THE SPIRIT OF WINE AND THE BEAUTY OF PATAGONIA
“LES TERROIRS OF MENDOZA ARGENTINA”
Escorted by Leonardo LoCascio and Daniel Koupermann
Wine Journey: October 24nd – 31st 2017
Patagonia: October 31st – November 5th 2017
“Wine brings to light the hidden secrets of the soul, gives being to our hopes, bids the coward flight, drives dull care away, and teaches new means for the accomplishment of our wishes.” – Horace
This journey is inspired by the passion of Leonardo LoCascio for incredible wines, and the intention of Daniel to find new ways to share with our friends some of the most extraordinary places on earth.
Leonardo has been on all of Daniel journeys, the Ecuadorian Amazon with the Achuar people, Colombia with the Kogis, Peru with the Queros, Guatemala with the Mayans and cruising the Galapagos Islands. This time being together has built a great friendship and a common desire to explore new places, and this is precisely what brings them together to share this journey.
After more than 30 years importing wines from Italy, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Israel, and Australia to United States, Leonardo has become a connoisseur of fine wines. Please find attached a bio of Leonardo so you will have an idea of his deep knowledge and the respect he has for the spirit of South American and its most famous wine terroirs.
We will begin our journey in Buenos Aires and then travel to Mendoza, Argentina’s most famous wine region, to explore their bodegas and vineyards, and then the spectacular landscape of one of the southernmost lands on earth – Patagonia!!
“Wine is one of the most civilized and natural things in the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” – Ernest Hemingway
Day 1: October 24th, 2017 – Arrival to Buenos AiresYou will be met at the airport and taken to our hotel – Hotel Club Frances in the Recole- ta neighborhood (one of the most interesting and eclectic areas of the city).
Day 2: October 25th, 2017 – Buenos Aires to Mendoza
We will fly to Mendoza and explore this very interesting city. The city has wide, leafy streets lined with modern and art deco buildings, and smaller plazas surrounding Plaza Independencia, site of the subterranean Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno, displaying modern and contemporary art. It is at 746m (2300 feet) above sea level. It is nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountain Range, which gives shape to an incredible man-made oasis, along with help from the Mendoza and Tunuyán Rivers, which have been channeled into a huge irrigation system that gives life to everything it touches.
Lunch in a local restaurant.
We will go to Lujan de Cuyo our home base for the next 3 nights: Finca Adalguisa.
Mendoza Province is one of Argentina’s most important wine regions, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the country’s entire wine production. Located in the eastern foothills of the Andes, in the shadow of Mount Aconcagua, vineyards are planted at some of the highest altitudes in the world, the average site is located between 2,000 – 3,600ft. It includes Argentina’s first delineated appellation established in 1993 in Luján de Cuyo. The pink-skinned grapes of the area account for more than a quarter of all plantings, but Malbec is the region’s most important grape, followed closely by Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Chardonnay. Mendoza is considered the heart of the winemaking industry in Argentina, with the vast majority of large wineries located in the provincial capital of Mendoza. Argentina’s most highly rated Malbec wines originate from Mendoza’s high altitude wine regions of Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. The subject of elevation is of great interest in the wine world, because with increased altitude, the intensity of the sunlight increases. Mendoza has a continental climate and semi-arid desert conditions. The region experiences four distinct seasons with no extremes in temperatures, which provides for a relatively uneventful annual growth cycle for grapevines – especially winter dormancy. Rainfall in the region averages around 8 inches a year, making irrigation a necessity. Springtime frost is a rare occurrence with the main viticultural concern being summertime hail known locally as La Piedra. The soil of the Mendoza wine region is primarily alluvial composed of loose sand over clay. Mountain rivers including the Desaguadero, Mendoza, Tunuyan, Diamante, and the Atuel Rivers, provide ample water supplies from melted glaciers in the Andes. Nearly 117,000 boreholes are scattered throughout the region, providing the equivalent of an additional two rivers’ worth of water, flow to the area.
A system of irrigation channels, canals and reservoirs (some dating to the 16th century) help sustain viticulture in this semi-arid desert region.
A little history……
The region of Mendoza, or historically Cuyo, experienced an unprecedented wine boom in the 19th and early 20th century, which turned it into the fifth largest wine growing area of the world, and the first in Latin America. The establishment of the Buenos Aires-Mendoza railroad in 1885 ended the lengthy and costly travel with carts that connected these two regions of Argentina, and sparked development of vineyards in Mendoza. Furthermore, massive immigration to Río de La Plata mainly from southern Europe increased demand, and brought know-how to the old-fashioned Argentine wine industry. The vineyards of Mendoza totaled 1,000 hectors in 1830 and grew to 45,000 in 1910, surpassing Chile which had during the 19th century a larger area planted with vines and a more modern industry. By 1910 around 80% of the area of Argentine vineyards was planted with French stock, mainly Malbec. And by 2015, the greatness of Argentinian wines made from this Malbec grape is understood as a given. This French varietal, which failed so miserably on its home soil in Bordeaux, has reached startling heights in Argentina.
Day 3: October 26, 2017 – Bodegas Archival Ferrer
After breakfast we will visit Bodegas Achaval Ferrer, producers of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvigñon, and blends Monovarietales. We will have the opportunity to learn the history of the winery, tour, and taste several of their acclaimed wines. The winery prides itself on three pillars which are: 1) Centennial plants of the Pie Franco – original plants with no diseases that obstruct the nutrients from the soil, and give the wine a darker color, less PH, and a very intense flavor and enormous evolution potential. These old plants have tireless roots that suck up nutrients and minerals that other plants cannot absorb. 2) Various techniques of pruning and thinning the vines which produces a more concentrated flavor (2,600 plants per acre) and minimum intervention from the earth to glass. 3) No added sulfite, no enzymes, no correction of the PH, no cold maceration, and no control of temperature in the fermentation process.
Lunch will be in Restaurante Cavas Wine Lodge
This afternoon we will visit Champagneria Rossel Boher, producers of Espumantes (sparkling wines), Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvigñon Blanc. In 1999, the winery’s centennial installations were remodeled. Founded in 1900, they have continued the tradition of sparkling wine – following the traditional methods of the French champagne – slow and low temperatures offer the bouquet, fine bubbles, and the durability that make their sparkling wines unique.
Return to Finca Adalgisa for dinner (more wine?) and rest.
Day 4: October 27, 2017 – Bodegas Catena Zapata & Bodega Renacer
This morning we will visit Bodegas Catena Zapata, producers of Malbec, a blend of Cabernet Sauvigñon with Malbec, and Chardonnay. “The Bodega’s “vision is to make rich and unforgettable wines that are true to the special place they come from. The story of Catena is the story of Argentine wine.” Founded in 1902, Argentina’s Bodega Catena Zapata is known for its pioneering role in the resurrection of Malbec and in cultivating extreme high altitude terroirs in the Andean foothills of Mendoza. Nicolas Catena Zapata is a figure in Argentina of the same stature as Robert Monday of Napa and Angelo Gaja in Piedmont. Catena Zapata inspired an entire region to strive for a higher level of quality by his successful exploration of high altitude vineyards and rigorous clonal selection. He was one of the pioneers responsible for bringing high quality Argentinian wine to the world stage. The Catena institute of wine is dedicated to studying “every meter, rock, insect, and micro-organism in relation to their wine”.
Lunch is at Bodega Renacer.
We will visit their winery after lunch. The winery is known for its Malbec Rosé, Sauvigñon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Reserva Malbec. Patricio Reich (Pato), the owner of Renacer will be our host and a very old friend of Leonardo. “Finite period” or “full stop” symbolizes the point at which the Bodega Renacer wine-making team has accomplished their common goal…a truly outstanding wine. The winery, which is designed to produce premium wines, was built in 2004 in Perdriel, Mendoza in the Andes foothills. It is a fusion of classic and modern architecture. Tuscan inspired stone walls combined with well-defined modern straight lines provides a highly attractive and unique building. Th wines slowly age in 225 liter French oak barrels until their optimum time of release. “Each bottle will be the combination of our 3 most variable factors: our people, Mendoza’s premium terroir, and passion for excellence.”
Return to Finca Adalgisa.
Day 5: October 28, 2017 Mendoza – Valle de Uco
Leaving Finca Adalgisa we will travel to Valle de Uco the other most important wine producing region in Argentina. The Uco Valley at the foot of the Andes is a cultivated oasis at the highest altitude. Here the vineyards benefit from the cold and dry climate and wide temperature range.
First we will visit O. Fournier Winery, producers of Torontés, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, and Syrah. The winery has been designed to work with gravity to minimize the use of pumps. The grapes are picked manually by the company’s own workers and placed in 18 kilogram boxes, allowing the Bodega to control the quality of the grapes. The winery is located on a 650 acre farm with views of the snowcapped Andean Range. Our tour will take us through the interior of the winery and reaches a climax when we get to the gate of the tunnel which automatically opens into an impressive and unexpected cellar 33ft. underground.
Lunch will be at Piedra Infinita at Bodegas Zuccardi with a visit to the winery afterwards.
Zuccardi is located in the center of an alluvial cone of dejection giving the ground a marked heterogeneity. Sebastian Zuccardi, the third generation of the Zuccardi family, developed an area within his winery for research and development, dedicated to the study of the terroir variables that affect wine quality. The aim in his words is, “not to seek perfect wine, but those which express the place, the region.” Zuccardi wine expresses the essence of the soils and the extreme climate conditions and altitude in which the vineyard is planted.
In the afternoon we will travel to Posada Salentein our lodging for the night – an extraordinarily beautiful property. Before dinner (and sleep!), we will visit their vineyards and winery, learn the history and taste some of their varieties – Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The Bodega is located at an elevation of 4,000ft. More than 121 acres of native desert habitat were preserved and are part of the Bodega’s everyday landscape. The cross shape of the bodega facilitates a careful management of the grape and the wine, while it allows a reduction of the path that both the fruits and their product travel throughout the stages of the process. Each wing of the cross is itself a little bodega with two levels. In the first wing, stainless steel tanks and French oak casks enables fermentation and storage, while in the subterranean level, the wine is aged in oak barrels. Both floors allow the circulation of tank liquid to the barrels through a traditional system of gravity transference. The four-wings converge in a circular central chamber, similar to an amphitheater, inspired by the classic temples of antiquity. The subterranean cellars are located 26ft. underground and have a constant temperature of 54 degrees with 80% humidity.
Day 6: October 29, 2017 Buenos Aires
AM: Rest and free time.
After lunch we will explore this world-famous city.
In the evening we will have dinner and a tango showYou will be met at the airport and taken to the Hotel Club Francés in old downtown Buenos Aires
This morning we will fly from the Mendoza airport to Buenos Aires, a 1/1/2 hour flight. From the airport we will be taken to our hotel for the next 2 nights – Hotel Club Frances
After lunch we will have a guided tour of this world-famous city.
Buenos Aires is the capital and most populous city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent’s southeastern coast. “Buenos Aires” can be translated as “fair winds” or “good airs”. The Greater Buenos Aires urban area, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 17 million. It is known for its preserved Spanish/European-style architecture and rich cultural life. Buenos Aires is a multicultural city, home to multiple ethnic and religious groups. Several languages are spoken in the city, in addition to Spanish, contributing to its cultural diversity. In the last 150 years the city, and the country in general, has been a major recipient of millions of immigrants from all over the world, making it a melting pot where ethnic groups live together making it one of the most culturally rich countries in South America.
This evening we will have dinner in a local restaurant and visit a milonga. A milonga is a social event or location for tango dancing. More simply, milongas are tango dance parties. People who dance tango at milongas are known as milongueros. Milonga is a musical genre that originated in the Río de la Plata areas of Argentina and Uruguay. It was very popular in the 1870s. It was derived from an earlier style of singing known as the payada de contrapunto. The songs were set to a lively 2/4 tempo, as are most milongas.
Day 7: October 30th, 2017 Tour of Buenos Aires
During the day we will visit some of the most important and interesting sites in the city: La Boca – a traditional Buenos Aires neighborhood, Caminito – the neighborhood famous for tango dancing.
Our lunch all be at Restaurante La Brigada.
After lunch we will visit Palermo. Abasto Tango, Plaza de Mayo, Casa
Rosada, Catedral, and Café Tortoni
In the evening we will have dinner along with a tango show.
Day 8: October 31st, 2017:
Transfer to the Buenos Aires airport for international connections home or to continue with the Patagonia Extension.
Day 8: October 31, 2017 Buenos Aires to Calafate
We will transfer to the Buenos Aires airport for the flight to Calafate, where we will stay at the Hotel Xelena. After lunch at the hotel, we will start our afternoon with a tour of Calafate City, and then a beautiful panoramic ride in the surrounding mountains, with great views of the valley with Lago Argentino and the Perito Moreno Glacier.
El Calafate is a town near the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. It’s mainly known as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, home to the massive Perito Moreno Glacier, whose ever-shifting icy landscape is popular for hiking and sightseeing. The name of the city is derived from a little bush with yellow flowers and dark blue berries that is very common in Patagonia: the calafate (Berberis buxifolia), the word comes from the word “calafate”, which is Spanish for “caulk”. The history of El Calafate began in the first decades of the twentieth century. The town was officially founded in 1927 by the government of Argentina to promote settlement, but it was the creation of nearby Perito Moreno National Park in 1937 that sparked growth and the building of a better road access. El Calafate experiences a cold semi-arid climate with cool to warm, very dry summers and cool to cold, slightly wetter winters. The city’s extremes of cold and heat are moderated by the influence of the very large lake – Lago Argentino. The waterfront of the city is located on a large shallow bay that is often frozen in the winter, allowing residents to ice skate. The highest temperature recorded was 87.3 F, while the lowest recorded temperature was 1.4 F on July 27, 2016. In October the average temperature is 57 F.
Day 9: November 1, 2017 Calafate: Pasarelas Perito Moreno
The Perito Moreno Glacier is a natural wonder that rises 190 feet above sea level and has 3.1 miles of water front that freezes the atmosphere. The Glacier was declared a Humankind Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is considered the 8th Natural Wonder. It is one of the most imposing glaciers on earth It is surrounded by forest and mountains in Los Glaciares National Park, in the Patagonia region of Argentina. Perito Moreno Glacier is impressive due to its extension and height, its easy access, continuous advance and loud loosening of huge icebergs, and the spectacular rupture of the wall of ice. We will follow the paths that lead us to face the glacier and see different impressive views, while continuous detachments and constant ice breaking noises ring in our ears. Then for about an hour we will motor in a small boat between the floating ice to see different views of the ice walls. We will have the chance to explore and discover first-hand the absolute beauty and grandeur of the Perito Moreno Glacier.
Day 10: November 2, 2017 Uppsala and Spegazzini Glaciers – Los Glaciares National Park
After breakfast we will board a 28 passenger ship at La Soledad dock in Bahia Tranquila. Sailing northwest on Lago Argentino we will see Paraje Punta Bandera, Punta Avellaneda, Boca del Diablo and Upsala Glacier. Then we will sail southward towards Canal Spegazzini and Spegazzini Glacier.
We will have a beautiful gourmet lunch aboard the ship.
After lunch will will dock at Puesto de las Vacas for a guided hike. Finally we will return back through Brazo Norte to the La Soledad dock. Return to the hotel for dinner and rest.
Los Glaciares National Park
The Patagonian ice field is, after Antarctica, the largest concentration of ice on the planet. Its glaciers descend from 1,500 to 200 meters above sea level enabling unique access and viewing of the glaciers. Los Glaciares National Park offers a magnificent combination of forest, lakes, mountains, ice and steppes with over 200 glaciers. The most renowned being Spegazzini, rising 135 meters above sea level and Uppsala covering an entire valley with an approximate extension of 765km2 and a length of 53km. We will sail on board a cruise ship around the channels that connect the Patagonian continental ice fields. The vessel accesses the icefloes barrier lying close to the main wall of the Uppsala Glacier and the immensity of the Spegazzini Glacier.
Day 11: November 3rd 2017 Calafate to Ushuaia
In the morning we will fly from Calafate airport to Ushuaia, then transfer to Hotel Las Hayas. In the afternoon we will do a short tour of Ushuala.
Ushuala is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province, Argentina. It is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. While there are settlements farther south, the only one of any notable size is Puerto Williams, a Chilean settlement of some 2,000 residents. Ushuala is a center of population, commerce, and culture, and a town of significant size and importance It is located in a wide bay on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, bounded on the north by the Martial mountain range, and on the south by the Beagle Channel. On average the city experiences 146 days of precipitation a year, with many cloudy and foggy days, averaging 206 cloudy days a year. This results in Ushuaia receiving an average of 3.93 hours of sunshine per day (an annual total of 1,434 hours). Ushuaia is very humid with an average humidity of 77%. The city’s climate is influenced by Antarctica, and the duration of daylight varies significantly, from more than 17 hours in summer to just over 7 hours in winter.
History: The Selk’nam Indians, also called the Ona, first arrived in Tierra del Fuego about 10,000 years ago. The southern group of the Selk’nam, the Yaghan (also known as Yámana), occupied what is now Ushuaia, living in continual conflict with the northern inhabitants of the island. For much of the latter half of the 19th century, the eastern portion of Tierra del Fuego was populated by a substantial majority of nationals who were not Argentine citizens, including a number of British subjects. Ushuaia was founded informally by British missionaries. The British ship HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain Robert FitzRoy, first reached the channel on January 29, 1833, during its maiden voyage surveying Tierra del Fuego. Charles Darwin was onboard the ship. Afterwards the ship sailed to the Galapagos Islands where Darwin was inspired to write “The Origin of the Species”.
During the first half of the 20th century, the city centered around a prison built by the Argentine government to increase the Argentine population and to ensure Argentine sovereignty over Tierra del Fuego. Escape from Tierra del Fuego was similarly difficult, although two prisoners managed to escape into the surrounding area for a few weeks. The prison population thus became forced colonists who spent much of their time building the town with timber from the forest around the prison. They also built a railway to the settlement, now a tourist attraction known as the End of the World Train, the southernmost railway in the world. The prison operated until 1947, when President Juan Perón closed it by executive order in response to the many reports of abuse and unsafe practices. After the closure, it became a part of the Navy Base, functioning as a storage and office facility until the early 1990s. Later it was converted into the current Maritime Museum of Ushuaia.
The naval base at Ushuaia was engaged during the Falklands War of 1982. The Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano, subsequently sunk by the British Fleet, sailed from the Port of Ushuaia, where a memorial was erected in February 1996.
Day 12: November 4, 2017 Beagle Channel & Visit to Penguins Island
We will get on board the motor yacht Les Eclaires, navigating southwest to enter in the Beagle Channel. We will stop at Birds Island to see local species such as imperial cormoran, skúas, giant southern petrels, and black eyebrow albatross, then at Sea Lion´s Island, we will see South American sea lions, and South American fur seals. We will continue on to the Eclaires Archipelago to see its famous light house, and continue through the Beagle Channel viewing the Patagonian landscape including Puerto Williams, the Chilean village. We will disembark at Estancia Haberton, a very old Hacienda, that still preserves its original farming activities.
We will take a smaller motor boat for a short trip to Martillo Island where we will walk through a Magallanic and Papuas penguin colony, which will be a very special contact with this beautiful bird. Coming back to the Estancia we will have time for lunch, and to visit the Acatushun Museum of marine animals and birds. We will travel back to Ushuaia by land enjoying the dramatic scenery of Patagonia.
Day 13: November 5th 2017 Ushuaia to Buenos Aires.
We will take an early flight back to the airport in Buenos Aries.
Please make your flights’ departures for home or your next stop after 3:00pm.
LES TERROIRS OF MENDOZA ARGENTINA: $3,800 per person (double occupancy).
Single supplement: $1,700 per person
Initial deposit of $1000 will confirm your space. Second payment of $1800 is due July 1st. Balance of $1000 is due September 1st, 2017.
PATAGONIA EXTENSION: $2,500 per person (double occupancy)
Single supplement: $890 per person
Initial deposit of $500 will confirm your space. Second payment of $1000 is due July 1st. Balance of $1000 is due September 1st, 2017.
Note: Wifi will be available in most of the locations.
Reservations: All reservations are subject to availability. For information about how to reserve your space and make your deposit for the journey, please contact Linda Leyerle at firstname.lastname@example.org. In Argentina, it is not possible to reserve rooms or park entrance fees without the traveler’s passport information. Linda will give you details about how to get that to us. Time is of the essence so please respond as soon as possible if you are interested in this journey.
Cost includes: Private tour bus or van for travel during the journey, All breakfasts, one lunch (Patagonia) and 2 dinners (Finca Adalguiza and the Tango Show), hotels, tips for restaurants and hotels, water during meals, transportation from airport in Buenos Aires, Calafate, Ushuaia, park entrance fees, local guide to share history and cultural information.
Cost does NOT include: Roundtrip airfare to Buenos Aires, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, tips for the local guides and private bus driver, personal items, souvenirs. Please Note: Only 1 lunch and 2 dinners are INCLUDED in the cost of this journey. The other meals are to be paid by each traveler.
This journey is for individuals ready to have an educational/experiential experience. Persons with physical challenges may find this journey too difficult or uncomfortable. We recommend a visit with your doctor at least 6 weeks in advance of departure. No immunizations are required unless you will be entering Argentina from a country with Yellow Fever – in which case you will need a Yellow Fever immunization and be prepared to show proof. You will be from sea level to 4000ft. elevation.
No visas are required for most people entering Argentina (US, Canadian, EU, Australia and New Zealand citizens). If you have questions about this, please let Linda know. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months after the date of your return (May 5, 2018).
Once you have reserved your space, we will send you more information – packing lists, info about the country, etc. You will be fully prepared for the journey. Also, Linda is always available by email for any questions or concerns – whatever they may be.
Cancellations & Refunds: Due to availability of space on our journey and the time required to process trip reservations, your deposit will not be refundable if received after August 1st, 2017. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance in order to protect yourself in case extenuating circumstances force you to cancel your trip. Travelex or CSA are two respected possibilities.
Responsibilities: ANDEAN PATHS reserves the right to accept or reject any person as a participant at any time, and to make changes in the itinerary whenever deemed necessary for the comfort, convenience, and safety of our participants, and to cancel a journey at any time. In the event a journey is cancelled, ANDEAN PATHS shall have no responsibility beyond the refund of monies paid to it by program participants as listed. By registering, the participant agrees that neither ANDEAN PATHS nor their affiliates shall be liable for any damages, loss or expense occasioned by any act or omission by any supplier providing services to any program participant. Reasons that Andean Paths might cancel a program include, but are not limited to, issues around safety due to impassable roads, protests in Argentina, or similar unforeseen events.