A wine tour to Argentina and Chile is very much about passion and enthusiasm. It is spectacular and remote wine regions. A wonderful gastronomy. Welcoming people. But it is also an opportunity to explore the cities: Buenos Aires, Santiago, Valparaiso. BKWine’s new wine tour and gourmet tour to Chile and Argentina has been launched.
Tango on the Pampas, Valparaiso, Andean peaks… There is much more than wine that attracts in South America. But the wine also tempts of course! Since a few decades back, both Chilean and Argentine wines have reached world-class. Both countries have also a genuine food culture, their own gastronomic traditions. All this you will experience on the newly launched wine tour to Chile and Argentina.
The wine region of Mendoza is impressive. The vineyards are often vast. The wineries are often very modern. The choice of wine types and of grape varieties is sometimes unexpected. It is actually not at all so that the wine country Argentina is completely dominated by the rich and intense Malbec grape. Here there is a great variety of both red and white wines.
However, one should not be misled into thinking that everything here is a question of volume wines produced in wineries. In fact, it is almost the opposite. There is a lot of pioneering spirit and a lot of entrepreneurs. Wine entrepreneurs.
When we were in Mendoza on our most recent wine tour we started with a lunch in a winery that was not even completed, Bodegas Krontiras. Raw concrete here and there and everywhere. It was created just a few years ago by a Greek entrepreneur and is constructed according to biodynamic principles. We sat in the shade and had in front of us the empty, newly built pool and behind us we had the shiny fermentation tanks in stainless steel.
On the table was a whole series of wines of different grape varieties and different vintages (to the extent it existed – the bodega is new!). We were probably the first visitors here. It was not easy to find, and our driver had a lot of challenges on the dusty gravel road.
But it was worth it. Homemade delicacies, empanadas to start with. Grilled meat of many kinds. Blood sausage, exciting and unusual taste. Corn (maize) dishes. Ripe, succulent fruits. Mendoza is also a great fruit growing region. And so on. Everything prepared here and cooked in front of us on a large open fire.
A lovely start of the wine tour!
What followed was many winery visits on the trip, first in Argentina, then in Chile. All completely different. All with a fantastic reception, many exciting wines, people and gastronomic adventures.
But before we arrived in the Mendoza wine district we had a few days in Buenos Aires. If you travel this far you want to be sure to see as much as possible, so a few days to discover the great city of Buenos Aires was of course planned. Just as we in Chile explored Santiago. And of course Valparaiso. Somehow Valparaiso is almost mythological, so is a must! It is a special and remarkable city, built on hills. A rough and rustic seaport city, certainly, but also beautiful. And surprising.
Surprising is also what one can say about one of the last winery visits.
The second half of the journey is in Chile. We travel to Chile by bus over the Andes. That alone is an experience that is worth a trip! An incredibly spectacular route over the mountains. But in a very comfortable bus of course.
But to the winery visit in Chile. We went to visit a Norwegian (!) winery created by someone who had decided to make South America’s best wine, Alexander Vik at Viña Vik. Well, he has enough money to actually achieve his goal of making the best wine.
Again, there was a lot of rough concrete. The winery had just been completed shortly before the 2014 harvest. Everything constructed with great attention to the environment and to nature. We had a great tasting in the barrel cellar of all the different grape varieties that they use. They make just one wine, not a range as many others, a “Bordeaux blend”, so to taste the varieties separately is a unique experience. And then of course the finished blend.
The fact that we ended the visit high on a hilltop with expansive views, with an amazing meal prepared on-site made it no less special. As they said, “this is the first time we receive visitors in this way.”
Read more about Viña Vik on BKWine Magazine: Viña Vik vineyards, splendour and magnificence in Chile.
Between the first and the last visit there were of course many other visits. All unique. All genuine and very personal. And memorable.
The wine tour to Chile and Argentina: A journey that begins in Buenos Aires, then goes to Mendoza, and its wineries, continues across the Andes, to Chile’s wine regions, including Santiago and Valparaiso. With the return flight from Santiago. Also with plenty of lazy time to by the pool, if you want, drinking pisco sour (a must) and just having a good time.
A memory for life!
And next year’s wine tour to South America will of course be even better.
The new program: Our next wine tour and gourmet tour to Chile and Argentina in South America will be in March 2015.