Every year at the end of February/beginning of March, the city of Mendoza swells to three times its usual size as tourists from all around the country and abroad pack into Argentina’s wine capital for the largest wine festival in South America – Vendimia.
The Vendimia (meaning grape harvest) is a world-class wine festival that lasts almost a month with parades, live music, performances and, of course, plenty of wine tastings. The highlight of the Vendimia is the four day outdoor performance in the local greek-style ampitheatre where an audience of 25,000 are treated to three hours of performance art, music, a light show, fireworks and the all-important beauty queen election. The main dates for your diary are the outdoor parades throughout the city on the Friday night and Saturday morning, and the final show in the ampitheatre that evening. General buzz and events started mid February and will carry on till mid March.
If you visit Mendoza after the second week of March, although you may have missed the processions and pomp of Vendimia, you’ll still be in time to see what the festival is all about – the grape harvest. Visiting wineries between February and May is a spectacular experience as you can see the grapes being harvested, sorted, pressed and processed into the tanks. Some wineries will also let you taste the grape juice as it slowly transforms into wine. This is the ultimate time to visit Argentina’s wine capital for any wine buff.