Wine in the New World of Chile and Argentina
The vineyards of South America have, by now, well and truly lodged themselves in the world of wine. Where once the Old World of Europe dominated the industry – and came with an elevated reputation – today the viticulture scene has expanded to welcome in the Americas and Australasia. Leading the charge for South America are the nations of Chile and Argentina, producing vintages that can compete with the very best of Europe’s.
To examine the ascendance of these two wine-making nations, we’ve taken a look athotels in Chile and Argentina that are located in vineyards. This is the kind of vacation destination that forces you to slow down and savor the moments, from the first sip of a new vintage to a gentle walk through vine-covered valleys.Forget tour buses wheeling you around Napa or exploring crowded domainesin Burgundy; stay in the wild landscapes of South America for a flavorsome trip into wine’s brave new world.
The Vines Resort & Spa
One of the chief appeals of Argentina’s wine country, and in particular the region surrounding Mendoza, is that the landscape is as beautiful as the wines it produces. Take the Udo Valley’s Vines Resort & Spa, a collection of villas facing awe-inspiring mountain views. A trip here could involve yoga by a natural lagoon, meals created by world-famous chef Francis Mallman, and private breakfasts as the sun rises over snow-capped peaks.
You’re most likely to visit, however, for the wine, which is every bit as exquisite as the location. Nearby GimenezRIili winery is a family-run business that welcomes guests to explore its grounds. In the Vines Resort itself, you can help out inseason with planting and punching grapes. Don’t miss the opportunity to have a guided tasting session in the hotel’s atmospheric barrel room.
Algodon Wine Estate
Plan ahead if you want a stay in the Algodon Wine Estate, as this award-winning vineyard has a limited number of rooms. If you manage to snag a spot at this exclusive destination though, the reward is a hotel that combines total luxury, vast grounds to explore, and some of Mendoza’s finest wines. The historic winery is best known for its Malbecs and Bonarda wines; you can sample some of their vintages from the moment you arrive, with a complimentary bottle awaiting you in your suite. Enjoy your glass of red by the edge of the swimming pool or on your private patio, which looks out over the rolling grounds of the estate. There are around 2,000 acres to explore, which you can do from the back of a golf cart during your stay.
Whether it’s down to beginner’s luck or pure talent, Alexander Vik’s first winery is an astonishing success. It seems almost unfair that the multi-skilled hotelier could also turn his hand to viticulture and produce something so impressive, seemingly without any effort. Vina Vik is now steadily producing a stream of delectable wines, focused on Chilean varietals such as Carmenère, with a vineyard hotel to match it for quality and taste.
The location has been very precisely chosen; the Millahue Valley has a terroir perfectly suited to growing grapes, with mountain views encircling the vineyards. In the middle of it all is the striking Vina Vik hotel, a boutique, modernist venue with one eye firmly on its artistic and architectural value. Chilean architect Smiljan Radic designed the futuristic accommodation, picking a titanium roof as an homage to the work of Frank Gehry. Each of the 22 rooms is unique, with eye-catching artwork and sleek design features to maximize comfort. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a glass of gorgeous wine with expansive views of the glorious valley below.
Matetic’s Hotel La Casona
If you prefer something a little more traditional than the Modernist stylings of Vina Vik, head to Hotel La Casona. This is located in the heart of Matetic’s vineyards, the vintner known for creating organic, biodynamic wines, with a particular reputation for their punchy Syrah. The hotel is a stylishly converted estate from the early 20th century, surrounded by elegant gardens and vine-covered valleys. Staying here feels a little like being part of the family, as you observe a working farm and vineyard carrying on with daily life during your stay.
Your time here includes a trip into the Matetic vineyards to learn about the processes behind creating the company’s acclaimed vintages. Of course, you’ll end the excursion with a tasting session, where you can enjoy samples from their celebrated EQ range.