Since Several years Argentina has become the fastest growing producer and exporter of wines in the New World. The most famous grape in Argentina in terms of reputation and quantity is Malbec. Malbec grape was imported in the mid 19th century from France, Bordeaux.

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Mendoza, Mendoza Province, Argentina
8 H
Instead of taking the classic route, we invite you to explore less traditional territories. You’ll get the chance to discover wineries that are only visited by a few, and enjoy your ... morelunch in small eateries with typical cuisine. We are committed to feature experiences that are unique and also offer the least known options.
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Salta, Salta Province, Argentina
7 Days, 6 Nights
This trip will take you through high deserts, dense forests, mountains, and valleys, as you go "off the grid" and cruise extensively into northwest Argentina. You will taste wine and ... moresample cuisine made from ancient recipes and techniques. Hikes and bike rides will take you to regions of Argentina that are rarely explored. You will get a chance to ride through the red rock formations of la Quebrada de las Conchas, and the National Park Los Cardones as you hike through ancient villages, salt flats, and vineyards. This excursion is tailored to introduce you to the rich culture of northwest Argentina through genuine cuisine and thrilling adventure.

Tour Highlights:

Salta is found in north-western Argentina with its roots neighboring Peru and the cities of Lima and Arequipa than to Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. Enquire from us before you book for domestic flights to Salta, where the trip commences, to avoid long transfers between airports. You will arrive in Buenos Aires at the international airport, which is separate from the domestic airport. The air in Salta is different, both because the blend of people and culture is different: British, Spanish, Andean, Italian, and Lebanese all blended in one, and also because of the Andes geography. The adorable town of Salta is famous its eclectic architecture, amazing terrains, and rich folk history.

What you need to know:

Allow time to change airports as domestic flights to Salta is not included.

Once you arrive at Salta airport you are welcomed and transferred to the first hotel to begin the tour.

This is a hiking and biking excursion at elevation.

A 2-day extension from Salta is made available, though rates vary to conform with participation

Duration of the tour is 6 days / 7 nights

This trip is a guided excursion with inclusive support transportation. Couples and individuals can make reservations for detailed departure dates. Private groups of more than 6 individuals can make a request for custom dates.


Day 1 - Arrival in Salta
Your tour commences in the lovely colonial city of Salta. You will be met by your host at the Salta airport who will provide you with a transfer to your hotel which is based 15 minutes from the airport. You will freshen up and rest. There are optional afternoon activities which include a spa treatment, a stroll through the city, or horseback riding. You will enjoy an evening on the veranda and discover the wines of Argentina during the briefing of your tour. Afterward, you will be introduced to the special tradition of asado-style barbecue. You will be served Dinner inclusive.

Day 2 – Salta, Cachi.
After breakfast, you will leave your hotel for an hour-long drive towards Escoipe via route 33. This drive up the Cuesta del Obispo is heavenly and the experience makes a remarkable gain in altitude. Once you arrive, you will receive your bikes and start the spectacular ride through National Park Los Cardones on your way into the Calchaquí Valley. You will enjoy lunch at a farm serving exclusive domestic produce at their restaurant, the la Sala de Payogasta. In the afternoon, you will proceed to Cachi where you will check in to your hotel. It is worth exploring the small shops in town, famous for sun-dried fruits and local spices! You will be served Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner inclusive.

Day 3 – Cachi, Adentro, Molinos.
You will start the day off in style as you participate in an early morning hike throughout the small agriculture plots in Cachi Adentro. You will take breakfast back at your hotel, then enjoy the picturesque drive to Colome winery. You will arrive at the winery just in time for a late lunch cooked with ingredients from their biodynamic orchard accompanied with a tasting of exceptional local wines from the vineyard. Afterward, you will explore the James Turrell Museum. Night accommodation will be at Hacienda de Molinos, where you will get the chance to enjoy fresh, simple, local food coupled with wines from nearby vineyards and farms. You will be served Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner inclusive.

Day 4 – Molinos, Cafayate.
You will begin the day with a drive from Molinos to Cafayate, as you stop along the way to explore local farmers who use olden irrigation methods for their crops. These pre-Hispanic procedures have been used by farmers in the valley for over 500 years. Presently, their methods comprise both Andean and Spanish tradition. You will tour the local farmers at Red de Turismo Campesino and afterward arrive in Cafayate where your hotel is located in the early afternoon. The hotel is snuggled in a vineyard where the wine for dinner later in the night originates. You will be served Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner inclusive.

Day 5 – Cafayate.
The day involves a hike through the vineyards in the Cafayate territory where you will learn why the grapes grown here are so special. You will tour a small winery that produced the initial Torrontés grapes fizzy wine. This family-run estate also produces raisins, sun-dried tomatoes, and other dried fruits using ancient methods. Afterward, you will tour Piattelli vineyards for lunch. Pitattelli winery is an ultra-modern facility that incorporates state-of-the-art technology into their techniques, in contrast to the family-owned estate. In the afternoon, you will enjoy and traverse this strikingly stunning premises. Dinner will be served at a compact restaurant in town, where you will be able to enjoy pairings of regional wines and local foods. You will have an option to experience how to make your own wine! You will be served Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner inclusive.

Day 6 – Cafayate, Salta.
The day starts off with a good breakfast, and the highlight of the day is the bike ride through the marvelous red rock formations of la Quebrada de las Conchas. You will have enough time to take photos. After the ride, you will enjoy lunch at a local goat cheese farm, the Pousada La Posta de las Cabras. Afterward, you will have a 90-minute drive which will bring you to Salta, to your hotel. You will relax in the afternoon as you explore the main square and the High Mountain Archaeological Museum (MAAM), where you will understand more about the region. You will be served Breakfast, and Lunch inclusive.

Day 7 - Extension or Departure.
Once you take your breakfast, the regular tour program is concluded. We culminate the tour by saying 'adios' and drive you to the Salta airport. Alternatively, you can opt to add on a two-day, 1-night extension to head north to the Quebrada de Humahuaca locality where you will learn more about breeding llamas for wool and meat, how Andean food is produced, as well how salt is harvested on Salinas Grandes. This territory also has some small-scale upcoming vineyards that produce a very distinct wine, due to its altitude as well as the colder weather compared to the Calchaqui Valley.

Optional extension itinerary: Day 7 – Salta - Purmamarca
You will depart in the morning on a 25-minute transfer on your way to the town of La Caldera a mini town from here you will bike towards the Royal Road or ‘Camino Real’ which connected Buenos Aires in Argentina Lima, to Peru during colonial times. From La Caldera, you will bike north following a mountain road under a green shade of a cloud forest, the Yungas. We will end the ride at La Cienaga from where we will shift north for 1 hour in the direction of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, for a light lunch in the mini-village of Purmamarca. We will Freshen up and tour the small town. In the evening we will enjoy a special dinner cooked by chef Sergio Latorre.

Day 8 – Salinas Grandes – Salta
In the morning we will drive up the Cuesta de Lipan towards the Andes into the Altiplano (Puna). We will reach Salinas Grandes, our destination, where we will meet workers from the native community of Pozo Colorado. We will tour the salt flats with the locals, stroll with llamas, and have a lunch with locally produced wine and food. Afterward, we will return to the hotel for a late checkout and drive you to Salta airport.
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Mendoza, Mendoza Province, Argentina
9 Days
While we love all of South America, traveling to the wine areas of Chile and Argentina is special. The cuisine is delectable and unique, the vineyards and landscapes are breathtaking, ... moreand the wineries are world class. Heading for a late dinner in the hip city of Mendoza, engaging in conversation with a Chilean winemaker, or simply saying “hola!” to the many locals we meet on our activities, reminds you that South Americans seem to have a proper balance to their lives, with friends, family, and fun co-existing with work.

This Taste Vacation takes us to the major wine areas in both Chile and Argentina. Both countries are captivating destinations for wine lovers, with an astounding range of landscapes, grape varietals and micro-climates. In Chile, we visit the Maipo, Apalta, Colchagua, Casablanca, and Aconcagua wine valleys. In Argentina, we visit the famed wine-producing areas near Mendoza: Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu, and the up-and-coming Uco Valley.

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 
We meet at our Santiago hotel at noon and begin our experience together in Chile with a chef-guided exploratory tour of the city’s La Vega market and Mercado Central (one of the top food markets in the world), which feature numerous local food and seafood vendors and restaurants, and is an excellent place to peruse the area’s freshest ingredients for cooking. From there, we will take our purchases and head to a private kitchen, where the real fun begins!

Together, we will create authentic Chilean dishes. Once we have finished cooking, we will feast on our creations – and our food, of course, will be complemented by delicious Chilean wines. We’ll return to our hotel in the early evening where you’ll have time to rest up and then explore a bit on your own tonight if you like. 

DAY 2 
After breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel and begin our travels south, ultimately arriving in the town of Santa Cruz. Along the way, we will visit Vina Undurraga, in the Maipo Valley south of Santiago. Undurraga is one of the most prestigious and longest-operating wineries in Chile.

We’ll also enjoy a tasting and country-style Chilean cuisine at the 100% family-owned Casa Silvaestate. You will have your first views of the most highly decorated wine valley in Chile — the Colchagua Valley — also known as the “Napa” of Chile. Additionally, we’ll be treated to views of the surrounding Andes Mountains, the vineyards, and the estate’s polo field!

After checking into our beautiful hotel among the vines this afternoon, you can relax poolside a bit before dinner.

DAY 3 
After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll have the option to visit the incredible Colchagua Anthropological Museum (a unique museum considered to be the most important in Chile by many).

Our first winery visit today will take us to the beautiful Apalta Valley. Here, surrounded by breathtaking steep hillsides and panoramic views, rests the venerable Montes winery owned by Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray. We’re not sure which is more spectacular: the wines or the winery’s tranquil setting and verdant design.

Next we’ll take you to Clos Apalta for lunch (and, of course, wine), a winery that produced what Wine Spectator Magazine named the Wine of the Year in 2008. Owned by the Lapostolle’ family, there is not a more picture perfect and architecturally stunning winery in all of the Apalta Valley. (They were also featured on the cover of Wine Enthusiast’s March 2015 issue for their Clos Apalta 2011.)

Tonight’s dinner is at one of the many wonderful local restaurants.

DAY 4 
We drive north from Santa Cruz this morning, toward the cooler Casablanca Valley, several hours to the north. This stretch of land nearer to the coast has become Chile’s top white wine region.

Our first stop will be just south of lovely and vibrant small town of Casablanca, where we will enjoy a relaxing wine-pairing lunch at a local winery. We came all this way to taste wine, didn’t we? Of course, we did! So we will have another short tasting at one of the other wineries – perhaps at Emiliana, which focuses on biodynamic practices, or Veramonte, whose facility is built for small-lot wine production to allow individual vineyard blocks to be fermented and aged separately prior to final blending, which in turn allows winemakers to produce vineyard-expressive wines. Then it is on to the coast and the seaside town of Viña del Mar, where our hotel is right on the ocean.

Tonight’s dinner is on your own — if you are up for more exploration, we recommend taking a taxi to Valparaiso, just a few minutes away. Otherwise, there are plenty of great options right out the door of the hotel. In either case, you’ll fall asleep listening to the crashing waves below.

DAY 5 
After a relaxing morning near the ocean, we move to our final (and prettiest, we think!) wine valley visit in Chile: the Aconcagua.

Our first stop will be a visit to Vina Von Siebenthal, with a tasting of their eloquent wines led by the lovely Soledad. With a backdrop of the snow-capped Andes and the fresh spring vines spread out in front of us, you will wonder if you will ever see a prettier vineyard!

Dinner tonight is at a private wine estate and our husband (winemaker) and wife (chef) hosts will ensure it will be one of the trip’s most memorable.

DAY 6 
After breakfast, we visit Viña San Esteban, where Maria Jose will lead us through a blending course and where you will make your very own cuvee’. Be warned, if you don’t like your wine, you can blame the winemaker – yourself! Afterwards, we depart Los Andes and head south toward Santiago to catch our flight over the Andes Mountains to Argentina and the vibrant, exciting city of Mendoza, which is surrounded by hundreds of wineries. (This flight is estimated to cost $400 — we will purchase this for you and include this cost in your invoice). From the plane, we just might see the impressive Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas!

We will head directly downtown to check in our hotel next to the main square of Mendoza. We purposely give you a little free time this afternoon for exploring on your own. Tonight, we have an over-the-top dinner with wine (and perhaps a cigar, if you’re so inclined) at Cavo de Cano. You have never seen so many plates of wonderful food on one table, we guarantee it!

DAY 7 
Today we head south to visit the wine-producing region of the Uco Valley, the highest-altitude vineyards in the province, with the massive dormant volcano Tupungato staring down at us! Our first stop is at Bodegas Salentein. This cross-shaped building was made as a tribute to the Jesuit missionaries who settled here in the 16th century.

Next, we head over to the private vineyards and luxurious resort at The Vines of Mendoza, which is also home to Siete Fuegos, a restaurant of internationally acclaimed chef Francis Mallman. Mallman creates inspired regional dishes that showcase Argentina’s famous beef. Our late lunch here has us looking out at the snow-capped peaks of the Andes while we sip on their private label wines – a true oasis in the desert.

We will return you to our hotel in the late afternoon, where the rest of the afternoon and dinner is on your own (if you still have room for it). We recommend the lively Aristides Street, where you can get a big helping of Mendocino culture and join the locals as they live it up.

We begin our day with a comparative Malbec tasting in the wine area outside Mendoza of Lujan de Cuyo. Malbec is Argentina’s “signature” wine (as much as Carmenere is Chile’s) and is a rich, chewy wine with many fruity tones – comparing similar wines like this helps isolate the smaller differences. A trio of Malbecs, made by the same producer, in the same year, from different vineyards will end up with similarities in the flavors and aromas but can help the taste buds recognize the subtle differences when directly compared.

Afterward, we will have a multi-course lunch with wine at a different winery. Mendoza’s three wine areas are home to close to a thousand wineries, with new ones rising to fame all the time, so we often wait to see what is new and hot before deciding exactly where to go this day. Later this afternoon, you can partake in a siesta, or explore the very walkable neighborhood near our hotel on your own.

Tonight, we have a farewell dinner in Mendoza. It’s time to share your wine country adventures and stories over a glass of your favorite varietal(s), a wonderful meal, and great company!

After a restful last night in the hotel, we will say our goodbyes on this final day of our Taste Vacation, depart for the airport, or continue on to your own South American wine journey!

Tour Accommodations
Night 1: Solace Santiago – Perfectly situated in the tree-lined and beautiful Providencia neighborhood of Santiago, this five-star hotel has comfortable rooms and amenities.

Nights 2 & 3: Hotel Santa Cruz Plaza – We spend two nights at this elegant five-star property with beautiful colonial rooms. Located right on the main square of Santa Cruz, the main wine town of Chile. Santa Cruz is in the Colchagua Valley, three hours south of Santiago.

Night 4: Atton San Martin – Our rooms have an ocean view and we love falling asleep listening to the crashing waves below. After traveling through the Casablanca Valley, which produces many white grape varietals because of its cooler weather, we’ll end up in the upscale town of Viña del Mar, just up the coast from Valparaiso.

Night 5: Inca Hotel – Our final night in Chile we spend at a simple, yet comfortable hotel in Los Andes, a fun market town in the Aconcagua Valley on the way to Argentina.

Nights 6, 7, & 8: Diplomatic Hotel – This five-star property, located just a few blocks from Plaza de la Independencia is, without a doubt, one of the premier places to stay in town. Mendoza is surrounded by the largest wine-producing area in Latin America.
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Mendoza, Mendoza Province, Argentina
8 H
Join our regional cooking classes and discover the secrets of the local typical food. You’ll always be supervised by a chef, who will help you learn how to cook Argentinian dishes ... moreas you enjoy diverse products from Mendoza: olive oils and wines.