It’s no secret that Argentina and Chile are home to some of the world’s most breathtaking and varied landscapes, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that the soil from those landscapes is as fertile as it is stunning.
Both countries produce bold and flavorful wines that gain more notoriety each year, and tasting them in the center of where they’re made is as easy as taking a two hour flight from Buenos Aires or driving just outside of Santiago!
Whether it’s trying Torrontés in Cafayate or comparing subtle differences in Malbecs from Colchagua and Luján de Cuyo, there is something for every wine drinker in the history, passion, and process of winemaking in South America.
♦ Mendoza, Argentina
Maipú – Just south of the city of Mendoza in Maipú is the Familia Zuccardi bodega, a small family-owned winery offering visitors an intimate chance to take part in the winemaking process. After a guided tour through the cellars, wine-lovers can help with the harvest, take a wine-tasting course, or even tour the estate in a hot air balloon!
Luján de Cuyo – Experience the best that Argentina’s first delineated appellation has to offer with a stay at Entre Cielos in Luján de Cuyo. The 16-room luxury hotel sits on 20 acres of rolling countryside near the northern banks of the Mendoza River. Guests can induldge in vinotherapy, Hamam spa treatments and the tastes of robust Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay that the region is known for.
♦ Cafayate, Salta, Argentina
Cafayate in the heart of the Calchaquíes Valley is Argentina’s second most popular wine region. It’s high altitude and intense sunlight cause grapes to grow thicker skins, making a delectable white wine special to the region called Torrontés. A visit to bodega El Esteco, where you can sip Torrontés and Malbec to a dramatic backdrop of the red-capped Andes, is a perfect day trip from Salta.
♦ Buenos Aires, Argentina
Since the writing of this article, we regret to inform you that Anuva Wines has closed down!
When Dan Karlin moved to Buenos Aires he realized that not every traveler had time to include Mendoza and the other wine destinations in South America in their itineraries, so he brought the bodega to Buenos Aires. His tasting room, Anuva Wines, in Palermo Soho features boutique wines from family-run bodegas from all over Argentina. Anuva’s experienced sommeliers break the common mold of stuffy wine tastings with their friendly demeanor and rich knowledge-base.
♦ Santiago Wine Valley, Chile
Maipo – Not to be confused with Argentina’s Maipù, Maipo is a historic Chilean wine region with plants dating back to the Spanish conquistadors. Only 45 minutes from Santiago, Latin America’s largest wine producer, Concha y Toro, is the perfect place to learn about the “bold but elegant” Cabernet-based wines that define the region. Tours include walks through the winery’s gardens where vines planted by the founder in 1883 are still growing.
Colchagua – 2 ½ hours from Santiago on the southern border of the Rapel Valley, Colchagua is known for it’s “full-bodied” Carménère, Syrah, and Malbec and is applauded as one of Chile’s most exquisite wine regions. There is no shortage of wineries to visit in Colchagua and after learning all about the region’s grapes we recommend stopping in the Colchagua Museum to see one of Latin America’s most impressive collections of pre-hispanic art.