and vines in Mendoza”

  1. Andrea says:

    Those light fixtures in the cellar area gorgeous!

    • Emily in Chile says:

      I LOVED them! Now I want to eventually live somewhere that it wouldn’t be totally out of place to have crazy tumbleweed chandeliers.

  2. Oooooh it’s so beautiful!!!!!! I’m so excited about these posts.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      You need to go next time you’re in Argentina! Lucas can stay home and play soccer with his friends, I’ll join you for some wine drinking :)

  3. Kyle says:

    You should see if you can start writing for the Lan travel magazine or something along those lines. Your wine pieces are so good.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Aww, thank you! Maybe I should print out a bunch of copies of this and past it into all the magazines on my next flight.

  4. Abby says:

    LOVE!! The friend I was supposed to visit in Mendoza before Andi’s wedding had a change of plans at the last minute, and I had to miss out. I have vowed to go back — someday!!

  5. Juno says:

    Very nice! Because of their meat and wine, I really would like to visit Argentina someday!

  6. Alex says:

    This is turning into quite the wine blog! Love it :)

    • Emily in Chile says:

      I don’t want to make it all wine all the time, but the truth is that I’ve happened to do some really fun wine travels lately! Soon we’ll be back to whatever else it is I do when not drinking :)

  7. Edna says:

    Had to laugh at the ‘far too many tabs open in Chrome’ line — I can totally relate. My worst was when I tried to pick a cruise to take in Halong Bay; sometimes more options isn’t better! This first winery looks lovely though :)

    • Emily in Chile says:

      To say I was overwhelmed at one point would be an understatement. But we got it figured out eventually, and being spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful vineyards really isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  8. Erica says:

    I totally got into the wine culture when we were in Buenos Aires – love the wine of that region.

    • Emily in Chile says:

      I have gotten into it living in Chile, but now when I go to other countries I realize just how Chile-specific my wine knowledge is. There’s so much to learn and so many wines to try!

  9. Jessica says:

    Ooh, what a pretty place to go wine tasting! The dark tasting room looks especially cool.

  10. That area is so beautiful. I would love to go back and visit this vineyard… and every other one :-)

    • Emily in Chile says:

      Yes, now that we’ve been to a few, it’s hard not to take advantage of being so close and start planning follow-up trips.

  11. Ayngelina and Stephanie inspired me to visit Argentina and this post just pushes it even higher on my “countries to visit”-list!

  12. We can just not get tired of seen Visltaba wine tasting room. Letting people to see the terroir under the vineyards were just amazing!

    • Emily in Chile says:

      It’s so different from any other tasting room I’ve seen. My favorite part of any winery tour – other than the wine, of course – is always seeing what that winery thinks makes it unique, and this is definitely a unique feature.

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