Craft your Journey

The Apex of Argentine Wine


“I dream up the wine, in the middle of the vineyard before I make it.” – Roberto Cipresso


While Achaval Ferrer sits enviably high up on the pyramid of international wine standard, the science and philosophy that put it there are humbly rooted in the ground. The Mendoza winery was the first in Argentina to score a rating of 96 points with the prestigious Wine Spectator, and it went on to make their Top 100 Wine List of the world (2010 edition). Despite such big accolades, Achaval Ferrer Winery is actually one of the smallest in Mendoza, the region where two thirds of Argentina´s wine is produced. “Low yields, significant thermal gradients (warm days, cool nights), poor alluvial soils, low rainfall, high altitude and the pure Andes irrigation water, all work together to mature grapes that can be transformed into complex, deep and structured wines.” They say.


It is soberingly obvious that passion is the driving force behind the team who produce Achaval Ferrer wines, and this is evident not just in the exceptional quality, but the minimal quantity. “We want them to show a sense of place, of the land that gave them birth. The road to this goal is very low yields.” The vineyards produce on average just 800 kilos of grapes per acre, working out to be around 1 bottle per vine. This is because Cipresso uses techniques such as cluster thinning, which prevents rotting and allows each grape important access to direct sunlight, though reduces the yield of a vine from approximately 5 kilos to between 1 and 1½ kilos. Irrigation is also strategically reduced between the months of December and January, which decreases the grape diameter and thus increases the relationship between the skin and the pulp, giving the wine more notable aromas and flavors. “[Also], we harvest only until mid-morning for the grapes to be very cool when they arrive in the winery.”


“Our dream of establishing Achaval-Ferrer was realized in 1998 based on two solid principles: the search for quality in all of our products and the respect for the terroir. From then on, we gathered that the potential wine quality in Argentina could reach levels according to the extreme personality of its soil, the opulent solar irradiation and the rarity of old vineyards on native rootstock, almost exclusive in the actual wine world.” The construction of the winery was finished in 2006 and is situated inside the Finca Bella Vista (Beautiful View Farm) estate, close to the dry river bed of the Mendoza River in Lujan de Cuyo. It is rarely open to mainstream tourism and visits are hard to get, especially in the high season. Nevertheless, as with the wine itself, it is well worth a try.

A Secret Dining Club with a Glowing Reputation


“What began as a secret closed-door restaurant in the home of a quiet suburb has become one of the most acclaimed dining experiences of Buenos Aires.


While Casa Felix is a part of an intriguing new global trend of clandestine dining alternatives, it exists within a class of its own. The restaurant opens its doors just 3 nights a week to 15 guests for 1 seating, which takes place in an open air courtyard surrounded by an aromatic herb garden and under a star speckled sky. A set 5 course pescatarian menu is served, with myriad vegetarian and vegan plates available on request – making the place quite unique in the traditionally meat-mad Buenos Aires food world. The restaurant is the home (literally) of inspiring Argentine chef Diego Felix and his U.S American wife Sanra Ritten. They enjoy using little known ingredients gleaned from indigenous tribes during their travels across Latin America and strive to use only the freshest seasonal food – locally and organically produced. Many of the fresh ingredients are in fact grown by the young couple themselves, including the herbs used in the cocktail that will be handed to you when you walk through the front door.


It is arrestingly obvious that Diego and Sanra believe in a better future for the planet. “Casa Felix is an eco-gastronomic project that aims at promoting local cultures, encouraging edible biodiversity and supporting small scale and ecological food producers.” – They say.


Their project, of which Casa Felix is one part of, is intertwined with the U.S organization Slow Food U.S.A, which “envisions a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet.” In other words – the opposite to fast food… And this comes at no cost to quality – be it with the Halibut ceviche, the organic zucchini rolls stuffed with steamed beets, goats cheese and pine mushrooms with an apricot and saffron dressing, or simply the avocado and lime pie. There is a reason why the little Casa Felix has had such breathless reviews from the New York Times, Washington Post and countless other authoritative food and culture critics. Casa Felix is a place to discover exquisite tastes that you never knew existed; all paired at will with a connoisseur´s collection of Argentina´s most soulful wines.


Casually decorated with Tibetan-like prayer flags and leafy green murals, the setting is natural, intimate and relaxing. It is a home after all, and Diego, Sanra and their newborn baby permeate a friendly and familial energy throughout the place. The effect is that total strangers from all over the world fall easily into conversation, sharing stories and delighting in the common love of good food. And somehow amongst the critical acclaim, haute cuisine and booked out tables, the humbleness and nonchalance of the restaurant and Diego and Sanra has not been lifted a bit. There must be something in the soil.

An Unforgettable Culinary Experience in Argentina´s Wine-Making Mecca.


Ruca Malen Winery, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza


They say that a wine list is good only when it functions well in tandem with a menu – achieving a perfect ´marriage´ of wine and food. But this leaves out one crucial aspect… A breath-taking view of one of Earth´s most spectacular natural wonders. So the indulgent Ruca Malen Winery in Argentina´s infamous Mendoza province has gone for the ´threesome´ approach. But hey, what happens on holiday…


Perched within the foothills of the magical Andes, surrounded by vineyards and back-dropped with colossal snow-capped mountains, Ruca Malen Winery is certainly a splendid sight. The resident enologist Pablo Cúneo is undoubtedly an authority on Argentine wine appreciation and logically the vineyards´ awards list is too long to cite. Yet somehow, among such superb scenery and award winning wines, it is the gastronomy that stands out the most.


The 5 course meal, designed and executed by renowned chef Lucas Bustos, harmonizes with the 6 accompanying wines to an unfathomable extent. Combining traditional and innovative techniques, such as molecular cooking, Bustos achieves a luxury fine dining menu while still maintaining the personality of genuine Argentine cuisine. You may begin with a dried apple chip topped with a dollop of lemon mousse or an exquisite homemade beef empanada with a side of zesty pepper sauce. Whatever it is, it is guaranteed to send your mind swirling with the heavenly delights of gastronomical wizardry.


The accompanying wines unveil flavors and draw out aromatic nuances that the wait staff do a fine job of explaining yet can only take you so far. As Ruca Malen´s co-founder Jean Pierre Thibaud once said: “It is better for man and wine to understand each other alone. Because, as is the case with any work of art, pleasure can only be derived from personal discovery.” Never-the-less, a day at Ruca Malen will inevitably add universal depth to your palates perimeters. The winery also offers wine tours which have been praised for their intelligibility and depth and will leave you with an understanding of the specific practices used on sight and why.


There are close to 1000 wineries in Mendoza and several deluxe lunches, but there is only one Ruca Malen. Though don´t take my word for it – see if you can find a review with any less than 5 stars.

Salta’s Museum of High Altitude Archaeology


Witness one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of our time.


In March 1999 headlines worldwide broke the news of a remarkable discovery in the Argentinean province of Salta. On the summit of a 22,000 feet tall volcano, under a thin layer of snow and dirt, a team of scientists unearthed the mummified bodies of three 500-year-old Incan children, with their internal organs intact, skin and facial tissue virtually undamaged and blood still present in their hearts. Many considered them as the most perfectly preserved mummies ever found.


The children were of noble Incan descent, sacrificed on the sacred Llullaillaco Volcano to become mediators between the gods and the Incan people. Alongside them, a trove of 146 objects was found, including ceremonial dishes, intricate textiles, feathered headdresses and ornate seashells.


In order to house this monumental discovery, the Museo de Archeologia de Alta Montana (MAAM) or Museum of High Altitude Archaeology, was commissioned to be built in the city of Salta. An elegant 19th century neo-gothic building in the cities central plaza was chosen, and restoration began. In 2004 what is now considered one of the most technologically advanced museums in the world opened its doors.


The MAAM is made up of 9 exhibition rooms (6 for its permanent collection and 3 for temporary exhibits), as well as a state of the art science laboratory; a public library; an Andean information centre; conference rooms; a cafeteria and a souvenir shop.


Due to the unique conditions that kept the children and their dowry virtually unscathed for 500 years, the air in the museum is filtered and kept at a constant 64 degrees Fahrenheit and 45% humidity. It is also fitted with an advanced lighting system that varies in intensity depending on the presence of people.


As you walk through the museum, soft Pre-Columbian music performed by the Salta Symphonic Orchestra transports you into the world of the Incas. Four short documentaries, projected on the walls between cacti and rocks, give you a deeper understanding of the ancient culture and their belief system that led to the sacrifice of the Llullaillaco children. 140 of the 146 objects discovered are on display, including a remarkable unkus tunic, one of only 3 ever found.


The discovery has not come without its controversies. The Salta province is home to roughly half of Argentina’s indigenous communities, some of which believe that the children should be returned to the summit of Llullaillaco Volcano and left to rest in peace. At present the Llullaillaco children are displayed in a rotation system, meaning only one can be seen in the flesh during any one visit. Never-the-less, it is a profoundly interesting museum and of great historical importance.

True Tranquility in a Heavenly Hide-Out


Inner peace, outdoor activities, luxurious comfort and gourmet cuisine. Discover Argentina´s majestic Lakes District from Aldebaran Hotel and Spa, 20km from Bariloche.


Solitarily nestled among the trees of the San Pedro peninsula, Hotel Aldebaran sits still in a meditative silence. With a panoramic view of the serene Lake Nahuel Huapi and humbling Mount López, no sound can be heard for miles but the singing of birds and the trickling of snow melt water. The boutique hotel has a luxurious and rustic feel, with hardwood floors, traditional wooden beams, soft sofas around warm fire places and an abundance of outdoor patios. Each of the 10 spacious rooms has natural light pouring in through the windows. They all have their own private patios, TV and stereo, unique bathtubs also with a view and other luxury amenities such as a hairdryer. The big heavy beds with their Egyptian cotton duvets are so comfy that they´re hard to leave, though not impossible when you know what awaits you downstairs and beyond.

The wilderness in this part of the world is a paradise for any lover of the great outdoors. It can be explored on foot, hiking across some of the countless well marked trails, or on horseback, mountain bike, or even in a kayak. There is world-class fly fishing, bird watching galore, organic farming and sustainable living information centers and for the more adrenalin seeking – paragliding, waterskiing and mountaineering. And in the winter, that soft white powder falls from the sky to make Bariloche one of South America´s most distinguished ski slopes.

All of this will inevitably leave your body craving a little luxury spa time. Hours dissolve away in Aldebaran´s private spa, steaming in the sauna, swimming in the heated indoor and outdoor pools, and relaxing with a massage, mud bath, facial, reflexology and reiki sessions. Not until the smell of freshly caught grilled salmon wafts out from the kitchen will you be tempted from the reverie and into your casual evening attire. The boutique hotel´s restaurant, ´Sirius´, seats only 20 diners per night and is a hidden gem of the region, making booking ahead highly recommended. Regional and often organic ingredients are turned into gourmet meals with the skill of the chef’s hand and the use of a terracotta oven and traditional Argentine grill. An underground temperature controlled wine cellar affords a wine menu with over 150 drops to choose from. So depending on how the night turns out, you may just end up slipping back out of that casual evening attire and into the bubbling hot tub, to enjoy one final drink in magical peace under a star speckling sky.

For an insight of our top lodges including Aldebaran and other, please click here

Argentina´s Most Ambitious Wine


In 1998 celebrity winemaker Michel Rolland teamed up with seven of France´s most famous and influential winery families. What emerged from the union has been deemed one of the most ambitious winery projects in history. Combining 7 individually owned vineyards and wineries built on a single 2000 acre estate, Clos de Los Siete, or Winery of the Seven, is the controversial crown jewel of Argentina´s ever growing wine industry. And with the breathtaking backdrop of the Americas biggest mountain range combined with the attractive architectural designs and state of the art technology, Clos de los Siete is not only a wine to be enjoyed but a world to be experienced.

The giant estate is located in Vista Flores, 80km to the south of the city of Mendoza. It stretches across a desert plain that has recently been receiving worldwide attention for the exceptional winemaking qualities off its infertile soil. The vineyards are filled with classic Argentine grape varieties, predominantly Malbec, though also Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and small blocks of Nebiolo, Tempranillo and Chardonnay, amongst others.

Each winery on the property is said to be an architectural expression of the owner´s personality. At Monteviejo, where a gourmet lunch is served, the interior design of the building is inspired by the French Oak wine barrels in which the wine is aged. In Cuvelier Los Andes, low-slung modernism meets a Tuscan castle in a unique artistic structure. At Flecha de los Andes, postmodern visions of artist/illustrator Philippe Duillet, art director of the Star Wars films, have taken physical form. And while an architectural intrigue, it is what´s inside the buildings that it is most impressive for a winemaking enthusiast. Highly sophisticated custom built winemaking facilities, optimized for gravity flow, precise humidity and temperature control, operate to the exact specifications of Rolland and his team of experts.

Approximately 60% of the production of grapes from each vineyard goes towards the making of the Clos de los Siete wines, while the remaining yields are used for the partners’ individual endeavors. This system, of having separate vineyards and wineries collaborating on a single estate, is unique in the region and has created much controversy. “The reason”, explains partner Philippe Schell, “is to produce great wine – smaller, individual wineries are more suited to this purpose.” “Having individual wineries and winemakers”, Rolland comments, “brings individuality to the various wines and creates more complexity in Close de los Siete… What we are looking for is to make wines equal to the best in the world, while retaining their own Argentine identity”.



Thanks to the new trend of closed door dinner clubs, informal restaurants set up in the homes of chefs tired of the grind of restaurants, you are one step closer to living the dream of intimate gastronomic feasts wherever you go.

In Buenos Aires, you are spoiled for choice. The trend has been around since the nineties, but has taken off in the last few years. Argentina’s decidedly turbulent economic history, complicated labor laws, and sky-high rent for the prime locations are big drivers behind the movement back to the comforts of home, but are not the sole reasons.

With just over a couple of years since opening, this project by Colombian brothers Santiago, Camilo and Laura Macias, has quickly taken over the spotlight of the Buenos Aires food scene. Chef Santiago focusses on dishes and flavors from his native Colombia, but roams happily throughout Latin America for inspiration, most notably bringing in the best of Peru and the Caribbean.He prefers to be called a cook than a chef. With a backpack and a set of knives, Santiago has travelled through all of Latin America to find the flavors and ingredients that inspire iLatina’s menu.

Laura and Camilo will be your hosts.Laura is the smiling face that greets the clients every night at the door of iLatina. She has an affinity for design and photography, and is firmly in charge of the restaurant’s spirit and decor. The flowers, the books, the art on the walls; everything you see in iLatina was carefully handpicked by Laura.

Camilo is the host of the house, steeped in the sciences of wine and cocktails. He is responsable for both the cocktails and all of the wines on iLatina’s menu.

They operate out of a beautiful old house in Buenos Aires’ food zone for those in the know, Villa Crespo, from Tuesdays to Saturdays, adding a superb brunch to the list once a month. They serve a fixed seven course tasting menu with bottle-rocket offerings like caramelized shrimp with spicy pineapple and fennel or grilled octopus with a risotto of maize, achiote, and pancetta; for good measure tack on the optional wine pairing by sommelier Camilo. Reserve well in advance and come hungry.

Boutique Hotel in Salta Honors Argentine Heritage

In the pristine corner of Argentina’s northwest, the city of Salta rises up out of dramatic red canyons and ochre deserts. On its outskirts are the world’s highest vineyards, and inside its historic centre is much of the country’s finest colonial architecture, lending it the nickname ‘Salta the Beautiful’.


As one-of-a-kind as the region itself, Legado Mitico is regarded as being among the best boutique hotels anywhere in the world. Once the mansion of a Patrician family, the manor house feels like a cross between a luxury hotel and a museum. Its original and uniquely Argentinean décor is intended to provide an insight into the history and culture of the countries northwest, and every aspect of the interior design encapsulates the local style and stories, so you are never be in doubt of where you are.


Instead of numbers, each room is distinguished by a beloved character or famous cultural group of the region. A cowhide wall-piece hangs behind the bed in the Gaucho room; a framed bow and arrow can be found in the Wichi room and an impressive book collection adorns the desk in the Writer’s room.


All of the eleven thematic rooms are high-ceilinged and enormous. They have small private balconies and luxurious bathrooms. The furniture indulges you in comfort yet it too tells a story; a key to the mystery waiting to be unravelled.


The common areas, including a library, lounge and courtyard, are both classy and cosy, artfully combining traditional elegance with contemporary efficiency. An open-hearth fireplace in the library creates the perfect ambience to reflect on your travels, or stimulate your mind with the remarkable collection of historical artefacts, books and images.


It goes without saying that the staff speak perfect English and have immaculate attention to detail. Whether it’s the complementary glass of wine when you arrive or the weather reminder under your door in the morning, you will certainly feel the personal touch that only boutiques can offer.


Legado Mitico also enjoys an ideal location, between Salta’s town square – which offers museums, shopping and various tourist attractions, and Balcarce St – famous for its great restaurants and nightlife.


Once you feel confident that you have explored the best of Salta, there is a great range of nearby attractions well worth visiting, such as the breath-taking Calchaqui Valley. These bone-dry vineyards may only produce 1% of Argentina’s wine, but they are world-renowned for being the highest in the world, reaching up to 10,000 feet. One thing is for sure – after a long day of discovery, you will be filled with joy at the thought of returning home to the emblematic Legado Mitico.

Paradise on a Riverbank

The Rio Hermoso Hotel is a dream come true for those who wish to enjoy the serenity of nature in luxurious comfort. Privately nestled on the banks of a tranquil river near the quaint community of San Martin de los Andes, Argentina, this boutique hotel has everything that you need to unwind; from delightful views and soothing sounds to heavenly soft furniture and gourmet cuisine. .


With only six guestrooms, the hotel is notable for its homely feel and personal service. The staff are renowned for being exceptionally friendly and always available, white not being overly-intrusive. This cozy feel is only emphasized by the hotels architecture, making use of richly-hued local timber and carefully selected stones, many of which bear ancient fossil inserts. This combines with touches of contemporary design such as the ample glasswork which removes the wall between you and the incredible surrounding scenery. The spacious rooms also afford spectacular views as well as having king size beds, splendid stone bathrooms, a chaise lounge, desk and Wi-Fi, TV and room service.


Downstairs, there are scores of great spots for you to relax with a book and listen to the soothing sounds of the flowing river. The living room has the most comfortable soft white sofas and a roaring big fireplace to keep warm in the winter. The hotel has a celebrated restaurant that serves wonderful local foods, including game meats and fresh fish. A wide selection of teas is available to go with the freshly baked scones, brownies and muffins available every the afternoon.


For adventurous visitors the staff can organize a variety of activities in the area, from kayaking, canoeing, trekking, mountain biking, fly-fishing, bird watching, horseback riding, rafting and getting in contact with the local indigenous Mapuche community. In the winter, several nearby ski resorts open.


Hotel Rio Hermoso is a unique Argentine gem, perfect for a romantic honeymoon or an utterly relaxing retreat.


For an insight of our top lodges including Rio Hermoso Lodge and others…

Please check our Private journeys in Patagonia…

It is a global trend that also exists in the Buenos Aires night. They work behind closed doors, offer premium cocktails and a restricted environment.

While it is a trend that stomps, it is nothing new. Bars are called “Speakeasy” and the term was originated in the early twentieth century, in the cosmopolitan city of New York. At such times, throughout the city, ruled the dry law, a controversial measure that prevented the manufacture and consumption of alcohol. To show that all law was born to be broken these “closed-doors” bars begin to appear.

The “speakeasy” concept refers to the way a client used to ask for an alcoholic drink without arousing suspicion: the waiters suggested customers to speak calm to avoid reveal the identity of the place.

Using customer loyalty as the main bastion, the bars were true secret communities where customers themselves were responsible for inviting new friends to join the mystery. For this purpose they used passwords or invitations that could only be distributed by customers, as the bars were used trusted them. In the last decade in Buenos Aires a revival of this modality arose, maybe to contrast with a trend of too much display, and the “window” bars and restaurants of the previous decade.

“The idea for admission was never restrictive or discriminatory, but a game where you have to have the data or address”. But not all of these hidden bars have the same access mode. Some of them require a password to enter (that can change every week); others are camouflaged by a fake facade (like the Atlantic Flower shop, or Frank’s, where you enter through a phone booth).

A differential factor when compare with a traditional bar is the bartending. If anything defines these redoubts is their premium bar with author proposals and classic drinks of high quality.


Check this out: Video


Join us for inspiring explorations of Argentina & Chile's living culture and nature! We enjoy life changing, epicurean experiences at the Wine Roads of the New world.



Diseñado por Marketing en la Web © 2016. Todos los derechos reservados.