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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Wine Tours FAQ

    Booking and payment process FAQ

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    Wine Tours FAQ

    • Could you give me more information about your tours? How are your wine tours different from others?

      First of all it is important to note that our wine tours are much different from the typical
      “Napa style” wine tour. Many of our guests have told us so. You will not get impersonal tours, superficial tastings, and gift shops are pretty much unheard of.

      Our goal is to provide you with an authentic “Mendoza Wine Experience” where you get to taste some of Mendoza’s best wines and visit the vineyards with the most personal and welcoming service. A wine tour is more than just driving from one winery’s tasting room to the next. We want you to get a feel for Mendoza, its unique ways of winemaking, its culture and interesting people.
      Our guides are great company, chosen for their wine knowledge and personality, and will be like a local friend who makes your day twice as enjoyable.

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    • What kind of wine tours do you offer?

      We offer two types of tours:

      1. Organized, carefully planned tours in small groups: Every winery we visit shows winemaking in Mendoza from a different angle. The visits are exclusive and we have worked extensively with the wineries to tailor and fine-tune them specifically for us. For example in one bodega (=winery) you may taste wines from different terroirs, in another we will focus on the winemaking and taste directly from tanks and barrels, and a third winery has the history of the owners’ family that has made wine since the 19th century.
      At the moment we offer small group tours to two destinations, our Luján de Cuyo Wine Experience and our Uco Valley Wine Experience. We have found that the most enjoyable tours are those where you share the experience with a small group of like-minded people. This is why we have a maximum group size of 8 people.

      2. Private Deluxe Tours: Our regular tours in small groups and our private tours already include medium and top range wine tastings, however, as wine lovers know, with wine there is virtually no limit on tasting even more top wines. In our deluxe tours we include tour elements of the highest possible quality, like tasting that 98 point bottle that Robert Parker liked so much, tasting different vintages, special lunches, and encounters with winery owners or enologists. If you want the best of the best, on our deluxe tours we will pull out all the stops for you.
      You can find more information and the deluxe tour prices here.

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    • Can you organize a Remis and winery reservations for me? OR: I plan to rent a car, can you reserve the wineries for me?

      We do not organize tours in a remis without a guide, or self-drive tours, for several reasons: All the feedback we have received from our clients indicates that our knowledgeable guides are essential for a truly memorable experience on your tour, they put everything in context, are fun people, and make the day twice as enjoyable. We have built excellent relations with many wineries and have special "Ampora" tastings at many of them; our guides ensure that times are kept, that the tastings are our special tastings, etc.

      As for renting a car and driving yourself, unless you have a lot of time to get familiar with Mendoza's countryside, where signage is poor and even locals frequently get lost, we advise against (drinking and) driving yourself.

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    • Are there a lot of people on the tours?

      On average we go out with 5-6 people, the maximum is eight, ensuring a personal and exclusive experience. At many wineries we have private visits and tastings. We only visit wineries that have a similar philosophy, avoiding large tour groups.

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    • What if we are the only two that book?

      We guarantee that our tours will go out, even at the minimum of two people.

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    • I am traveling on my own, can I still book a tour?

      The minimum group size for our group tours is 2 people. This is usually no problem during high season, as we have daily tours which people who are traveling on their own can join.
      We recommend filling out a Trip Builder form with your preferred tour dates. If there is no-one that has already signed up for a tour during your travel dates we can keep you on file, and let you know as soon as we have a tour during your travel dates.

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    • What kind of people take your tours?

      On our wine tours you will find interesting people from all walks of life. We often receive feedback saying that touring the Mendoza Wine Country together with other wine lovers added a lot to the experience. Most of the people who take our tours are from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, but we have also had people from Mexico, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan or Guatemala. Most are young professionals between 25-50, but we have had people between 18 and 80 on our tours.

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    • Do I need to be a wine expert?

      Here at Ampora we love wine, but without the snobbish attitude! Although one of the main concepts of our wine tours is for you to deepen your knowledge about wine and Mendoza's wine regions, we want you to have a fun day! Whether you are a complete novice, or an avid connoisseur, our very knowledgeable guides will happily adapt to your needs, discuss wine making in general as well as more in-depth concepts. Whatever your level of understanding, you will come out with more knowledge than before, and more importantly have had a great day out.

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    • How do you choose which wineries to go to?

      In the past five years the wine industry in Mendoza has changed dramatically, there has been an explosion of small boutique wineries that are producing excellent wines. Here at Ampora we want to show you the best this region has to offer.
      We choose the wineries based on, most importantly, the quality of the wine, the intimate and exclusive service they provide, and combine wineries which together offer a combination of the best contrasts of the Mendoza Wine regions.
      We therefore ask you to trust our winery choices and allow us to build the best possible itinerary according to our daily experience!

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    • Can I choose the wineries? OR: I want to go to wineries A, B and C, can you organize this?

      We work with a small number of wineries chosen for their high-quality wine, their uniqueness, and their friendly and personal service. As mentioned above, we ask you to trust our winery choices and let us create the best itinerary for you. For our private tours, if there are certain wineries you would like to visit, and you book with enough time, we will try to integrate them into your personalized itinerary. That said, sometimes we have to protect our customers from themselves. Not every winery that is famous or that has its wines well-rated in Wine Spectator is worth visiting. If we think a winery you suggest is not up to our standards, we will tell you so.
      Please bear in mind that we can not guarantee any winery 100%, as even though we make reservations in advance, wineries - especially the small, family-owned operations - can decide to cancel on us at the last minute because of unforeseen problems. This has happened to us before.

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    • What types of wine do you taste?

      Being Argentina's signature grape, we taste a lot of Malbec in our tours, however the wineries we visit also make excellent wine from other grape varietals, notably Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and great blends of two or three varietals. It really depends on the wineries visited - for example Bodega O'Fournier, which we usually have lunch at in the Uco Valley region, is Spanish-owned, and the owners have bought and planted Tempranillo vineyards and produce excellent Tempranillo-Malbec blends. Others produce very interesting Viognier or Sangiovese – and Argentina’s high-quality Merlot may surprise the most suspicious Merlot skeptic.

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    • How many wines do you taste?

      At each winery we taste 3-4, sometimes 5 wines. At some wineries we have barrel and tank tastings. The tastings include top wines, which are often blends of Malbec and one or two other varietals.

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    • Can I buy wine at the wineries? How can I ship wine home?

      If you buy wine and want to carry it home there are a number of ways that you can take your wine home with you safe and protected. For 2-3 bottles the best option is to put it in your luggage. For more bottles the best is to check them as luggage in styrofoam shipper boxes, available in our office. Another option is to hire our shipping service.

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    • Do you run tours on Sundays?

      In summer both our wine tours run seven days a week, with the exception of certain national holidays, the most important of which are December 25, January 1, May 1 and May 25. In winter we prefer to visit the Uco Valley region on Sundays, since many wineries in Luján de Cuyo are closed.

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    • Do you run tours in the winter? (June to August)

      Yes! Winter is low season, but the wineries are open. The minimum group size of our daily tours is 2 people. Winter has the advantage that there are not many tourists around and the attention at the wineries will be very personal.

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    • Do you pick me up from my hotel?

      For our wine tours, we pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the end of the day. Outside the city centre we can pick you up from Club Tapiz or from lodges in Chacras de Coria. If you stay at a place further out in the countryside you would need to take a taxi to Mendoza or a closer by country lodge in the morning to meet up with our tour.

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    • What kind of transport is provided?

      All our vans have air conditioning and heating, meaning that you will have a pleasant trip regardless of the season. For our group tours, we go out in roomy vans that could seat 12 people, but our groups have a maximum size of 8 people.

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    • Is there a lot of driving time in the tours?

      The closest wineries are situated in Luján de Cuyo and Maipú. Driving time is 20-30 minutes to the region and 10-25 minutes between each winery.
      The Valle de Uco Tour does have more driving, the wineries are further south and much closer to the mountains. The first visit is approximately 60 min from Mendoza. The journey is filled with some breathtaking scenery and is definitely something to be enjoyed in its own right.

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    • Do I need to be physically fit? Is there a lot of walking required?

      Our wine tours are not physically challenging. We do sometimes walk a little amongst the vineyards and go behind the scenes which frequently involves going up or down stairs and sometimes standing for a short amount of time. The tastings in the wineries usually take place sitting down.

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    • Will I get altitude sickness in the Uco Valley Wine Tour?

      Altitude sickness sets in when you climb mountains above 8,000 feet (2.400 meters). On the Uco Valley Wine Tour you will not go above 4,000, let alone 8,000 feet.

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    • What clothes should I wear on the wine tours?

      Casual clothing is best. Please avoid high heels! We will be going behind the scenes of working wineries, and there will be stairs to manoeuver. Sometimes we also go out into the vineyards. Being close to the mountains, temperatures can drop quickly any time of the year, so bringing something like a sweater and a light jacket is advisable even on spring days. If you are visiting in winter wrap up! A hat and sun block is recommend during the summer time, perhaps even bringing long-sleeved shirt or light jacket is also a good idea as the wine cellars can feel chilly when it is hot outside.

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    • I am vegetarian, do the wineries you visit for lunch cater for vegetarians or people with special dietary restrictions?

      All the places we pick for our lunches are very flexible and cater to practically all our requests. Here is what one of our clients - a vegetarian - commented about the lunch on our tour: "The food was great, I and one of my friends were vegetarian, quite often you find that you just get given a bad salad. However they really made us great veggie food and my friends really enjoyed their meat too. It really was one of the nicest relaxing lunches I have ever had."

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    • I am traveling with children, can they join the wine tours?

      A full day wine tour, with visits to three wineries and a five course lunch leaves even the most seasoned wine enthusiast ready for a much needed siesta! Also, distances between wineries can be quite large, and our tours focus on the wine tastings, which can be boring for children. Based on our experience we have created these guidelines:

      Children over 15 years old are welcome to join the small group tours and are charged the price of a 'dry tour' which includes transport and the 5 course lunch, in short, everything except the wine. The cost for the dry tour is of course less than the full price, please consult us for a quote.

      If you travel with younger children or small infants, we recommend a private wine tour for your party, that way you don't have to adjust to anyone's itinerary or rhythm. Please contact us for a price quote.
      Of course, each parent is the best judge of their children and can predict if they will enjoy a full day tour focused on wine, the ages provided are only for orientation.

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    • How much do you recommended I should tip guides and drivers?

      Our tour prices do not include tips. You may wish to tip the guide, the driver or the waiters at the winery which serve you lunch. Of course, if, and how much you tip is really up to you! On previous experience, our guides have been tipped anything between 20-100 pesos, restaurant and drivers may be tipped between 10-50 pesos, depending on how much you liked the service.

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    Booking and payment process FAQ

    • Which payment methods do you accept?

      You can pay online by credit card, by international bank transfer, or by credit card/cash at our office.

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    • If I change my travel plans, will you refund my deposit?

      Deposits for our daily wine tours are fully refundable if you cancel no later than 3 days before the tour starts. For later cancellations the charge is 30% of the total tour price.

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    Travel Information

    • Which restaurants do you recommend in Mendoza?

      The center of Mendoza has some very good restaurants, some within walking distance of most hotels, some a short cab ride away.

      Restaurants that we can recommend that you can walk to are Ocho Cepas, Florentino and Azafrán for high-end Argentine cuisine, also La Marchigiana in the center for Mendoza's best pasta in a local atmosphere, and the new Cachitas Bar (opposite Azafrán) for great cocktails before or after dinner, light food is also served.

      A quick cab ride away you have Don Mario (in Dorrego, just outside the city center) for Mendoza's best steak, 1884 Francis Mallmann which is Mendoza's most famous restaurant - reviews about its service are mixed, but you can not beat the atmosphere at a historic winery, and a closed door restaurant called Ituzaingo, where you can enjoy a different informal dining experience.

      For going out for drinks and simple yet good food check out Palenque or PH on Aristides Villanueva, a street full of bars popular with locals.

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