By Suzy Buckley
Lobby at the Park Hyatt Mendoza
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Achaval-Ferrer vineyard; lamb al romero at the Park Hyatt Mendoza’s Bistro M; the bar at 1884 Restaurante
Just east of the Andes, the Mendoza wine region of Argentina is younger, drier, higher and less expensive than its California counterpart. Here, the red Malbec and white Torrontés grapes reign supreme, and the warmest time to flit about the top wineries is now through February.
Meet with a guide and driver from Vintura (vintura.com.ar), one of Mendoza’s best tour operators, for a personal escort to top vineyards such as Catena Zapata (catenawines.com), Achaval-Ferrer and Bodega Vistalba (carlospulentawines.com).
Lunch at Cava de Cano, the historical residence of the governor of Mendoza. Sit in a cave-like dining room in front of a 20-foot-long wood table laden with antipasti—tiny bowls of cheeses, tomato and basil, prosciutto, morcilla (Spanish blood sausage) and more—accompa nied by several hot courses and endless bottles of local wines. cavadecano.com
Visit Almacén del Sur Delicatessen, a gourmet market and farm that produces, bottles and sells an extensive line of products, such as rose-petal preserves and spreads made of piquillo peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. almacendelsur.com
Nap at the Park Hyatt Mendoza, a centrally located, 186-room hotel and casino housed in a romantic, 19th-century Spanish Colonial building oozing with plush amenities and a decadent onsite spa. Schedule the Wine Body Glow treatment, which incorporates products infused with grapes from the region. mendoza.park.hyatt.com
Order the giant bisteca for two with chimichurri and vegetables at Bodega Escorihuela winery’s 1884 Restaurante, which is owned by famous Argentine chef Francis Mallmann. 1884restaurante.com.ar
Have a drink at Décimo (San Martin and Garibaldi Aves., 0261-434-0135), where you can gaze out at the city from the 10th floor and enjoy a sumptuous glass of Achaval-Ferrer’s sweet Dolce, then go dancing at Apeteco (Barraquero and San Juan Aves., 0261-15-507-2457).
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.