Frequently asked questions

Pick up and Transport

For our wine tours, pick up and drop off are included only if you are staying in Mendoza city center or Chacras de Coria. If your lodge is further away we will offer you a private tour or sometimes we can make special pick up arrangements.

For our group tours, we go out in roomy vans that could seat 12 people, but our groups have a maximum size of 6-7 guests. If there are only 2 people on the tour, we go out by car. All our vans and cars have air conditioning and heating, meaning that you will have a pleasant trip regardless of the season.

The closest wineries are in Luján de Cuyo and Maipú. Driving time is 20-30 minutes to the region and 10-25 minutes between each winery.

The Uco Valley Tour does have more driving, the wineries are further south and much closer to the mountains. The first visit is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from Mendoza. The journey is filled with some breathtaking scenery and is definitely something to be enjoyed in its own right.

Wine and Food

All the places we pick for our lunches are very flexible and cater to 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.»

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 Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, and great blends. It really depends on the wineries visited, for example, some of them produce very interesting Viognier, Ancellota or Fiano. Also, Argentina’s high-quality Merlot may surprise the most suspicious Merlot skeptic.

At each winery we taste 3-4, sometimes 5 wines. The tastings include top wines, which are often blends of Malbec and one or two other red varietals as well as a white, a rosé or a sparkling. Also, at some wineries we have barrel or tank tastings.
Yes, you can buy at the wineries; they usually accept US dollars or Argentine cash and credit cards. 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, a good option is to hire our shipping service, which is at a fair price. We can ship wine to all 50 US states, UK, Germany and Switzerland including duties/taxes. For other countries, please inquire.

Winery reservations

We choose the wineries we visit for their high-quality wine, their uniqueness, and their friendly and personal service. Please trust our winery choices and let us create the best itinerary for you. Anyway, if there are certain wineries you would like to visit and we work with them, we will try to include them into your itinerary (subject to their availability) as long as you book with enough time.

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 cannot guarantee any winery 100%, as even though we make reservations in advance, wineries – especially the small, family-run operations – can decide to cancel on us at the last minute because of unforeseen problems. This has happened to us before.

Here at Ampora we want to show you the best this region has to offer. For our tours, we choose wineries that provide the most unique «wine experience». When we plan our personalized visits and tastings, we pick wineries based on the excellence of their wine, the contrast between tradition and innovation, their great views and the most welcoming service. We therefore ask you to trust our winery choices and allow us to build the best possible itinerary according to our daily experience!
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 to the wineries, we advise against drinking and driving.

Group Size

The minimum group size for our small group tours is 2 people. 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.
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, snacks at the wineries, 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.
We guarantee that our tours will go out, even at the minimum of two people.
On average we go out with 4-5 guests, the maximum is 6-7, 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.
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 English-speaking people 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.

General Questions

There are no rules to tasting wine. Here at Ampora we love wine, but without the snobbish attitude! Although one of the main goals 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.
We run our tour to Luján de Cuyo on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and the Uco Valley on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. On certain national holidays, the most important of which are December 25, January 1, May 1 and May 25, our agency is closed.
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.
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.
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.
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 sunblock is recommended during the summer time, perhaps even bringing a long sleeved shirt or light jacket is also a good idea as the wine cellars can feel chilly when it is hot outside.
Our tour prices do not include tips to the guides and drivers. Of course, if you were particularly happy with the service, if, and how much you tip is really up to you! As a reference in US$ (convert to Argentine pesos at the current exchange rate), our guides have been tipped anything from US$ 5 to 20, restaurant waiters and drivers may be tipped around US$ 5.

Booking and Payment Process

The 30% deposit for our daily wine tours is fully refundable if you cancel until 2 weeks before your scheduled arrival in Mendoza. For later cancellations, 30% is non-refundable.

Full payments are fully refundable if you cancel until 2 weeks before your scheduled arrival in Mendoza. With later cancellations, 70% of you payment is refundable, 30% is non-refundable.

Refunds may be subject to a processing fee depending on the method of the original payment.

Travel Information

The center of Mendoza has some very good restaurants, within easy walking distance of most hotels. We can recommend, for example Centauro, Liniers, Bruselas, Anna Bistró and Fuente y Fonda.