Chances are high that you’ve enjoyed a delicious glass of Argentinian red wine at some point. Most likely, that bottle was a Malbec coming from the acclaimed wine region of Mendoza. Blessed with a great diversity of soils, variable microclimates and altitudes, the Mendoza region of Argentina produces a wide range of wines from young and fruity to aged and concentrated. What unites them all is an excellent structure, tannic texture and a proper preservation of natural acids. These are the main reasons that Mendoza wines can compete with products from any other wine region in the world.

The spectacular scenery alone is worth a visit. Perched at the foothills of the Andes mountains and close to the border with Chile, Mendoza has an abundance of natural parks, crystal clear lakes and healthy rivers. There is also a world class ski resort in the region. The capital city, also called Mendoza, is compact in size and home to Michelin-star restaurants, modern museums and artisanal shops providing the perfect urban experience surrounded by natural beauty.

Tasting your way through internationally acclaimed bodegas and smaller family-run vineyards is a must in Mendoza. But wine is only part of the appeal to this region. The Andes provide excellent opportunities for connecting with nature through hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. For those seeking even more adventure there’s also rock-climbing, whitewater rafting and mountain biking. If you prefer to take in the scenery in a more relaxed setting, why not go for a dip in one of many natural hot springs or nearby spas.

Then there is of course the longtime tradition of Polo in Mendoza. The Tupungato Winelands Country Club is a fine place to enjoy the unique atmosphere of a match and the distinct culture surrounding the sport. If that isn’t appealing than perhaps a visit to a traditional estancia for a taste of rural gaucho life is more your speed. This being Argentina, you will never be far from some of the best meat in the world. They have simply mastered the art of grilling and the proof is in every tender bite.

With its picturesque landscapes, wide open spaces and a truly unique culture, Mendoza is the perfect counterpart to the vibrant, busy metropolitan area of Buenos Aires. One does not need to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the charm of Mendoza but it certainly won’t hurt. With so much else to offer though, you just might find yourself staying here longer than expected and we can hardly blame you. Mendoza is easy to love and difficult to leave. Consider yourself warned.