South America has made wine since the 1500s – Spanish Conquistadors introduced the very first vines and Franciscan monks produced it for religious purposes from Mission grapes, before the viticulture movement made its way over to Peru and then to Chile. Today, the wine industry here is simply thriving. Discover the finest source of well-priced, excellent quality varietal wines on this tour. Join us in February and experience for yourself why South America continues to hold its own on the world wine map.
The arts are held in high regard in both Chile and Argentina, with the latter having a rich literary history and the former a more artistic one. In both of these places, Spanish is the main language spoken by the population and food is a very important part of every day life.
Known for its legendary steak, Argentina is an exciting destination for anyone with a love of food. Try a little chimichurri, a well-loved condiment; sample a portable meal in the form of an empanada; or experience the well-seasoned seafood Chile prides itself on.
From a winery established back in 1996 by Baron Philippe de Rothschild to stunning vintages that are expressive of typical Chilean terroir, we sample an array of delicious wines on this tour. Taste wine made from ancient vines, biodynamic wines and more.
We depart from London and take an overnight flight to Santiago, Chile’s vibrant capital city.
Upon arrival, we check into our 5* hotel and enjoy our first tastings of Chilean wines together.
We have a leisurely start to the day and our first visit is in the Maipo region, very near to Santiago. This area is reputed to produce some of Chile’s finest reds. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec are the prominent grapes here as well as small amounts of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. We will enjoy lunch at the winery before returning to Santiago this afternoon. Dinner is not included this evening, but, as always, you are welcome to join our staff.
We start our day at Antiyal, home of the revered winemaker Alvaro Espinoza and family. We stop for lunch here and learn more about the fascinating biodynamic production. Later, we have free time in the small, but busy town of Santa Cruz. Still considered to be a little off the mainstream tourist trail, this area gives us an authentic taste of Chilean life and having experienced the modern city of Santiago, we now relax in a more rustic stay for the next two nights.
A visit to the fabulous Montes winery is first on our itinerary this morning. Designed with key Feng Shui principles in mind, its producer is one of the superstars of the Chilean wine scene. Later, there will be an optional visit to the observatory, before we return to our lodgings for the remainder of the evening.
Our morning begins with a decadent visit to Cono Sur, which is a winery based in the Colchagua Valley. They own two separate wineries and one of them is dedicated solely to their Pinot Noir production. Then, we transfer to the colourful and poetic seaside port city of Valparaiso. Known for its boutique hotels and excellent cuisine, this artistic city is the ideal location from which to enjoy the sea breeze that gives Chile its perfect wine-making climate.
We discover the family-owned, biodynamic Matetic Vineyards before paying a visit to Casa Marin in San Antonio. This winery is owned by the dynamic Maria Luz Marin, who concentrates on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, and vinifies both in very different styles. During our visit, we will also enjoy a delicious on-site lunch.
Today will be spent in Valparaiso at our leisure and there will be ample time to discover fantastic local restaurants, purchase some souvenirs or perhaps do some shopping.
This morning, we embark upon a stunning journey across the Andes. Our route will be a breathtaking one, through a gorge hugged by snow-capped mountains where we may be able to observe condors soaring about the peak of Aconcagua. As we make our way through this region, we will stop for lunch at the border and also enjoy an indulgent tasting. After some free time in the evening, we will unwind at our 5* hotel in Mendoza.
Discover the small, family-run estate of Cassone this morning, which produces a limited range of wines made from superb (and ancient) vines. After our tour of this winery, we spend leisure time in Mendoza before making our way to Familia Zuccardi. Upon our arrival, we will be treated to dinner at the estate along with a tasting session where we can sample its amazing wines.
Today there will be a wine visit in Mendoza before a relaxing evening spent at leisure, giving us the chance to unwind and simply enjoy our surroundings.
Described by Decanter as “the heart and soul of the Uco Valley”, Bodega Salentein is our destination today. Take in this winery at a relaxed pace, sampling its vintages, walking among its grounds and learning about the wines it produces. The evening will be free to spend as we wish.
Still in the Uco Valley, we stop at O’Fournier and spend time with this family-run company. They have built a gravity-fed winery and are currently producing an award-winning range of wines. Afterwards, we stop at Clos de los Siete, the ambitious project of four French winemakers and a winery that utilises Bordeaux-style wine-making.
After a relaxed start to our morning, we catch a flight from Mendoza to Buenos Aires and gather together for our farewell dinner in the evening, where we raise a toast to the fantastic experience this tour has given us.
We catch our return flight home and arrive back into London the following morning.
Beverley is an independent writer, professional wine judge and educator, who has travelled extensively both visiting and writing about the vineyards of the world. Author of ‘Teach Yourself Wine Tasting’ and ‘Biodynamics in Wine’, she also leads wine courses in London and wine holidays in France and South America. She is one of only 370 Masters of Wine in the world, passing the notoriously rigorous exams on her first attempt. When not travelling and tasting, Beverley enjoys nothing more than enthusing others with her passion for the world’s greatest drink.
*For UK bookings only