A Wine Lovers' Paradise - The Best Wine Tours in South America
For lovers of wine, South America is the ultimate destination! Producing world-class wines and exporting them all over the world, a wine tour is a great addition to any trip! Read all about the main wine producing regions below.
Argentina’s signature wine is Malbec, for over 150 years Argentina has been growing the perfect grapes for Malbec production. Most wine tours in Argentina are based around the Mendoza Province– an area renowned for wine production due to its long spring and summers, the perfect conditions to help keep vines healthy. In Mendoza you can rent a car and visit the wineries on your own (with a designated driver of course!) or it is very common to book day trips out to the various vineyards nestling in the rolling green hills.
As well as Mendoza, Argentina does have various other wine destinations such as Salta but Mendoza tends to be the most popular and contains the most vineyards – from small, boutique family run businesses to large scale wine producers. These tours usually include a walk around the vineyard and manufacturing buildings, a demonstration of the wine making process, tasting sessions and often a delicious local lunch or asado is included – served with complimentary wines from the site itself. The winemakers of this area are always happy to show visitors the wine-making process and are very passionate about what they do.
In addition to Malbec, Argentina produces Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and also varieties such as Tempranillo, Bonarda, Barbera and Torrontés.
The nature of Chile’s extreme geography results in fertile ground for wine growers, stretching over 4,000 kilometers from north to south, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the towering Andean Mountains on the other. The climate of Chile has been described as somewhere between California and France making it absolutely idea for wine production. There are multiple wineries scattered across this extraordinary and beautiful landscape – from traditional processes, to those producing wine in the urban sprawl of the capital city, Santiago.
Chile started to produce fine wine as a result of a large amount of French families immigrating to Chile during the late 20th century. The French were able to share their knowledge, fine tastes and experience with the Chileans, expanding their knowledge of the wine world. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world and the ninth biggest producer.
The Colchagua Valley is one of the best known wine regions in Chile, but there are a multitude of regions all over the country that grow excellent wine and are home to a whole variety of wineries. Some areas are known for growing grapes for a certain type of wine, depending on the climate. The wine regions in Chile include: Coquimbo region, Anconagua region, Central Valley region, Atacama and Southern Chile.
Due its small percentage of exported wine, Uruguay is often over looked when we talk about wine production, but it can certainly hold its own! It has become the fourth most important wine-producing country in South America and its prominence in the wine world as a whole is growing.
The majority of vineyards and wineries are located in the hills to the north of the capital Montevideo, particularly in the departments: Canelones, Montevideo, Colonia, and San José and the most famous wine region Carmelo. Uruguay grows a variety of grapes, but is most famous for making wines out of a certain type called Tannant. Due to its high antioxidants, Tannant is thought to be the healthiest grape in the world resulting in delicious wine that has been proven to have health benefits!
An up and coming contender in the wine world, Brazil has a rapidly growing wine industry, being the largest country in South America it has a real diverse landscape and some areas are ideal for wine growing. Most of the fine wine comes from the south of Brazil, in Serra Gaúcha where they are known for Chardonnay and Merlot.
Wineries in Brazil include: Miolo, Lidia Carraro, Vallontano, Casa Valduga, Alma Única and Pizzato. It is recommended to stay at Hotel & Spa do Vinho in Bento Gonçalves where you can go on different vineyard tours each day with an experienced guide around the area – this valley is the best in Brazil for wine production.
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