Far from the sacred soils of Bordeaux, across the Atlantic, there is a rich tapestry of fine vintners gracing the vast continent of South America. The wines from this corner of the world are imbued with the fiery passions of the people who live there. Here the grapes are raised in a place where conquistadors once roamed, and where a dazzling panoply of human drama has spilled over for centuries. While France dominates the European wine scene of the Old World, South America has the oldest and richest winemaking history in the New World, making it a destination not to be overlooked by any serious wine connoisseur. However, even the most casual wine enthusiast can benefit greatly from a visit to this sunny corner of the world.
Living in this technological age where nearly everything is available at the click of a button, one could always order all the South American wines they wish; but for those with the traveler’s spirit, you can’t beat actually going there. Wine tourism is immensely popular, and for good reason. Should you make a trip of it, you can arrange for tours of the many breathtaking vineyards of the region, not to mention the other attractions.
Our focus here will be on Argentina, the region’s largest and most well-known winemaking nation that produces incredible wine using the waters of the mountains to irrigate its fields and grow grapes that can rival the finest fruits of French soils. Situated on the east side of the mighty Andes mountain range, Argentina’s overall climate is quite Andean, making it perfect for wine. The vineyards of the north share the same altitude as Morocco, and the southern vineyards match that of New Zealand, making for unique growing conditions. The benefit this gives to the region’s fine wines cannot be understated. The grape varieties used in Argentine wines range from the more classical Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, to the more exotic, Bonarda, Tempranillo, Torrontes, and Malbec. (WineWeb)
While Argentina has a reputation for wine as a whole, the most important place to visit by far is the region of Mendoza. Mendoza is the heart of the Argentinian wine world, and it is definitely worth the trip. You can arrange for wine tours throughout the region.
When planning the perfect wine tour, there are many options to choose from, however, a good starting place would be a trip to the vineyards of Lujan de Cuyo, right in the heart of Mendoza wine country. This can be arranged through Trout and Wine, who will equip you with an English-speaking guide to take you through a dazzling array of the many vineyards that grace the countryside. Among the vineyards you will enjoy is the Renacer Winery, a modern winery sure to please those with contemporary taste. For the more classically-minded connoisseur, Alta Vista will give you a taste of the Old World. Alta Vista is steeped in French winemaking traditions and is a frequent winner of international blind red wine tastings.
After sampling the region’s many fine wines, you can retire in ultimate comfort and stay for four nights at a wine lodge run by Trout and Wine. The atmosphere is sublime, and the deal is amazing with the fourth night free. (TroutandWine)
You will also find yourself feeling rather famished after drinking and trekking through the sun-soaked countryside. Fortunately, the same region that has been revolutionizing the wine industry and wine drinking experience is also cultivating its own distinct cuisine that is as formidable as it is delicious.
Be sure to stop at Urban, one of the region’s most promising and revolutionary eating establishments. Here the chefs are crafting extraordinary and exotic dishes from local ingredients, bringing the country’s flavor to life and to your plate. Urban’s contemporary flare is coupled with the curious contrast of the century-old manor it is attached to. Here. the past meets the present and conspires with the future. When you leave your footprints behind on the twisting trails from vineyard to vineyard, you will leave a part of yourself in the storied soils – and, in doing so, part of you will be in the wines of the future. It is a place to relax and let yourself slip back in time, or look ahead into the country’s bright future – a future you can be a part of.
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