While we love all of South America, traveling to the wine areas of Chile and Argentina is special.
The cuisine is delectable and unique, the vineyards and landscapes are breathtaking, and the wineries are world class. Heading for a late dinner in the hip city of Mendoza, engaging in conversation with a Chilean wine maker, or simply saying “hola!” to the many locals we meet on our activities, reminds you that South Americans seem to have a proper balance to their lives, with friends, family, and fun co-existing with work.
This Taste Vacation takes us to the major wine areas in both Chile and Argentina. Both countries are captivating destinations for wine lovers, with an astounding range of landscapes, grape varietals and micro-climates. In Chile, we visit the Maipo, Apalta, Colchagua, Casablanca, and Aconcagua wine valleys. In Argentina, we visit the famed wine-producing areas near Mendoza: Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu, and the up-and-coming Uco Valley.
Fun reads for this tour:
- Join our small group public tour or create your own private group
- Exploring multiple wine regions in both Chile and Argentina
- Crossing the Andes by plane, with views of the continent’s highest peak (Aconcagua)
- Visiting and tasting at over a dozen wineries, including blending your own wine at Vina San Esteban
- Enjoying the wonderful people and relaxed pace of two sophisticated South American countries
- Lovely upscale hotels, great food and plenty of vino!
- Location: Chile & Argentina
- Small Group Public Tour Dates: March 12 – 20, 2018
- Trip Price Per Person: $3,950
Flight from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina (estimated to be $400) is additional. We will purchase this for you and include this cost on your invoice.
- Optional single supplement: $1,100
- Host: Lorena Gil Fain Binda
- Meals: All meals except two dinners
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Private Tour Option
- Private Tours are available to book with your own group on any date you choose, given lodging availability, as either a Classic or Deluxe tour
- Deluxe Tour: $6,250 per person (optional single supplement $1,800)
- Classic Tour: $3,950 per person (optional single supplement $1,100)
- Minimum: 6 people
- Customizations to the above itinerary possible with additional per person fees
The following is included in our Deluxe Tour offering:
Make It Private
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
- All our wine tours include tastings of very good to excellent wines. However, these are not necessarily rare, reserve, or old wines. If you would like to upgrade your wine tastings on a private tour, please let us know in advance and we are happy to arrange that at an additional cost.
- Upgraded to luxury accommodations
Looking for a more active tour? Join Taste Vacations’ sister company, Zephyr Adventures, on a Chile & Argentina Multisport & Wine Adventure. Sample amazing wine and cuisine all while biking, hiking, rafting, and horse back riding through the beautiful countryside.
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We meet at our Santiago hotel this afternoon and begin our experience together in Chile with a tour of the city, stopping in neighborhoods like Lastarria, and different markets like La Vega Central, Tirso de Molina and Mercado Central de Santiago, which features numerous local vendors and restaurants, and is an excellent place to enjoy the area’s freshest seafood. We’ll have lunch at a simple, non-assuming place, where the locals go.
Tonight, we will dine at Astrid y Gaston, one of best restaurants in Santiago and known for its cuisine, impressive wine list, and impeccable service.
After breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel and begin our travels south, ultimately arriving in the town of Santa Cruz. Along the way, we will visit Vina Undurraga, in the Maipo Valley south of Santiago. Undurraga is one of the most prestigious and longest-operating wineries in Chile.
We’ll also enjoy a tasting and country-style Chilean cuisine at the 100% family-owned Casa Silva estate. You will have your first views of the most highly decorated wine valley in Chile — the Colchagua Valley — also known as the “Napa” of Chile. Additionally, we’ll be treated to views of the surrounding Andes Mountains, the vineyards, and the estate’s polo field!
After checking into our beautiful hotel among the vines this afternoon, you can relax poolside a bit before dinner at our hotel.
After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll have the option to visit the incredible Colchagua Anthropological Museum (a unique museum considered to be the most important in Chile by many).
Our first winery visit today will take us to the beautiful Apalta Valley. Here, surrounded by breathtaking steep hillsides and panoramic views, rests the venerable Montes winery owned by Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray. We’re not sure which is more spectacular: the wines or the winery’s tranquil setting and verdant design.
Next we’ll take you to Clos Apalta for lunch (and, of course, wine), a winery that produced what Wine Spectator Magazine named the Wine of the Year in 2008. Owned by the Lapostolle’ family, there is not a more picture perfect and architecturally stunning winery in all of the Apalta Valley. (They were also featured on the cover of Wine Enthusiast’s March 2015 issue for their Clos Apalta 2011.)
Tonight we shuttle into the town of Santa Cruz, a short drive from our hotel outside of town, for a fantastic cooking show and dinner by a local chef at his intimate new restaurant.
We drive north from Santa Cruz this morning, toward the cooler Casablanca Valley, several hours to the north. This stretch of land nearer to the coast has become Chile’s top white wine region.
Our first stop will be just south of lovely and vibrant small town of Casablanca, at the magnificent Matetic Vineyards in the San Antonio Valley. Here we will enjoy a relaxing wine-pairing lunch. Next, we will take you to Veramonte, where their facility is built for small-lot wine production to allow individual vineyard blocks to be fermented and aged separately prior to final blending, which in turn allows winemakers to produce vineyard-expressive wines. Then it is on to the coast and the seaside town of Viña del Mar, where our hotel is right on the ocean.
Tonight’s dinner is on your own — if you are up for more exploration, we recommend taking a taxi to Valparaiso, just a few minutes away. Otherwise, there are plenty of great options right out the door of the hotel. In either case, you’ll fall asleep listening to the crashing waves below.
Today we arrive at our final (and prettiest, we think!) wine valley visit in Chile: the Aconcagua.
Our first stop will be a visit to Vina Von Siebenthal, with a tasting of their eloquent wines led by the lovely Soledad. With a backdrop of the snow-capped Andes and the fresh spring vines spread out in front of us, you will wonder if you will ever see a prettier vineyard!
We then travel to Viña San Esteban where Maria Jose will lead us through blending course and where you will make your very own cuvee’. Be warned, if you don’t like your wine, you can blame the winemaker – you!
Dinner tonight is at a private estate and our hosts will ensure it will be one of the trip’s most memorable.
After a 6 AM breakfast, we depart Los Andes and head south toward Santiago to catch our morning flight over the Andes Mountains to Argentina and the vibrant, exciting city of Mendoza, which is surrounded by hundreds of wineries. (This flight is estimated to cost $400 — we will purchase this for you and include this cost in your invoice). From the plane we just might see the impressive Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas!
Straightaway we will visit the wine region of Maipu for lunch and a tasting, then check into our hotel next to the main square of Mendoza. We purposely give you a little free time this afternoon for exploring on your own. Tonight, we have an over-the-top dinner with wine (and perhaps a cigar if you’re so inclined) at Cavo de Cano. You have never seen so many plates of wonderful food on one table, we guarantee it!
Today we head south to visit the wine-producing region of the Uco Valley, the highest-altitude vineyards in the province, with the massive dormant volcano Tupungato staring down at us! Our first stop is at Bodegas Salentein. This cross-shaped building was made as a tribute to the Jesuit missionaries who settled here in the 16th century.
Next, we head over to the private vineyards and luxurious resort at The Vines of Mendoza, which is also home to Siete Fuegos, a restaurant of internationally acclaimed chef Francis Mallman. Mallman creates inspired regional dishes that showcase Argentina’s famous beef. Our late lunch here has us looking out at the snow-capped peaks of the Andes while we sip on their private label wines.
We will return you to our hotel in the late afternoon, where the rest of the afternoon and dinner is on your own. We recommend the lively Aristides Street, where you can get a big helping of Mendocino culture and join the locals as they live it up.
We begin our day with a comparative Malbec tasting at the best of the best; Viña Cobos in the wine area of Lujan de Cuyo, owned in part by Paul Hobbs (famous California winemaker) who produces some of Argentina’s most sought-after wines. After our tasting at Cobos we will take you to nearby Bodega Ruca Malen, where a five-course wine-pairing with traditional food awaits us. This afternoon, you can partake in a siesta, or explore the very walkable neighborhood near our hotel on your own.
Tonight, we have a farewell dinner in Mendoza. It’s time to share your wine country adventures and stories over a glass of Malbec, a wonderful meal, and great company!
After a restful last night in the hotel, we will say our goodbyes on this final day of our Taste Vacation, depart for the airport, or continue your own South American wine journey!
Fantastic - fun - informative - couldn't have asked for a better vacation! Bob & Sandy
As is with every Taste Vacation tour, the attention to detail is incredible. Everything from ensuring that participants have enough wine, tasting spectacular wines, visiting exclusive wineries, dining on great food, touring beautiful vineyards, plenty of activities to keep us busy, and enjoying unique restaurants is covered. Elizabeth & Jake
Night 1: Park Plaza Hotel – Perfectly situated in the tree-lined and beautiful Providencia neighborhood of Santiago, this five-star hotel has comfortable rooms and amenities.
Nights 2 & 3: Noi Blend Colchagua – We spend two nights at this elegant and intimate property among the vineyards and outside Santa Cruz, the main wine town of Chile.
Night 4: Sheraton Miramar – We love the upscale town of Viña del Mar on Chile’s coast, but we especially love the view of the beach right out our five-star hotel windows!
Night 5: Inca Hotel – Our final night in Chile we spend at a simple, yet comfortable hotel in Los Andes, a fun market town in the Aconcagua Valley on the way to Argentina.
Night 6, 7 & 8: Park Hyatt – In Argentina, we spend all three nights in Mendoza at this grand and impressive five-star property in the heart of Mendoza.
Please note: Hotels are subject to availability. If listed hotel is not available at time of tour, a hotel that is equal or better to the original will be secured.
What is Included
- All Local Ground Transportation
- Double Occupancy Lodging
- All Meals Except Two Dinners
- All Scheduled Activities
- Wine During Organized Tastings
- Professionally-Selected Wines Included With Meals on Deluxe Private Tours
- Professional Tour Host
Not Included: Travel to and from destination/meeting point, one-way flight from Santiago to Mendoza (which we will purchase for you), desserts, beverages and wine with meals (included on Deluxe Private Tours), personal expenses, and optional gratuities to local staff and your Host. Travel insurance is also not included, though we highly recommend it. Check out our Travel Insurance page for more information.
While the general trip itinerary will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common — restaurants close or lose their amazing chef, a winery changes their visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, etc. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance.
Arrival & Departure
We meet you in Santiago, Chile (SCL) on the first afternoon of the trip. You can choose to arrive early that morning, and take a taxi to the meeting point from the airport, or a day (or even two) before, allowing you to explore Santiago on your own. On the last day, we will end in Mendoza, Argentina. You should make your return flights out of Mendoza (MDZ). The Mendoza airport has direct flights to Santiago, Buenos Aires, and several smaller Argentinean cities. Upon booking, we will send you more information on your travel logistics.