Chefs & Winemakers of the Central Andes
Cultural, Food & Wine Adventure - Chile & Argentina 11 days | 10 nights
A journey about Chile and Argentina´s contrasting cultures, terroirs, food, wine, but also about the gifted chefs & winemakers who craft astonishing culinary experiences on both sides of the Andes. A true epicurean adventure throughout South America´s full bodied Carmeneres, Malbecs and crisp Whites. Our trip starts flying into Santiago and lodging for two nights at a magnificent Wine-Hacienda in Casablanca Valley, from where we visit the seaport city of Valparaiso, with its old funicular railways and a well-deserved reputation among foodies. At Santiago, we celebrate a true immersion in Chilean flavors and cuisine, as accompanied by a local chef we explore the Fish Market and then on to the kitchen to be guided into the preparation of delicious local recipes. At Maipo Valley, we learn about the blending of two national passions: Horses & Wines. Fly to Mendoza –Argentina, into the diverse oasis of winemaking, the central Valleys and the high terroirs of Uco Valley. Lodge at exclusive, countryside retreats, dine at Argentina’s most renowned chefs’ private venues and state-of- the- art Wineries. Lay back and enjoy this marvelous land at the foothills of the Andes. Our journey continues exploring true Porteño culture as we fly into cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and walk through historic neighborhoods, Recoleta , San Telmo, and Plaza de Mayo Square for Evita´s favorite balcony. Hidden Speakeasy Bars (yes…The flower shop!), most distinguished Cafés Notables, and behind closed doors dining experiences, complete our leisurely adventure in South America.
- Lodge at luxurious Hacienda Matetic, in Casablanca Wine Valley, and leisure away at cozy retreats at the foothills of the Andes.
- Explore by foot and old funicular railways the Port City of Valparaíso, a true Foodies heaven.
- Guided by a local chef, walk into Santiago´s popular Fish & Fruit Markets, and later on enjoy a private culinary experience while learning the secrets of good Pisco Sour.
- Travel through the diverse terroirs of Chile & Argentina, and taste the excelling production from the countries´ Top Gun winemakers and state-of- the-art wineries
- Dine at some of South America´s most renowned chefs´ private venues… (Francis Mallman´s 1884, Santiago Macias´ I Latina; Lucas Bustos´ Ruca Malen).
- Immerse yourself in true Porteño Culture, as you walk the streets of Buenos Aires in search of flaky Medialunas and historic Cafés.w
Upon arrival in Santiago airport we drive west for about an hour into Casablanca Valley. The valley receives a cool oceanic breeze that makes this terroir a perfect one for some of the best Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays produced in the country. We make our way to Matetic Vineyards where we check in at Hacienda Matetic, enjoy lunch and visit the winery. The rest of the day is yours to leisure away.
Lodging: La Casona at Hacienda Matetic – Casablanca Valley, Chile / (L, D)
This morning we drive to the coastal City of Valparaiso. Historically the main port of Chile and built almost entirely on steep hills, the city holds a well-deserved reputation among foodies. Our first stop is Pablo Neruda´s house (Nobel Prize, Literature). We walk from the upper hills, board the funicular railways and wander through town admiring some stunning graffiti& street art works. Half way down the hills, time for lunch on own at one of the elegant terraces offering a heaven of Pisco Sours and fish recipes. Afternoon walk through the town´s historic landmarks, and return to the Hacienda.
Lodging: La Casona at Hacienda Matetic – Casablanca Valley, Chile / (B, D)
After breakfast, we leave the city and transfer towards Maipo Valley, the landlocked cradle of Chilean wine-making traditions. Just west of the main Cordillera we enter Viña Santa Rita. We first visit its historic Hacienda, with its lavish gardens. The property itself had an important role on the Independence war that liberated the country.Then it is time for tasting some of their premium wines. Lunchis a flight of typical dishes atthelively local venue, before making our way to Haras de Pirque Winery, whose founders have excelled in blending two national passions: Horses & Wines…a unique place where thoroughbred breeding and fine wines elaboration comes together. Afternoon transfer to Santiago. Check in at The Singular, the elegant boutique property. Evening leisure or explore on own the city´s top culinary options.
Lodging: The Singular Boutique Hotel: Barrio Lastarria, Santiago / (B, L)
We start the day briefing on the country´s main historic and cultural landmarks: Santiago’s colonial Plaza de Armas, the impressive Cathedral, and The Mint, Chile’s current government house. Then it is time to start savoring the morning… Meet our Chef-Guide at the gates of Mercado Central, Santiago’s celebrated fresh fish market (listed by National Geographic among Top 10 Food Markets in the world) and walk to nearby La Vega, the popular fruit and vegetable market and the perfect place to discover new flavors. Then, it is on to the kitchen, where our instructor will guide you throughout the preparation of simple but delicious Chilean recipes. We relax over lunch and a glass of wine before returning to your hotel. Evening at leisure, or explore on own nearby Bocanariz, the city’s unparalleled wine bar, to taste top wines produced “from the Sea to the mountains”.
Lodging: The Singular Boutique Hotel: Barrio Lastarria -Santiago / (B, L)
Late morning flight to Mendoza, the cradle of Argentine wine making at the foothills of the Andes. Upon arrival, quick transfer to the downtown area, and time for lunch on own followed by an overview of the city, its history, monuments and elegant parks. Check in at Entre Cielos boutique hotel, rest until dinner or relax at the fabulous Spa. This evening we experience “1884”, where Chef Francis Mallmann blends the finest culinary traditions of France and South America. The first non-European to win the Grand Prix de la Science de la Cuisine, Mr. Mallmann describes his restaurant as “a tribute to the wine and the regional cuisine”.
During the early afternoon, as we return to our wine resort, we delight our palates once more with a quick visit to the local goat cheese factory. The rest of the afternoon is yours to relax at the lodge.
Lodging: Entre Cielos Wine Lodge / (B, D)
Olives and wines…This morning our cultural and tasting experiences continue at the old fashioned producer of extra Virgin Olive Oil, where we learn about the secrets of pressing & decanting. Our sensorial adventure continues at one of the pinnacles among Argentine winemakers: Mendel Wines, the small estate conducted by Roberto de La Mota (*), and known for the exceptional quality of its reds. We get acquainted with its production processes, both at the vineyards and the cellars. Just a couple of miles away we find Chef Lucas Bustos´ restaurant at Ruca Malen Winery (**) where we enjoy a five-course pairing menu in sight of Cordon del Plata snowed peaks (19574 ft). Lucas´ approach is about enjoying wine in a non- technical way…“with food, as you would at home”.
Lodging: Entre Cielos Wine Lodge / (B, L)
(*) Robert M. Parker, Jr.’s The Wine Advocate named Mendel “The Best of the Best — for Roberto de la Mota’s brilliant talent and spirit”
(**) Ruca Malén: Great Wine Capitals, 2014 Gold Medal- “Global Best Of Wine Tourism“ > Category: “Wine Tourism Restaurants”
If you are a wine lover, chances are that the mention of Catena Zapata rings a bell. Certainly one of the truly iconic names of the region, Nicolas Catena´s (*) state of the art winery , has helped to establish Mendoza as one of the world´s newest wine-meccas. Acknowledged as the pioneers of quality wine making in Argentina, we taste their superb production and learn about the immigrants from Spain & Italy who first brought the wine making traditions into this region. What follows is a scenic drive to Uco Valley´s heights, with its dry Terroir of nearly perfect conditions at the Mendocino Pedemonte. Relax over lunch at funky Finca La Azul garage size winery. Ezequiel & friends make us feel at home as we pair Gran Reservas with the house´s Bondiola, a to die for roasted pork shoulder. Check in at The Vines of Mendoza, memorable food, world–renowned wine, and some of Mendoza’s most gorgeous views to keep you entertained and engaged. For less sedentary pleasures, a lengthy list of activity options range from intensely relaxing to highly adventurous. Please see below (**) for optional lodging at Finca La Azul boutique property
Lodging: The Vines Resort & Spa, Uco Valley – Mendoza / (B, L)
(*) Nicolas Catena: Decanter Magazine’s Man of the Year, 2009 award.
(**) Finca La Azul Wine Lodge: A cozy, private retreat of only six rooms, among hundreds of acres of vines and fruit plantations.
Due to its unparalleled soil and climate conditions, Uco Valley earned world recognition during recent years, as the Gem of Argentina´s Wine Regions. At Clos de los Siete, the 1600 acre joint wine adventure initiated a few years back by French winemaker Michel Rolland (*),we visit two wineries, tasting full body Malbecs at Cuvelier de los Andes and crispy Viogniers at Diamandes. Afterwards we head for a traditional Asado (Barbecue) at the hidden local venue specialized in pork meats. Afternoon return to your lodge at the vineyards. Leisure the afternoon away by the pool, or walk among extensive fruit plantations.
Lodging: The Vines Resort & Spa, Uco Valley- Mendoza / (B, L)
(*)- Top Gun: Winemaker/Consulting Oenologist Michel Rolland has influenced the way wine is made in more than a dozen countries.
Morning flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina´s cosmopolitan capital. Transfer to the hotel in the lively Palermo district. Later in the afternoon, we gather back to explore by foot some of the traditional neighborhoods in the city. At Plaza de Mayo square we learn about the country’s recent history and Evita´s favorite balcony before walking the few blocks that separate us from San Telmo art district and its popular street fair ( Sundays only !). Porteños are passionate about their part Italian heritage, so of course, Gelatos to go and stops at historic Cafés are mandatory. Our urban scouting comes to an end during the early evening, with a knock- knock at a flower- shop and a few steps down…just to find one of the best hidden (Speakeasy) bars in the city!.
Return to your hotel and the evening is yours to rest or continue exploring on own (*)
Lodging: Legado Mitico Boutique Hotel. Palermo, Buenos Aires / (B, D)
(*) …Perhaps trying yourself a few Tango steps at local Milongas? (Venues where both locals and visitors attend to learn/ dance Tango).
Evening: Tonight is our farewell dinner in true South American Style at I Latina. Since its opening, the project (by appointment only) created by three Colombian siblings has quickly taken over the spotlight of Buenos Aires food scene.
“Behind the grand doors of a white villa, the Macías siblings — Santiago, Camilo and Laura — introduce their native Colombian flavors to local palates. The inventive menu (white-corn arepas with anise and Colombian hogao; caramelized prawns with coconut sauce on a bed of pineapple and fennel) has made the nearly two-year-old restaurant a hot reservation “ ( “In a Buenos Aires Barrio, a Quiet Metamorphosis” -by Sarah Kahn – New York Times- Travel, ).
Lodging: Legado Mitico Boutique Hotel. Palermo, Buenos Aires / (B, D)
The Morning is yours to leisure or to wander through the city. Early Afternoon luggage pickup by your hotel and transfer to Buenos Aires International Airport to board flights back home.
End of services
– All accommodations in “Boutique Luxury” lodging, on double occupancy:
Boutique Hotels / Wine estates (All lodges are subject to availability)
– Meals, as described in the detailed itinerary (B: breakfast; L: lunch; D: dinner)
– Private transportation in all locations
– Private, expert local guides (English- Spanish).
– Wine expert guides during Wine Tasting activities.
– Wine Tasting & Outdoor Activities as described,
– Water Bottles during outdoor activities & shuttle time.
– Wines and other alcoholic beverages during meals/ except during wine tasting activities (included).
– Insurance of any kind.
– International and domestic airfares
– Tips for guides and drivers.
Days 1 & 2
La Casona at Matetic Vineyards
Fundo Rosario, Lagunillas, Casablanca
Tel: +56-2 – 595 2661
|Days 3 & 4
The Singular Hotel
Merced 294, Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 (2) 23068820
|Days 5 & 6
Guardia Vieja 1998, Vistalba
Tel: +54 (261) 498-3377
|Days 7 & 8
The Vines Resort & Spa
Ruta 94 Km 11, Tunuyan
Uco Valley , Mendoza
Tel: +54 (261) 461-3900
|Days 9 & 10
Legado Mitico Hotel(Superior Room)
Gurruchaga 1848 Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires
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