Photo: Alex Grechman
To be sure, two of the things that Chile is best known for are its skiing, and its wine. And if you plan it right, you can experience both in one day, either as a day trip from Santiago or up on the mountain at the resort at Valle Nevado.
Learning about Malbec grapes – and the importance of creativity, tradition, pleasure, and family – in Argentina’s wine capital.
When an opportunity arises to visit Argentina’s most famous wine region during harvest, there’s only one thing to do: pack your bags. But you don’t want to show up in Mendoza without a plan. There’s so much to do – wineries, mountains to climb, rivers to raft, a landscape so vast that you need to have a few priorities in mind.
It’s time to harvest the grapes in Argentina’s winegrowing capital. Thanks to Mendoza’s reputation as a world-class producer of Malbec – not to mention affordable prices and a stunning location at the base of the Andes – tourist numbers are up. But plenty of visitors arrive with the idea that they can go it alone, renting a car, exploring the country roads, stopping into tasting rooms on a whim. What they don’t know – and what can end up being a terrible disappointment – is that most wineries require reservations that are strictly enforced at the gates by security guards with clipboards. Mendoza is, in short, one destination where you’re better off leaving your plans to the professionals.
There are plenty of places in Buenos Aires where you can get a good steak. There are not, however, plenty of places in Buenos Aires where you can get a good steak and also learn how to properly fold an empanada, serve mate, and communicate with your taxi driver using only hand gestures.
To acquire this particular skill set, you’ll need some porteño friends – or you can just sign up to spend an evening at the Argentine Experience. Despite its gleaming storefront in Palermo Hollywood, it’s not exactly a restaurant; regardless of the checkered aprons and empanada diagrams, it’s not a cooking class, either. It’s a ‘culinary experience’ run by an enthusiastic multinational team – Argentine, English, Brazilian – dedicated to introducing tourists to national traditions with a gourmet twist. I heard they happen to serve one of the finest steaks in town, so this past weekend, I went to check it out for myself.
If just driving through the Chilean wine country isn’t enough, and what you really need is a weekend of relaxation ensconced in comfort, a few luxury-oriented wineries a short drive from Santiago, Chile can give you just what you’re looking for.
Photo: Santiago Brusa
Perhaps you’ve heard: Buenos Aires’ culinary scene has been undergoing a metamorphosis. In the not very distant past, if you weren’t in the mood for grilled meat, pasta, or tapas – the latter two a throwback to the city’s Italian and Spanish heritage – you were out of luck at dinnertime. Today, a growing number of innovative chefs bring much-needed diversity to the city’s dining sphere, while others focus on perfecting traditional recipes for an increasingly discerning clientele. Of course, the foodie scene isn’t necessarily easy to access: as any traveler who’s ever visited a large city can attest, it’s easy to overspend on a mediocre meal. Enter the professional epicures. Though the following two services are quite different – the first a socially-minded food tour, the second a personalized ‘anti-tour’ through the city’s lesser – known food highlights – both provide invaluable entry into gourmet Buenos Aires.
Santiago, Chile, a city of more than 6 million people has ultramodern glassed-in towers, colorful traditional markets, a resurgence of interest in old folkloric traditions, a sparkling metro, a large hill-turned-backyard to take it all in from and is overlooked by the towering, often snowcapped Andes. There’s way more than 72 hours worth of sightseeing and activities in and around Santiago, but if you had to limit it to just a long weekend, here are plenty of activities to keep you entertained, and give you a good overview
I feel my city is getting more and more exciting each year. Now that winter has arrived and people can’t admit the summer party is over, bars start opening their doors, some for the very first time.
Check out the hottest new bars and some that have already become classics in the city of kings:
One of Chile’s main attractions, and one of the products for which it is best known, is wine. From the areas nearby Santiago such as the Santa Cruz, Maipo and Colchagua valleys, to the warmer, more arid areas of the Aconcagua valley and further to the north and south, Chile produces wines, most famously, Carmenere, but Cabernet Sauvignon is growing in popularity, as are (newly) a few white wines, including some grown closer to the coast. Pinot Noir is also up-and-coming in Chile, in addition to the better-known reds.
Photo: Jason Hollinger
Just a few miles east of the Chilean border lies the northernmost ski resort in Argentina, Penitentes. The resort encompasses 740 acres of skiable terrain, with 20 groomed trails for beginner to expert skiers. Snowboarders are welcomed at the resort, as well. From the Penitentes slopes, you will be surrounded by the High Andes—you can even spot Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere.