Wine, enjoyed in moderation, is a healthy food which enriches life.

 

Wine Tour

Chile and Argentina - Wine, Cuisine, Scenery and Culture

15 Days - March, 2023 IN PLANNING

BELOW YOU WILL FIND DETAILS OF THE POSTPONED 2021 TRIP

All-Inclusive accompanied tour to Concon, Colchagua, Maipo and Aconcagua in Chile and Uco Valley and Mendoza in Argentina.

FAQ | Register | Price | Itinerary | Trip Extension

 

Join wine personality Steve Thurlow as he leads this 15 day excursion of discovery and enjoyment. Visit wineries and vineyards on both sides of the Andes in Chile and Argentina, tasting and dining with winemakers and winery owners. Bathe in the ocean and marvel at spectacular natural beauty.

In March each year during the winter in Canada, there is plenty of warm sunshine in these winelands; daily highs of 25-26°C and lows of 11-12°C should be expected, though it is sometimes cooler close to the ocean in the day time and a little warmer during the night.

2023 will be the sixth edition of this tour.


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We will explore the leading vineyards and wineries and be introduced to the local cuisine by those that live and work in the region.

As well as tasting and dining at many of the major wineries we will find time to visit Mendoza in Argentina, Santa Cruz and Valparaiso in Chile and several small towns in both countries.

After nine days in Chile we will take our bus over the Andes for an unforgettable drive over the mountain pass that connects the two countries.

The views of the mountains and valleys are never ending. At the frontier the road is almost 13,000ft above sea level.

Visits to museums and an art gallery will augment the cultural and historical content provided by local guides.

If all this sounds like too hectic a pace, don't worry.

 

There will be time for relaxing by the pool in the warm sunshine and wandering around some of the beautiful towns and villages that lie along our route.

The tour group will meet in Santiago airport and will disperse from the hotel in Mendoza.

We will use the same bus in Chile and Argentina. The all-inclusive trip does not include any flights.

 

 

 

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Trip Extension Ideas

The itinerary does not include any time in Santiago. If you do wish to visit the city at this time, then we suggest arriving in Chile a day or so early or stopping over on the return flight home.

After 15 days on the road some will opt to come home from Mendoza at the end of the trip, however many will want to include some time in Buenos Aires, or another South American city returning that way at the end of the tour.

 

 

There are direct flights with Air Canada to Santiago. Other North American airlines fly via Panama and several airports in the USA.

BA flies direct to Santiago and there are short connecting flights home to UK via Santiago or Buenos Aires.

We will be pleased to advise on air travel.

 

Register for the Tour

Email Steve Thurlow steve@stevethurlow.com and he will add you to a priority booking list.

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Price

The price for the 15 day trip in 2021 was C$6580.

Final payment for the trip is required 120 days prior to departure. Guests are advised to take trip cancellation insurance. COVID-19 Pandemic Travel Plans cover the new risks to travel resulting from the pandemic. We are happy to provide these to Canadian residents. Please request a quotation when registering for the trip.

Guests are to make their own travel arrangements to Santiago and for returning home from Mendoza.

Prices are for double occupancy in twin/double rooms (single supplement on request). Hotels subject to availability. The price for the tour covers all hotels and luxury coach transportation and guide fees. Also included are breakfasts every day, winery visits and tastings, and 25 meals, most with wines selected by Steve Thurlow.

Canadian passport holders can now enter both Chile and Argentina without a visa or having to pay a reciprocity fee that was required in the past. Those travelling on other passports need to check for any applicable fees.

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Itinerary
 

(Included meals: B= Breakfast L= Lunch D= Dinner)

Day 1: Sunday - Concon

 

We will arrive at our seaside hotel about an hour after leaving Veramonte driving through the Casablanca Valley.

The remains of the afternoon will be spent settling into the hotel, checking out the beach and the beautiful surroundings.

There will be a group dinner that evening at the hotel. (L,D)

 

The group will meet in the lobby of the Holiday Inn at Santiago International Airport at 11:30 and as soon as those arriving that morning on the Air Canada flight have arrived we will leave for Concon.

About an hour after leaving the airport we will arrive at the Veramonte winery in the Casablanca Valley for a brief tour and tasting followed by lunch.

We will soon be on our way to Concon where we will be staying for three nights at the five star Radisson Hotel in Concon.

 

Day 2: Monday, Casablanca Valley

We return to the Casablanca Valley to visit the Casas del Bosque Estate for a tour and tasting followed by lunch.

We return to the hotel after lunch for some down-time, maybe on the beach.

We leave that evening for the short drive to the port city of Valparaiso. This is Chile's second largest city with an historical centre that is gradually being restored to show some of its glorious past from the years around 1900.

Our guide will take us on a short walking tour to see some of the city.

We will then have dinner in a beautifully renovated cafe in the centre of the city with a splendid view before returning to the hotel late that evening. (B,L,D)

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3: Tuesday, San Antonio

This morning we leave after breakfast to drive south to the San Antonio Valley to visit the Casa Marin Estate.

 

 

 

 

We will taste the wines of the estate over lunch accompanied by María Luz Marín, the owner and founder of the estate and also the winemaker.

María Luz was the first female winemaker and winery owner in Chile. After graduating from the University of Chile with a degree in agronomy and winemaking, Maria Luz worked in various wineries, and in 2000 she successfully established the first cool climate winery in South America and the Pacific Coast.

Late afternoon we return to the hotel.

The evening will be free. (B,L)

 

 

 

Day 4: Wednesday, Colchagua Valley

After three nights by the sea in Concon, we check out of our hotel and head south towards the Colchagua Valley.

About 2 hours into our journey, we will arrive at the Chocalan Winery for a tour, tasting and alfresco lunch.

 

 

 

 

After lunch it's back on the road for another couple of hours until we reach Santa Cruz where we will stay at the Hotel Terra Vina set amongst the vines in the outskirts of the town.

 

 

 

The balance of the day will be for checking out our new surroundings, enjoying the swimming pool before we gather for a group dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)


 

Day 5: Thursday, Colchagua Valley

 

After breakfast we leave to visit the famous Cono Sur winery for a tour, tasting and lunch.

The adventurous will take bicycles for the vineyard visit.

 

 

We return to the hotel for a rest before leaving early evening to visit the Ventisquero Estate.

Their winery is about an hour's drive to the north but we will be visiting their closeby vineyard where they have constructed a tasting room on top of a hill.

 

 

Here we will taste their wines before enjoying a light supper with a spectacular view of the valley below.

 

 

 

Hopefully the sun will set behind the hills to bring a perfect day to a close. (B,L,D)

 

Day 6: Friday, Colchagua Valley

After breakfast we leave to visit the small town of Santa Cruz for shopping, visiting the local museum before visiting the Montgras Winery for a tasting and lunch.

We return to the hotel for a rest before leaving late afternoon to visit the nearby Montes Winery. After a brief visit to the winery we will be led in a structured tasting by the winemaker.

 

 

After dinner we return to our hotel. (B,L,D)

 

 

They have a BBQ location high up in their vineyard where we will be transported after the tasting for dinner with their wines.

Day 7: Saturday, Maipo Valley

After spending three nights amongst the vines in the Colchagua Valley, we check out of our hotel to head towards the Maipo Valley.

 

 

 

About 90 minutes after leaving the hotel we will arrive at the picturesque Santa Emma Winery for a tour and tasting followed by lunch.

 

 

 

 


By early afternoon we will be at the Santa Rita winery where we will stay in the 19th Century Casa Real Hotel .

 

 

That evening there will be a tasting and dinner with the wines of Santa Rita and Vina Carmen in the magnificent dining room recently restored to its C19th elegance. (B,L,D)

 

 

 

Day 8 Sunday, Maipo Valley

The hotel is set in beautiful parkland so the morning will be free for relaxing at the hotel and enjoying the surroundings.

 

Just before lunch we leave for the suburbs of Santiago to visit the Santa Carolina Winery for a tour of this historic monument, tasting and lunch.

 

 

 

 

After lunch we return to the hotel for a brief period of relaxation before leaving in the evening to visit the nearby Perez Cruz Estate.

 

After a brief tour we will be led by the winemaker in a structured tasting.

We then take dinner together with the wines of the estate.

 

 

 

After dinner at the winery we return to the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Monday, Aconcagua Valley

After two days in the Maipo Valley, we will check out of our hotel after breakfast.

 

 

Bypassing the centre of Santiago we head towards the Aconcagua Valley where we will check into the Inca Hotel in Los Andes.

 

 

 

 

We will leave soon after arrival to visit the nearby Errazuriz winery for a tour and tasting followed by lunch.

 

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We take an early dinner together in the hotel, to prepare for our journey over the Andes the next day. (B,L,D)

 

 

Day 10: Tuesday, Andes Crossing

We check out of the hotel early for our long journey over the Andes and within a couple of hours we will be at the frontier and will soon be in Argentina.

 

The drive over the Andes will be the experience of a lifetime for many.

We should be able to see Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas at 6,959 m (22,841 ft), as well as many other snow covered peaks and glaciers.

At the frontier the road is almost 13,000ft above sea level with a view of snow covered peaks.

Procedures at the frontier can be tiresome, so we have chosen to be there early in the morning which is usually the best time.

On the descent from the top of the pass we arrive in the town of Uspallata where there will be a chance for some shopping and to grab a bite to eat.

 

Mid afternoon we will be in the Uco Valley checking into our hotel, Posada Salentein, set amongst the vines at the Salentein winery.

 

 

 

 

 

Before dinner at the hotel with the wines of Portillo and Salentein wineries, we will take a tour of the winery and will be led in a structured wine tasting. (B,D)

 

 

 

 

The winery is a splendid piece of modern architecture and sits next to the Kilkka Gallery of modern art.

 

 

 

Day 11: Wednesday, Uco Valley

After breakfast we head south to San Carlos to visit the Clos de Los Seite winery complex.

 

We will take a tour of the winery and, prior to lunch with wines from the Diamandes winery, we will assist in its preparation, learning a little of the cuisine of Argentina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early afternoon we return to our hotel for some down time.

Late afternoon we leave for the ten minute drive to the Rutini Winery for a tour and tasting. Hopefully they will be processing grapes using a computerized image grape sorting table.

 

We then move to the nearby Domaine Bousquet for dinner with their wines. (B,L,D)

Day 12: Thursday, Mendoza

After two nights amongst the vines in the Uco Valley, we head towards Mendoza City. The Andes are normally visible rising above the vines in the west.

 

We will stop en-route to visit the Decero Winery for a tour, tasting followed by lunch.

 

If the weather in the Andes is fine we should have a wonderful view of some of the highest peaks.

 

 
 

Early afternoon we will check into the Five Star Diplomatic Hotel in the centre of Mendoza.

The balance of the day and the evening will be free for exploring the city and for finding a place for dinner. (B,L)


 

 

Day 13: Friday , Mendoza

There will be a short time after breakfast for further exploration of the city before leaving for the Trapiche winery in the suburbs for a tour, tasting and lunch.

The winery which was built in the 19th century has been magnificently restored and modernized.

 

 

We return to the hotel after lunch leaving early evening for the Lagarde winery where we will have a formal tasting led by the winemaker followed by a dinner with wines of the estate. (B,L,D)

 

Day 14: Saturday , Mendoza

This is our final day in the Mendoza area comprising two winery experiences.

In the morning we visit the winery of Pascual Toso for a tour, tasting and lunch.

In the evening we will be in Mendoza City for our last dinner with the wines of Dona Paula. (B,L,D)

 

 

 

 


Day 15: Sunday, Mendoza.

The tour finishes after breakfast at the hotel.

Some will leave that day to return home; others will choose to stay a little longer in Mendoza; while some may head home but might stop for a few days in Santiago or Buenos Aires en route. (B)

 


 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the age range of the group?

These tours appeal to a wide range of ages, since we can love wine, food and travel at all stages of life. Typically the range is from 30 to 70 though we have had some older and younger than this join in the past.

Do you need to be a wine connoisseur to participate?

Absolutely not. These are tours of discovery and enjoyment, of the wine, food, culture and history of the region. You will certainly return home with a greater appreciation of wine. I have been told it is impossible to spend days traveling with me without learning more about how wine is made and enjoyed with food.

Is the trip price really all-inclusive?

Almost all costs are included other than souvenirs, an occasional cup of coffee and maybe a slice or two of pizza and a few meals. I frequently hear that there is too much wine and too much food such that, during free periods, people don’t need to eat or drink anything else.

These trips seem to be very reasonably priced, what is the catch?

I only run on average only two or three trips per year to places to which I would be going anyway; so why not take a few others along with me? These trips are not a fundamental part of what I do in life and so I price them reasonably so all can afford to join. Additionally I receive sponsorship subsidies from wine regions and wineries who are keen to show off to my guests their splendid products and services in the hope that they will spread the word. Virtually everyone comes on a trip as result of a word-of-mouth recommendation, so my marketing costs are low. I do not accept payment by credit card for the trip, so I do not have to budget for their merchant fees.

We have never traveled with a group before; will there be enough free time?

I used to dislike traveling on buses with groups and also found I needed time away from the group. Consequently we have frequent stops to do stuff when we are traveling by bus plus the schedule has lots of free time built in. Moreover nothing is compulsory, people sometimes take a day off to enjoy life away from the group.

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Conditions

The above itineraries are as planned. However we reserve the right to make adjustments depending upon weather, and other constraints, to substitute visits to alternative wineries and to arrange accommodation at hotels of similar standard in the towns mentioned. Prices are for double occupancy in twin/double rooms (single supplement on request). Hotels and winery visits subject to availability. The price for the tour includes luxury coach transportation and guide fees. Also included are breakfasts every day, winery visits and tastings, and 25 meals, most with wines selected by Steve Thurlow.

This price is correct at present but may change as a result of currency variations or other circumstances beyond our control. It is unlikely for there to be an increase and you are guaranteed that, if necessary, it would be less than 7%.

We accept credit card payments for the trip deposit but do not accept payment by credit card for the final trip payment unless special arrangements are made.

Other conditions apply. These are detailed on all Uniglobe Wine for Life invoices and can be supplied on request prior to booking.

In accordance with the Ontario Travel Industry Act, below is the registered name, address and registration number of the provider of the travel services:

UNIGLOBE Enterprise Travel Ltd
34 Britain Street, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 1R6

Agent: Steve Thurlow

TICO Registration Number: 1810380

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