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Southern Cone Sampler

Sip Through Chile, Argentina and Uruguay’s Wine Regions
(8 Days / 7 Nights)
March 31 – April 8, 2017

Sip your way across the Southern Cone. As the rest of the world slips into spring, retreat south to the magic of the annual grape harvest in the South America on the ultimate food-and-wine triple-header in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. Move from the misty morning valleys of Chile to the soaring Andes Mountains of sun-kissed Mendoza, and into the verdant hills of coastal Uruguay. The wines are diverse as the region’s topography from Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc to Malbec and Tannat, between succulent feasts and your daily dose of wine, you’ll also experience some of South America’s most breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. But it’s the people—those passionate artisans, who you will most remember when you say chau.

Day 1: Arrival in Santiago, Chile
After your overnight flight, transfer into Santiago to your hotel in the Lastarria neighborhood. Around noon, rendezvous with the rest of the group and your host, owner Liz Caskey to start exploring the capital’s vibrant food markets. Later, dine at one of Santiago’s premier farm-to-table restaurants and savor a tasting menu with wines paired from the MOVI (Garage wine) movement in Chile. (The Singular Santiago)

Day 2: Casablanca Valley & Pacific Coast
This morning visit a boutique winery in the Casablanca Valley known for its coastal reds. Saddle up for a ride through the vineyard and savor a professional tasting of their wines. Lunch in a true fishing at a simple seafood restaurant overlooking the sea where the seafood never its ice. After lunch, back in Casablanca, visit a petit project and meet with the owners to understand what’s behind their fresh, easy-drinking Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc. (The Singular Santiago)

Day 3: Colchagua Valley
Head to the Colchagua Valley this morning, where our first stop is an organic and biodynamic project to taste their premium wines, including their icon – a five varietal masterpiece. Not far away, visit a friend and his Piedmont-planted olive oil grove to taste and learn about different varietals like Arbequina and Picual. Next, drive to the heart of Colchagua for a visit and tasting followed by lunch at the “residence” of one of the most architecturally innovative cellars in South America. Later on, arrive at your hotel in the peaceful town of Santa Cruz. Dinner is on your own tonight in the hotel’s restaurant. (Noi Blend Colchagua)

Day 4: Cachapoal Valley to Mendoza
Check out and drive to the Cachapoal Valley for a special visit and vertical tasting at a winery conceived with the objective of making a Chilean grand cru. Sip those gorgeous reds and be wooed by the valley views. Return to the Santiago airport for a short flight to Mendoza. Check-in to your hotel in a shady village south of the city. Later, enjoy a welcome dinner at a classic Mendocino restaurant, Francis Mallmann 1884. (Entre Cielos)

Day 5: Luján de Cuyo – Mendoza
The first stop today is at a tiny winery to meet with the passionate family. The founder is often considered a father of terroir in Mendoza. The next visit is a subsidiary of a prestigious French champagne house who saw the potential for fine (still) wines in Argentina. Meet with the winemaker for a visit to the brick cellar followed by a tasting of their Single Vineyard wines. After, a private group lunch highlights the region’s seasonal produce and meat, paired with their top wines. To end the day, visit the boutique project of a young winemaker whose goal is to show the versatility of Argentine wine. Meet him and his family for a dynamic tasting of their tongue-dazzling wines. (Entre Cielos)

Day 6: Uco Valley – Mendoza
Head to Uco Valley to an ambitious winery project where hundreds of owners make their own wines on small-sized parcels. Taste several varietals and create your own unique blend, such fun! Next, visit the nearby project of an extraordinary French winemaker and his “wine condo”. Rendezvous with the winemaking team for an interactive tasting from the tanks, barrels, and finished bottle products. Stay on for an exquisite private lunch as their guests in the owner’s home. (Entre Cielos)

Day 7: Mendoza, Argentina to Montevideo, Uruguay
Transfer to the airport for our flight to Montevideo, Uruguay. Upon arrival, take a short ride to the posh neighborhood of Carrasco, located on the shores of the Rio de la Plata and check-in to your hotel. Dinner tonight is close by at a local favorite with a focus on seafood. We’ll sample some of Uruguay’s easy-drinking wines from Sauvignon Gris to Pinot Noir paired with those delicious chipirones, baby squid. (Sofitel Carrasco Hotel)

Day 8: Uruguayan Wine Country
Get ready for an education in Uruguay’s undiscovered wines. Begin at a small winery with an artisan making superb wines. Stay by tasting the excellent Brut Nature sparkling wine (a tradition in Uruguayan wineries) as your “second breakfast”. Also savor a selection of his finest Tannat and red blends. Head west towards the coastal town of Atlántida to a winery that “inherited” the owner’s Italian Piedmont heritage and has innovated with uniquely Italian grapes. See the vineyards with the winemaker and after, savor a gourmet luncheon prepared by his wife. Utterly charming. (Sofitel Carrasco Hotel))

Day 9: Uruguayan Wine Country
For our last morning, visit the Saturday market in Biarritz followed by a stroll through the old city. Our grand finale is at a boutique winery that’s been making premium wines for over 70 years. We are the privileged guests of a Uruguayan-style barbeque with grilled meats and fresh salads paired with a tasting of the best wines. Transfer in the late afternoon to the airport for your departing international flight home.