The name Mendoza means "cold mountain", derived from the Basque words mendi (mountain) and (h)otz (cold) + definite article '-a' (Mendoza being mendi+(h)otza). The original Basque form with an affricate sibilant (/ts/, Basque spelling /tz/) evolved in Spanish to the current form.
Originally the noble family line bearing the surname was based in the castle of the same name, not far from Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, where it still stands out. However, one of the family branches comes from Laudio, 50 km away to the northwest from Vitoria-Gasteiz. The family got involved in the medieval bloody War of the Clans. Not only that, the house of Mendoza set up close ties with Castile since the High Middle Ages, with its members participating in their civil wars and the Castilian expansion south. They got wider renown after their involvement in the conquest of America after 1492.
In Erandio, a baserri exists with the same name. Its original name "mendotza" developed to "mendontze" in the 1890s, "mendoche" in the 1920s, "mendotxe" in the 1980s to the restored original of "mendotza" being the current.
The Province of Mendoza (Spanish pronunciation:[menˈdosa]) is a province of Argentina, located in the western central part of the country in the Cuyo region. It borders to the north with San Juan, the south with La Pampa and Neuquén, the east with San Luis, and to the west with the republic of Chile; the international limit is marked by the Andes mountain range. Its capital city is the homonymous city of Mendoza.
Covering an area of 148.827km², it is the seventh biggest province of Argentina with 5.35% of the country's total surface. The population for 2010 is 1,741,610 inhabitants, which makes it the fourth largest populated province of the country, or 4.35% of the total national population.
Archeological studies have determined that the first inhabitants in the area date from the Holocene, but there are few remains of those people to know their habits. The earliest sites of human occupation in Mandoza Province, Agua de la Cueva and Gruta del Indio, are 12-13,000 years old. On the basin of the Atuel River, in 300 BC lived a group of people that lived from hunting, and the cultivation of maize, pumpkins and beans. Those valleys saw the rise of the Agrelo culture, antecesor of the Huarpes. They received influences of the Inca empire during the 15th century. Oral tradition sets the arrival of the Inca Túpac Yupanqui to Coquimbo by 1470.