Have you planned your next destination vacation? If you are looking at our Mendoza posts, this one will help you discover Maipu. Here are some interesting facts about Maipu. It is a city located in the Mendoza Province of Argentina, just east of the city of Mendoza. It is known for its rich history and its proximity to numerous wineries and vineyards. The name "Maipu" comes from the Mapuche language, an indigenous language spoken in southern Chile and Argentina. It means "place of the Chiefs" or "place where the Chiefs meet."
Maipu played a significant role in Argentine history. It was the site of the Battle of Maipu, which took place on April 5, 1818, during the Argentine War of Independence. The battle resulted in a decisive victory for the Argentine forces led by General José de San Martín against the Spanish royalists. Maipu is often referred to as the "Land of Wine and Olives" due to its extensive vineyards and olive groves. The region is renowned for producing high-quality wines and olive oil.
The region of Maipu, south and east of Mendoza city, has approximately 20 wineries. Some of the best are La Rural, Familia Zuccardi, CarinaE, Casa el Enemigo and Finca Flichman. This region is considered to be where Malbec started but as the picture shows, there are also plenty of olive trees in the region. Many vintners came from Italy and it was natural to take grapes and olives with them.
Mendoza’s oldest wine region stretches from Maipu, a southern suburb of Mendoza, to the other side of the Mendoza river about ten miles south. Malbec has been grown here since 1861.
Maipu is both a region and a town. The small town of Maipu lies on the southern outskirts of Mendoza City and vineyards stretch south from here toward the Mendoza River, encompassing the smaller regions of Barrancas, Lunlunta and Coquimbito.
Like much of Mendoza, Maipu's landscape is dominated by flat vineyards with high altitudes – in this case around 2600 feet above sea level. This altitude sees intense sunlight during the day followed by cold nights that are cooled by alpine winds from the Andes Mountains. The temperature difference between day and night can approach 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool nighttime temperature slows ripening and extends the growing season.
Maipu's location in the Andes means that it has low annual rainfall. The nearby Mendoza River provides a plentiful source of Andean meltwater for irrigation.
In Maipu, the richness of the soil, heavily laden with minerals in combination with the local microclimate has succeeded in producing some of the region’s best wines. Maipu has been declared First Winegrowing Zone in Argentina.
A National Wine and Winegrowing museum is here when you visit La Rural. The museum tells the story of the life of two families for whom the city has much to thank.
The Maipu region is very accessible for tourists. We saw young people riding bikes between wineries. Most of the wineries do not require reservations. Being accessible is good but it also draws lots of tourists
Maipu is one of the oldest vineyard regions in Argentina. It certainly is not the largest area. We found three excellent vineyards to see on our wine tour. We met a master vintner, Alejandro Vigil, at Casa el Enemigo and we learned that he is also the master vintner at Catena Zapata. The photograph above is in a special tasting room at Casa el Enemigo.
This region has a sense of history and we got the feeling that it all started here. If you visit La Rural, you’ll get a sense of what it was like in the early days. While there are the fewest wineries available for tourism here of the three regions, Maipu tells the story of Malbec like no other region.
Here is a brief introduction to some of the more notable vineyards in the Maipu area. We have a longer post for CarinaE, Casa el Enemigo and Familia Zuccardi in another post.
RP50 2668, Maipu Mendoza, Argentina
Under the direction of the master winemaker, María Isabel Mijares, Bodega SinFin produces three major wines: Guarda de Familia, Gran Guarda and Guarda.
Videla Aranda 3001, Maipu, Mendoza, Argentina
This was a very cute place. The husband and wife sold everything they had in France and moved here to own and operate this small vineyard. Madeline and I visited the vineyard and met the owners. I could still speak a little French which Madame appreciated.
They had a couple of family dogs and you can see me carrying my purchase of wine and finding time to pet one of them. You can read more of our trip in our post about CarinaE. If you are an astronomer, you might recognize the name CarinaE.
This is one of the oldest wine regions in Mendoza, Maipu and a visit to this winery and home is very personal as you can tour the restored winery and visitor center with the owners.
Casa el Enemigo
Videla Aranda 7008, M5519 Maipu, Mendoza, Argentina
This vineyard is located in the town of Chachingo, the heart of the department of Maipu. Madeline and I visited the vineyard and enjoyed a tasting. We also had lunch here. The food and wine here were very good.
We met the owner, Alejandro Vigil, who is also the master vintner at Catena Zapata. His wife runs the restaurant where you can enjoy lunch, dinner and special tastings.
Ruta Prov 33 km 7,5, M5531, Maipu Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
Madeline and I visited this winery and enjoyed our visit. Zuccardi is one of the most successful family-run wineries in Argentina. It is a family business as the vineyard name would indicate.
The vineyard was founded in 1963 by Alberto Zuccardi. He planted his vines in Maipu and modeled his irrigation system on one he had seen in California. Today there are three generations worked for the family business. Both Jose Alberto and Sebastian Zuccardi were recognized in 2007 as one of the five most influence personalities in Argentine wine.
Calle Nueva Mayorga s/n, M5513 Maipu, Mendoza, Argentina
The history of Trapiche began in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche is regarded as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless-steel tanks.
Monte Caseros 2625, M5522 Coquimbito, Maipu, Mendoza, Argentina
This large historical winery makes one of Argentina’s best-known labels – Rutini wines. The winery was originally founded by Felipe Rutini, an Italian who came to Argentina in 1885. In 1945, one of the Rutini sons dreamed of opening a wine museum and began collecting wine artifacts. Thirty years later his nephew realized this vision, founding the Museo del Vino, which showcases over 5,000 winemaking and viticulture relics that highlight the region’s wine heritage.
The museum displays the antique machinery, cooperage tools, horse carts and carriages, antique presses and other items that depict the evolution of winemaking in Mendoza.
BPS, Moreno 572, M5504 Maipu, Provincia de Mendoza, Argentina
This is a popular winery for tourists travelling by bicycle so expect to see young people enjoying the ever-present warm sun on their gorgeous terrace which sits right above the vineyards and orchard of olive trees.
You have some great choices of vineyards and tastings in the Maipu valley, near Mendoza, Argentina. Hopefully this post will help you plan your next destination vacation.