South American Side Trip

Sometimes the stars align in a way that match your innermost wine desires....  A visit to Argentina's wine country has always been high on my list, so when I found myself in the region on business I took the opportunity to squeeze in a brief visit Mendoza.  Even in winter it was well worth the effort (although I hear the March is the most beautiful time to go) and I would strongly encourage including Buenos Aires, Mendoza wine country, and Santiago de Chile and its surroundings in your vacation travels.  A few highlights:

Bodega Luigi Bosca: We love Luigi Bosca so this was the first stop on my list.  The winery is beautiful, the tour is extremely interesting and the tasting room is top notch.  Excellent experience at a producer with roots in Mendoza that go back more than 100 years (and special thanks to the Luigi Bosca staff who set up other excellent visits in the area).  See: http://www.luigibosca.com.ar/2007/v8/en/index.html

Lunch at Bodega Septima: What more could you want than enjoying a great meal in a restaurant from which you can overlook the vineyards with a stunning view of the Andes mountains?  The food was terrific (the chef also operates a wonderful restaurant in downtown Mendoza called LaSal) and the wines were very good, particularly several upper level wines that I have not seen in the U.S.  We will be investigating these further....  http://www.bodegaseptima.com/ingles/index.html

Cavas y Vinos de Weinert: Had a fantastic tour and tasting at this relatively small but important bodega.  Traditional winemaking and excellent quality.  The caves were quite impressive.  And they have an amazing library of back vintages that are available only at the winery. 
Web site:
www.bodegaweinert.com

Tapaus: The winemaker at Weinert, Hubert Weber, is working on a project making distilled spirits, grappas and liqueurs in the Mendoza area.  The facility itself its architecturally impressive and the products are exceptional.  I look forward to seeing these in our area soon. 
Additional information can be found at: www.tapaus.com.ar

In Chile, there were excellent Carmaneres, Syrahs, Merlots, Cabernets, etc. from producers that are not widely distributed in the U.S.  Again, we will be doing our homework on these.  Suffice it to say that bottles from these and other producers found their way into my luggage (I had to pick up a second suitcase)....