Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, or you are looking for the world’s best culinary destinations, the wine regions in South America offer a breathtaking and diverse selection of vacation spots to visit! From small, local vineyards, to some of the largest production facilities worldwide, there is a wide range of options to choose from. Fortunately, the Kuoda travel experts have compiled everything you need to know about the different wine regions in South America right here, from a selection of the best and most travel-worthy spots for vino throughout the continent.
– Visit the World Famous Vineyards in Mendoza’s Maipú Valley
Mendoza, Argentina is one of the most impressive wine regions in the world, growing fast from a few small vineyards planted in the 16th century to the largest production center in all of South America today. There are three unique regions scattered across Mendoza, one of which is the rich and historic Maipú Valley.
When the Spanish began traveling to the West, they brought with them new crops, livestock, and spices that influenced South American agriculture. One of these new crops was the common grape. Planted in the mineral rich soil of the Andes Mountains in Argentina, the vines began to flourish and indigenous communities as well as Europeans saw an opportunity to expand viticulture and give wine a whole new life in the Americas. Tucked away in the outskirts of Mendoza, travelers will find the most historic wine region in South America: the Maipú Valley.
Since this region is a short drive outside of the city, it is by far the most accessible wine destination, offering a taste of traditional and classy wines that have been in production since the earliest days of production. Explore world famous wineries, either with a private walking tour and tasting, or a fun bike tour visiting multiple vineyards throughout the day! There is no shortage of experiences in Maipú, with over 150 wineries to choose from, and even a few olive groves if you want to have a full Mediterranean-style vacation while exploring Argentina!
For an even more relaxing getaway, turn your visit to Maipú into a multi-day trip, staying in a luxury resort like Cavas Wine Lodge and exploring the valley at a leisurely pace. This chateaux experience will make any traveler feel like royalty during their escape to the wine regions in South America. Enjoy a horseback tour between the vineyard rows, relax with fine dining experiences on site, and make your visit to Mendoza worthwhile by tasting as many Malbec from across Maipú as possible.
– Unwind in Chile’s Charming Secret Paradise, Cachapoal Valley
Tucked away beneath the shade of the Andes Mountains, with warm sun beaming down on the valley as cool winds blow in from the Pacific Ocean, the Cachapoal Valley is a perfect destination for an intimate experience. Located in the Northern part of Repel Valley, Cachapoal is known for its rich red varieties like Carménère, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. For travelers who want to indulge while looking out across the vibrant coastal hills of Chile, Cachapoal is a perfect location.
Since this is one of the lesser known wine regions in South America, travelers who want a more private, exclusive vacation should consider visiting this charming hidden gem in the Chilean mountains. This destination has been known for embracing the unique styles and production methods signature to Chile, Cachapoal wineries are innovating new flavors and sipping experiences every year. Often travelers overlook this region in favor of the larger Maipo Valley in Chile, but you will not find a more romantic destination in any of Chile’s neighboring vineyards. Here, the tours are intimate, the accommodations are luxurious, and the views are unforgettable.
Cachapoal is perfect for a weekend stop while you travel across the rest of Chile. Small, but mighty, this valley will provide a rejuvenating experience tasting unique varieties and enjoying the cool breeze dancing through the vineyards. Locals have spent the last decade or so revitalizing the region, so be prepared for brand new vineyards, experimental bottles of wine, and delicious dining options that are sure to make this one of the most sought after regions in the future. For now, you can be among the first to experience the newest wineries in Cachapoal on your own private, luxury tour!
– Head Off The Beaten Track Exploring Catamarca, Argentina
Perhaps you are looking for an even more wild, lesser known destination for your adventure. Maybe it’s because you’ve visited those other wine regions in South America already, or maybe you are simply a traveler who loves to visit the destinations most tourists don’t yet know about. Either way, Catamarca is the perfect wine region for travelers who seek to combine a high class wine tour with the thrill of heading into the more unknown destinations!
Smaller than its neighboring wine regions, Catamarca is defined by its high altitude vineyards nestled between the towering mountains on either side of the region. For much of its existence, this region was focused on producing large volumes of wine rather than small batch bottles intended for tasting and tours. However, new viticulture is beginning to thrive in the Catamarca sub-region known as the Fiambala Valley.
More remote than other wine regions, Fiambala sits about 1,500 (5,000) meters above sea level in these steep Argentinian mountains, but has been transformed into an oasis by the Abaucán River. The fruit here is complex, soaking up the hot sun rays in the day and cooling off in the cold desert temperatures at night, balancing the sweet and acidic flavors perfectly. Travelers can expect to enjoy a more intellectual experience in Catamarca, one that not only treats you to delicious red varieties, but also informs you about the wine production experience. Plus, enjoy more peaceful excursions like the Fiamabal Thermal Baths, and find your bliss in the awe-inspiring foothills of the Andes!
– Visit Salta, Argentina for a Postcard Worthy Vacation
In the northern part of Argentina, there is a region where the colorful Andes Mountains surround lush green vineyards as high as 3,000 meters (almost 10,000 feet) above sea level! This region is Salta, one of the most breathtaking wine regions in the world, with incredible varieties produced at extremely high altitudes. For travelers seeking a majestic journey full of photo opportunities and delicious, diverse varieties to taste, Salta is the ideal destination.
Wine production in Salta began when settlers began experimenting with grape seeds brought from Peru as early as the 16th century. Small vineyards grew into expansive landscapes, becoming one of Argentina’s more boutique, but bountiful wine producers. Of course, travelers can expect the signature South American red wines to be delicious and indulgent, including the Argentine Malbec, Merlot’s, and the unique Tannat. However, in Salta, the vineyards also produce delicious green grapes that are turned into bright, summery white wines perfect for a more varied selection at your tours. Chardonnay’s and Torrentés’ are highly recommended as far as Salta white wines go!
As you adventure through Salta, expect more than just slow afternoons sipping wines. Obviously, that is an option, but this region is perfect for travelers who seek to incorporate outdoor excursions and exploration with their tour of the wine regions in South America. Some can’t miss sites include the Quebrada de las Conchas nature reserve which arrests visitors with its unique seashell shaped rock formations, as well as Garganta del Diablo, a canyon with magnificent waterfalls that all plunge into a central ravine that guests can see from the lookout point nearby.
Whether you wish to pair your wine tour with relaxing natural excursions, or you simply want a romantic and luxurious vacation wandering local vineyards, there are plenty of places to visit throughout the diverse wine regions in South America. Let us know what kind of vacation you dream of, and a Kuoda Travel designer will help curate the perfect itinerary for your ultimate vacation!
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