Wine is Argentina’s Newest Tourist Attraction

mendoza wineMENDOZA, Argentina – The chance to sleep surrounded by vineyards and take part in winemaking activities is attracting more local and foreign visitors to Argentina’s Mendoza province.

Numerous hotels and inns have opened in the nation’s wine country catering to oenophiles. Latin Trade visited one, the Cavas Wine Lodge, which offers guests the opportunity to stay in one of 14 rooms set amid fields of grapevines and offering magnificent views of the snow-covered Andes.

“Sleeping in a little cottage surrounded by vineyards, with the backdrop of the mountains, is an exceptional experience. I loved enjoying a glass of wine and some cheese at sunset on the private terrace of my hotel room,” said Paulo Costa, a Brazilian tourist who recently stayed at the lodge.

Cavas Wine Lodge also offers tourists a restaurant and wine cellar where they can enjoy food sampling and wine tastings with a local sommelier, plus a spa where they can choose a wine therapy treatment or a relaxing massage. The wine therapy treatment begins with an exfoliating scrub made of Malbec grape seeds and essential oils. The next step is a bath enriched with essences and wine that stimulate the circulatory system. To wrap it up, the guest undergoes the final treatment: a Torrontés wine facial mask. The total cost of the treatment that lasts approximately two and a half hours is $135.

Costa said that visitors can use the hotel as a base to travel down the “wine road” and visit some of the main wineries in Mendoza, a province known worldwide for its exceptional wines.

“Our favorite activity was to visit one or two wineries a day and have lunch at one of them,” Costa said. “There are many options to explore wineries in the area. You can have lunch while enjoying excellent wines, accompanied by quality meals, and contemplate nature and the vineyards.”

Since 2008, the Cavas Wine Lodge has been listed on the Relais & Châteaux group’s list of exclusive hotels and restaurants. In the high season from October to May, the rate for staying at one of the luxurious rooms is approximately $600 a night.

Cecilia Diaz Chuit, the owner of Cavas Wine Lodge, says that there is a growing interest in Argentine wine, especially from tourists from the United States, Britain and Brazil.

“They are very curious about exploring the wineries and the types of wines that are made in each establishment, and they admit that they don’t know much about the world of wine,” she said.

Visitors serve as ambassadors. “Our hotel is promoted mostly by our own guests,” she said.

Diaz Chuit said the lodge offers tourists the chance to coordinate their visits to the main wineries, which they can also reach on horseback and or by bicycle. Every room boasts a private terrace where visitors can have dinner under the stars, to wrap up their day.

The Cavas Wine Lodge has 35 acres of vineyards that produce exclusively for the hotel. Diaz Chuit says that the guests can even participate in the grape harvest.

“I’ve noticed that the concept of winery accommodations has become more popular in Mendoza,” said Anabell Sielecki, owner of the local Mendel winery. “I think that this is very practical when the wineries are located in a remote area, such as in the Uco Valley, since that gives visitors the option of staying there for the night and not having to return to the city of Mendoza.”

Still, Sielecki said wineries specialize in making wine, not offering accommodations.

“If you want to offer high-level accommodations, it certainly represents a major challenge for a winery to achieve excellent service that parallels the experience and quality of a luxury hotel,” she said.

LT Guide: Mendoza

What to do, where to dine, where to stay and how to book.

Cavas Wine Lodge:
Located in the middle of a small vineyard with a magnificent view of the Andes mountain range, this wine hotel has a spa that offers specialized treatments and a swimming pool, plus a gourmet restaurant and wine cellar where the visitor can have a private wine tasting with a local wine expert. During the busy season – Mid-September through May – the rooms are priced at US$500 plus tax.
www.cavaswinelodge.com
Tel: +54261 410 6927 / 28.

Posada Salentein:
The inn is located on the La Pampa ranch in the area of Tunuyán, in Valle de Uco. Nestled at the foot of the Andes mountain range, the inn is surrounded by the vineyards of the Salentein winery, one of the best-known Argentine wineries. The inn has 16 rooms, a business center, a swimming pool, a large dining room and a gourmet restaurant. Visitors can participate in several activities such as wine tastings, horseback riding, bike tours and visits to art galleries.
reservas@salenteinposada.com
Tel: +542622429090.

Navarro Correas Winery:
This traditional Argentine winery has an 8,600-square-foot visitor center where you can experience and explore the winemaking process. The winery has an underground cellar, two tasting rooms and an exhibit hall.
www.ncorreas.com
Tel: +54 261 431-5987

Restaurante 1884:
This restaurant is famous countrywide because of its owner, the renowned Argentine chef Francis Mallman. The menu offers a wide variety of Patagonian dishes with a French flair.
www.1884restaurante.com.ar
Tel: +54261 4242698.

For more information on the Mendoza region, go to:
www.turismo.mendoza.gov.ar

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