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The best winery restaurants in Mendoza

A vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina’s best-known wine region.

Photo: Murilo Gomes via Unsplash

The best winery restaurants in Mendoza

Heading to Argentina’s best-known wine-making region? You’ll want something to soak up all that grape juice, so here is a guide to the best restaurants to visit at the region’s bodegas (wineries).
27 April, 2023

Mendoza, Argentina’s best-known wine-making region, has long been popular with the Malbec-sipping set who yearn for lazy lunches paired with vineyard vistas. A short 90-minute flight from the capital city Buenos Aires, Mendoza is a year-round destination thanks to the fun-packed late summer vendimia (grape harvest festivities), scaling summits such as the southern hemisphere's highest peak Aconcagua in summer, and skiing at Las Leñas resort in winter.

More importantly for wine lovers, the province is home to more than 600 bodegas (wineries) and in a bid to bring wine closer to drinkers, many are also home to superb restaurants. One of the hottest tables to book right now is Angélica Maestra Cocina, the restaurant that opened in February 2023 at legendary winery Catena Zapata, while another unmissable experience is three-times World’s Best Vineyard winner Piedra Infinita at Zuccardi Valle de Uco. In this roundup FDL samples some of Mendoza’s best winery restaurants (just don’t forget to arrange a driver).

Zonda at Lagarde

A dish at Zonda, one of the best winery restaurants in Mendoza.

An organic B Corp-certified female-led winery that marks its 125th anniversary in 2023, Bodega Lagarde’s second restaurant Zonda, which opened in October 2022, showcases the tastiest of Mendoza flavours. Owner Sofia Pescarmona shares her family’s terroir with guests, who are invited to join an immersive garden-to-table experience that starts with picking ingredients for your meal. All that hard horticulture work is rewarded with a nine-course regional tasting menu prepared by talented young chef Guido Gonnet. Paired vintages might include Proyecto Hermanas Viognier which Sofia makes with her sister Lucila. Tip: Book dinner at sibling establishment Fogón, one of few bodega-based restaurants that open at night. 

Piedra Infinita at Zuccardi Valle de Uco

Unique architecture, stunning Andean vistas, a family-run winery, delicious regional fare prepared by a crack culinary team and 100-point vintages are five reasons that Familia Zuccardi Valle de Uco was anointed World’s Best Vineyard for three consecutive years. Its restaurant, Piedra Infinita Cocina, is one of the hottest tables to book in Uco, a family-style experience prepared by chef Emiliano Gasque. The seasonal four-course menu takes inspiration from the valley; enjoy juicy empanadas and grilled trout as well as the photogenic Tomahawk steak paired with world-class vintages such as Emma Bonarda and Finca Piedra Infinita Gravascal; 2018 notched up 100 Parker points.

Restaurante Ramos Generales at Kaiken

Steak at Ramos Generales, one of the best winery restaurants in Mendoza.

Tucked away among the vines, under the shade of stretched canvas and ancient willows, Francis Mallmann and his team at Ramos Generales lay on a bountiful al fresco feast. Roaring barbecue pits and twinkling strings of lights bathe the tranquil outdoor restaurant in a soft glow as the legendary chef’s team conjures up an easy-pleaser menu including sandwiches and empanadas, steaks, plenty of grilled vegetables and cheese boards, all accompanied by pairings from Bodega Kaiken’s famed cellar. Tip: bring a jacket as the temperature can quickly drop in the mountains.

Cundo Cocina

Dishes at Cundo Cocina, one of the best winery restaurants in Mendoza.

While this outdoor kitchen doesn’t strictly form part of a bodega, it is an essential ingredient at this small cellar door run by siblings Carla and Lucio Suárez Lastra in Uco Valley’s Paraje Altamira district. Surrounded by Malbec vineyards, the intrepid culinary team led by chef Seba Juez cooks year-round in the al fresco kitchen, drawing inspiration from the snow-capped rocky eminence in front of them. A hyper-regional Uco tasting menu awaits: think cured trout with leeks, dill and kefir or braised sweetbreads with zucchini blossoms which, matched with the freshly snow-daubed Andes, make for perfect pairings along with the house Malbec. 

Angélica Cocina Maestra at Catena Zapata

Fourth-generation vintner Laura Catena pays tribute to her grandmother Angélica by naming Bodega Catena Zapata’s first restaurant after the family matriarch. And, as one of Argentina’s most iconic bodegas, wine is obviously the protagonist at Angélica Cocina Maestra, which opened in February 2023. Together with head winemaker Alejandro Vigil, Catena and her father Nicolás first handpick vintages from the legendary cellar, then take further inspiration from family recipes to create dishes that either accompany or shake up harmonisations. The 10-course Catas (Tastings) menu sources ingredients from all over Mendoza: think DV Catena Chardonnay with sweetbreads. Do take a tour of the impressive architectural addition to the Catena estate.

Bistró Riccitelli at Riccitelli Wines

Not only is the vista of the Cordón del Plata mountain alluring, but the plant-forward dining experience at Riccitelli Wines makes a welcome change from protein-led menus. Self-confessed vegetable fan Juan Ventureyra cultivates an array of salad leaves and veggies among the vineyards, including his pride and joy, heirloom tomatoes; the chef also gathers wild herbs and even samphire for his bistronomy dishes. All this freshness and acidity match with oenologist Matías Riccitelli’s vintages such as Old Vines From Patagonia Semillón and his natural wine line, Kung Fu. After lunch, you might find it hard to tear yourself away from the lovely lawn and one final glass of vino.


Osadía de Crear at Susana Balbo Wines

A dish at Osadía de Crear, one of Mendoza's best winery restaurants.

Susana Balbo

Today the red brick building houses a splendid restaurant yet it was originally the home of Argentina’s first female winemaker Susana Balbo, who lived upstairs so as to have a bird’s eye view of fermenting grapes. Chef Flavia Amad Di Leo creates two tasting menus – four and six courses in length – at Osadía de Crear with various options per course, such as 24-month-aged carnaroli rice risotto with baby vegetables or lamb with cauliflower and cherries. She also prepares brunch and high tea, which makes a refreshing change from long boozy lunches. Tip: For an asado (barbecue) experience, book a table at sister restaurant Críos, located on the same estate. 

Casa Vigil at El Enemigo

Casa Vigil, one of Mendoza's best winery restaurants.

Often touted as the Lionel Messi of winemaking for the number of 100-point vintages he’s created, besides handpicking the wines for Angélica Cocina Maestra, winemaker Alejandro Vigil is also a restaurateur on home turf, literally at home. Starting out as a single salon, Casa Vigil today became so popular there are three dining rooms and three decks with tables next to olive trees and vines for al fresco dining. Chef Iván Azar prepares several tasting menus, depending on your appetite; do order the melt-in-the-mouth costillar ribs and ask to try El Gran Enemigo Torrontés aged on lees. Tip: Casa Vigil opens for both lunch and dinner.

5 Suelos Cocina de Finca at Durigutti Family Winemakers

For their first restaurant, Durigutti brothers Héctor and Pablo wanted to tell the story of their beloved Mendoza and Argentina. Patricia Courtois, with her experience plating diverse regions such as Esteros del Iberá and Salta, was the chef to do exactly that. Her 14-course Historias (Stories) tasting menu starts with the Spanish viceroyalty and the first migration wave, represented in typical dishes prepared in homes such as matambre rolled meat with Russian salad, duck confit served at aristocratic tables, the quintessential Italian influence of pasta kneaded by nonna, and, of course, beef. Sommelier Martin Krawczyk Pardo takes care of pairings that extend to grappa, skin-contact vintages and vermouth.