on January 9, 2011
We booked this tour before leaving home. They have great reviews, which they live up to.We were picked up at 9AM and once we picked up one more person we headed out for our all day wine tour.We visited three wineries all unique and offering excellent wines. A gourmet lunch is included with more wine pairings than I could handle.This was an excellent tour , through a beautiful country and well worth the money.Cost is $150.00per person.Our first stop was Alta Vista a well known winery. The entrance leading to the winery is planted with olive trees and lavender and with the Andes as a back drop, I can’t imagine a more perfect setting.We are greeted by Florentine , who leads us through the winery and does an excellent job explaining the winemaking process and answering our many questions. But of course the highlight is the wine tasting. It was alittle hard to get my palette ready at 10:30 AM…..but I managed .We start with the Torrentes , a crisp dry white ,from grapes grown in the high altitude of Salta. We also sample a Malbec ,which we like so much we buy ,a cabernet sauvignon and a champagne . We are all a little chattier by the time we finish here and we’re excited to get to our next winery!!Patelli is our second stop .It is a small and much newer winery than Alta Vista.Our guide here is Loti who leads us through the winery .We appreciate that she doesn’t repeat the information we had already heard earlier at our first stop.The grapes here are organically grown ,although the wine is not sold as organic. Here we try three wines and I have to say of all our tasting these were my favorite. I especially loved the Torrentes. Our luggage is limited so we have to content ourselves with only one bottle to bring home.By now its time for lunch . Lunch turned out to be an elaborate affair at another winery. There were 5 courses each paired with a different wine. I have to admit , as delicious as it was ,much of the wine was a waste for me . I decided I just had to slow down or I wouldn’t make it to the last winery .The food ,however ,was wonderful ,especially the fillet of beef. Caelum ,a small family run winery, is our final stop after lunch. Constanza greets us an seems pleased to tell us about the winery her family owns.The wines here are young ,as this is the first year of production. I am surprised at how much I enjoy them. My favorite is a cabernet rose’.,which is so different from any other rose’I’ve had in the past. It is much crisper. I also like the chardonnay which at 30pesos is a steal.I notice the fields here are not covered by netting to protect them from sporadic and disastrous hail. Starting a winery is expensive and not without its risks. We are told the French Oak barrels cost $1000.00 and can only be used 5 times.Besides the wine we also have a chance to sample some pistachios that are also grown here.This concludes our tour and by 6PM we are back at our hotel for a siesta!! This was an excellent tour , through a beautiful country and well worth the money.Cost is $150.00per person.
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