Found my tickets, and we flew into Mendoza from Buenos Aires on Feb 18th and took the bus over the Andes to Santiago on the 21st.
Just checked out a few websites and it seems that the real REAL Wine Festival starts on the first Saturday of March.
Still, there was plenty going on in town when we were there, with food stalls, wine tasting, outdoor barbecues in the main plaza (have a great pic of the chef dripping fag ash and sweat on an uncooked beef carcase as he was trimming it before sticking it on the barbecue rack), local arts and craft stalls (some stuff was mighty good), local and national Argentinian bands playing outdoors in the main Plaza on a warm evening and the weather was ideal (about 21-25 degrees every day).
Know a great and cheap outdoor pizza restaurant around the main plaza where a big feed and a LARGE beer (Quilmes) cost about $7 Australian (about 3 british quid?).
I believe it's a very University city, cause most of the population seems to be in their early twenties.
Anyway, you should really enjoy Mendoza.
Are you doing Iguazu Falls? We were gob-smacked when we saw them.
When we go back to SA, we will do Iguazu to Salta (train in the clouds) then bus to San Pedro de Atacama in north-eastern Chile then the 4 day 4 wheel drive to Uyuni in Bolivia then Potosi and Sucre and back to La Paz.(or perhaps the route in reverse). We want to do the crazy bike ride down the dangerous mountain road.
So so much to see and experience in SA.