Mendoza Wine Tour “bikesandwine” Reviewed

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Mendoza Wine Tour - bikesandwine Argentina is the fifth largest wine producing country in the world. And the city of Mendoza itself is the hub of the Argentinean wine industry. The city life and busy plazas are surrounded by thousands of bodegas (wineries) that lie on the outskirts of town with over 350,000 acres of vines. When visiting Mendoza, the tough decision is not whether to visit the bodegas or not, but choosing which bodegas to see.

While traveling through Mendoza I wanted a crash course on the wines, the vineyards, and the history. Renting a car is always an option. But because I was traveling on a budget I signed up for a much thriftier and interactive approach – bikesandwines.

Bikesandwines is a business that a local Argentine started to support himself through school. He started his business with just a handful of bikes, but the popularity of this “tour” has skyrocketed so much in past years that he now has over 70 bikes and helmets. I can assure you that as you pull up to the front of his shop, you will be greeted with a big smile, laughter, and music. The ambiance of the place is contagious and it is a great way to start the day.

Bodega in Mendoza, Argentina Soon after our arrival we were all geared up with our official bright yellow bikes, purple flower helmets, and a small but useful map that outlined our path for the day. It is an independent tour that allows you to go at your own rate through a highly concentrated area of wineries in the Maipú area. In the 12km of the tour there are 6 wineries, a wine museum, a stop where you can purchase different types of olive oil, a delicatessen, and a family owned chocolateria and liquor factory where an extremely friendly woman excitedly shares the history and processes of making her sweets with samples for all.

Because it is an independent tour, we were able to pick and choose where we wanted to go, and how much time we wanted to stay in each place. We continued to lose more and more bikers throughout the day, as they decided to stick around and finish off the day in their wineries of choice. It is nearly impossible to see them all. At the end of the day everyone’s experience had been a little different. Yet we all managed to pedal back to the bikesandwine headquarters without any problems and big grins all around.

Mendoza Bike Tour What a fun day. If you like wine, like bikes, and would like to have an exciting day to combine the two, make sure to check it out when you are in the Mendoza area. (information available in both Spanish and English)


ruth on May 6, 07

sounds great!!! Hope to be there in Dec. ’07

Marisa on January 5, 08

Biking through this part of wine country is great but make sure you’re steady on two wheels and comfortable sharing a narrow road with speeding trucks, buses, and cars. Not for the faint of heart. There’s also a lot of construction just outside of the bikesandwine HQ. Not for novice cyclists or anyone in bad shape. The bike seats are butt killers too!

Lucy on January 21, 08

This was a brilliant day out – we hired a tandem for extra amusement. I didn’t think it was very demanding and I’m not a cyclist. Make sure you take in the museum as this gives a good grounding to the day and you’re unlikely to get round all the stops if you go at a leisurely pace.
We were told there is only 1 food stop but it turned out that tapas were available in at least one other bodega. Find some friends to go with to make the day more enjoyable.

Sophie on February 12, 08

Perhaps I was unlucky, but we didn’t have time to see half the wineries they announce, and two of them charged for the wine tasting. Their map has one bodega on the wrong place, which caused us to stray a long way from the path and lose a lot of time. By the end of the day I was exhausted and frustrated. If you’re in shape you’ll probably enjoy it. I wasn’t. I thought the van tour, which was only 15 pesos more, was much more enjoyable, and we saw much nicer places.

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Ben on May 5, 08

While I had a great day touring the wineries in Maipú, I can’t say I was as impressed with Bikesandwine’s service as the author was. When I arrived, the staff at the bikesandwine office consisted of a couple of grumpy argentine teenagers. The free drinks that are promised as part of their service never arrived; the “guided map”(?) that they tout is the same one that they hand out in their brochures in the hostel.

For future travelers, I’d recommend grabbing one of the maps that they place at hostels, catching the #10 bus out to Maipu, and renting a bike from one of the several shops within a couple of blocks of bikesandwine. You’ll get the same experience and save about 20 pesos, which you’ll need for the places that charge for tours and tasting. Either way, I still highly recommend biking to the wineries– much more fun than a tour bus.

Kevin on May 13, 08

I took this tour and it was the most disappointing event in my month stay in Argentina. So poorly organized. I only saw one vineyard on the tour (not until 3pm!) as most were closed (Saturday). And I had to pay for the wine tour in addition to the tour package. It was the biggest waste of money on my trip. However, the organized lunch was the only redeeming value. All other guests on the tour ended the day early with disappointment.

Frederick on April 23, 09

I was touring the area of Maipú and cycling was at a wonderful place, after visiting the wineries we went to a very large house with art and good music, with a large park, pool and ate a very good barbacue and wines made from other areas of Mendoza, the truth that was the best of Mendoza, is recommend, I think the name is “la quinta maipu”

Devin on September 22, 09

This tour was a terrible dissapointment. They falsley advertise that you recieve drinks, helmets, and equipped bikes. They also mention a guided map on the brochure. Don´t let that fool you. We were picked up by some random guy in his own car, brought about 25 out to Maipu, some teenager went over the map and gave us directions and suggestions of which wineries to go to, and sent us off. We had to bike on super busy roads with scary Argentine drivers, as well as pay for about every winery we went to, along with lunch, and the chocolate tasting. Perhaps we were under a false impression but I would reccommend doing this with a guide to make the most of your time, or at least taking the bus (number 10, as mentioned above) out there and save a lot of money. We paid 80 pesos to get picked up and dropped off, and for the bike for day so we could´ve cut costs a lot more.

Damon on December 24, 09

I would love to hear you all had a great time in Maipu but you guys are all going to the wrong bike and wine tours. If you go down the street a little further, we took a bus from our hostel and it dropped us off right in front of Mr Hugo’s. Just ask anyone what bus to take. This is the nicest guy, his wife and daughter help him with the bikes and he DOES give you a drink and a map and goes over the tour. I suggest that you start at the end and bike your way back and the chocolate and liquor is awesome get the samples of a few and have the tour its really cool. When you get back Mr. Hugo gives you a glass of wine and keeps it full til you can’t handle anymore, which after the tours your usually good. Tours are about 15 pesos(remember to TIP!! esp. Mr Hugo) but that gets you around 3 glasses of wine and a cool tour of the vineyard. The best part is Mr Hugo has a bus pass, you can pay him for bus fair and he’ll stop the bus and load your hammed ass on the bus with a big grin and a hug! We teamed up with a bunch of friends from the hostel two days in a row. Its all a great time, I love Mendoza, its wine and steak! Hope this helps!

Cesar Gonzalez on December 28, 09

Thanks for the tip Damon!

Mauricio on March 22, 10

We took the bikesandwines Chacras de Coria tour earlier this week as the concierge at the hotel told us it was much nicer and less crowded than the Maipu one. The tour consisted of us two only.
From minute 1 we knew the whole business was far from professional, but the people at the 4 bodegas we visited (out of 5 planned) and the place, which was lovely, made for a very nice journey. Lunch at Cavas de Wienert was really great.

In chronological order:
+ no van picked us up from the hotel as we figured, but a taxi cab that was 25 minutes late;
+ we weren’t given a receipt for the 60 bucks (equivalent) that they charged us;
+ While the free drink was there, I’ve never ridden a lousier bike -even the shifter wouldn’t work- and my girl friend’s arse is still sore;
+ there was no guide as we assumed, only the little map they place at hotels;
+ Much to our disappointment, we were back at the HQ sharp on time, but the place was closed and locked. We were lucky to find a friend of the guys from bikesandwines who niglectingly took us back to the city.

kate on May 2, 10

The tour was a sham. I was picked up at my hotel 1.5 hours late. Bad start. The bike was old and uncomfortable to ride. The map is inaccurate. The bodegas are miles apart, and to reach each one, you need to cycle along a dangerous road, dodging fast moving cars, buses, all within inches of your legs. And, keep in mind, you will be drinking wine, while doing all of this. I returned my bike soon after getting it, because I recognized the danger. I was informed I was NOT getting a refund. I had a flaming row with the young guys running the tour. I can’t believe that this tour is in the footprint guidebook. The experience was a nightmare and the worst run business I have experienced while travelling all over South A. My advise. AVOID bikesandwine.

Kate on May 7, 10

Terrible. Poorly organized. Young guys who running the business, who just want your money, and don’t much care about your safety or the condition of the bike they provide. They give you a map and release to find your own way. The vineyards are miles apart. In total, a dangerous experience, because you are biking alongside an extremely busy road. Don’t bike it. Take a bus tour.

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