When the words “Argentinean Wines “are mentioned, Mendoza comes to mind. Mendoza is the most important region in Argentina for the wine industry. As Argentina wines have made their mark on the world market so has the city of Mendoza. Not only is the city famous for its wine and vineyards, but Mendoza has become a destination for adventure seekers and the many outdoor sports and unbelievable scenery the area has to offer.
Argentina’s fourth largest city, Mendoza, is located in the province of Mendoza. With 900,000 people, Mendoza lays at the foothills of the eastern Andes Mountains. Sitting in Argentina’s western region of Cuyo, the high Andes as well as Chile are accessible via the gateway of Mendoza. Only 6 hours driving time between Santiago Chile, closer than Buenos Aires, will find many travelers making the the majestic 6 hour drive through the Andes, while others will chose to fly between the 2 cities.
Water being scarce, Mendoza has an irrigation system that has been in place for centuries. First developed by three Indian tribes, the Huarpes, Puelches and the Incas, that lived in the area prior to the Spaniards arrival. In 1561 the city of Mendoza was founded by Pedro Del Castillo who named the new city after the governor of Chile, Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza. As the population increased in Mendoza the Spaniards expanded on the irrigation system which is still evident today in the road side canals.
The base of South America’s Andes Mountains, the continents longest mountain range is home to Mendoza and has oftentimes been hit with earthquakes. Mendoza was destroyed in 1861 with the loss of 5000 lives during a major earthquake. Large parks, wider streets as well as new building designs were incorporated into the re building of Mendoza to withstand earthquakes. A good example is Mendoza’s largest park,Parque San Martin and San Martin Street.
Olive oil and wine production has also had an effect on the growth of tourism to Mendoza. Today travelers driving from Argentina to Chile have made the city of Mendoza a must see destination. Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the western hemisphere and South America has attracted climbers to Mendoza. The lure of Horseback ridding, hiking and rafting has made Mendoza a major attraction for adventure travelers. Some of South America,s as well as Argentina’s best skiing can be accessed from Mendoza. The foothills of Mendoza are also a big draw to wine lovers in search of the perfect Malbec Wine. Several tours are available for visitors to local vineyards.
A semi-desert region, Mendoza has hot, humid and wet summers with dry winters. Temperatures can be found in the 90’s during the day and low 60’s during the nights of January( Summertime in Argentina) to winter temperatures in the range of high 50’s during the day to low 30’s at night. Mendoza’s irrigation system becomes important with an annual rainfall of less than 10 inches.
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