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Mendoza, Argentina: Latin America’s largest winemaking region.

If escaping the winter chill by heading to the southern hemisphere is your thing, you may want to visit Mendoza, at the heart of the area where Argentina’s signature red wine, Malbec, is produced.

Located around 600 miles west of Buenos Aires, the city has wonderful restaurants and places to stay, ranging from boutique hotels to chains like the Park Hyatt and the Sheraton, reports the New York Times.

Most of the better wineries are located 30 minutes to two hours away, so rent a car and enjoy a tour of the wineries and a tasting session. Many also offer accommodation if you fear you may not be up to the drive back.

Try the seven-course tasting menu at the Familia Zuccardi winery (casadelvisitante.com.ar.) in nearby Maipú, which includes six glasses of sommelier-chosen wines, excellent value for around £29. Alternatively eat in town at the Azafrán (bve.com.ar), near the Plaza de la Independencia, then walk to the Hyatt Hotel (mendoza.park.hyatt.com), which boasts one of Mendoza’s best wine bars by its pool. An Argentinian-American company, Vines of Mendoza, in an effort to promote wine tourism, selects 100 of the best wines from the region and brings them to the tasting room and vinoteca it has created at the Hyatt. Visitors can sample a large number of Argentinian wines in one place.

Although you’ll see much state-of-the-art technology in many of the wineries, Mendoza is still laid back and has an old world feel. Visit before this changes: Argentinian wine exports are growing by 25% a year and millions of dollars are being invested in the area (Moët & Chandon have facilities there).

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