Can a self-proclaimed oenophile be a true wine aficionado if they have not stayed in at least one wine resort? We think not. The pinnacle of appreciating wine would come when you live, breathe, and perhaps even bathe in wine — all of that is possible when you make a holiday trip to a vineyard and stay there.
While vineyards around the globe are far and wide, focus your attention towards South America, where the variety is great and the wine resort is magnificent. After all, Chilean wine has been enjoying great success in China. Staying in a wine resort is no different from holidaying in a beach resort, except that instead of getting an ocean view from your room, you get a view of either the vineyard or the surrounding mountains. The choice of rooms are equally as luxurious, if not better. There are resorts that take after the medieval era’s architecture, while some are more modern with a minimal look if that’s your cup of tea (or glass of wine.)
But staying in a vineyard resort isn’t just about drinking the wine — at certain times of the year, you can even participate in picking, sorting, and crushing grapes. If it’s not in season, wine blending classes are also available at the resort. When all else fails to pique your fancy, you can never go wrong with vinotherapy — a spa therapy that involves rubbing wine residue into the skin, which has great exfoliating and anti-aging properties.
Thinking about a wine holiday already? Read on to see the six South America wine resorts we have in mind for you.
Altalaluna may be a boutique hotel, but it doesn’t scrimp on the luxe factor. The rooms in the hotel and spa have amazing panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, and the in-house gourmet restaurant features wine from the local vineyard, naturally.
Altalaluna Hotel Boutique & Spa, KM 4326, RN 40, 4141 Tolombon, Salta, Argentina, +54 387 461-0283.
Set against the magnificent view of the Andes mountain, Casa De Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort is a beautiful countryside resort with sprawling grounds situated beside a private vineyard. We hear you can go cycling or horse riding to explore the grounds, or indulge in vinotherapy.
Casa De Uco Vineyards & Wine Resort, Ruta 94, kilómetro 14.5, 5500 Tunuyán, Mendoza, Argentina, +54 261 476-9831.
Cavas Wine Lodge was the first luxury wine resorts in Argentina, and it is still relevant. The simplistic white building is as elegant as it is rich in charm, filled with sculptures and modern paintings. When you’re not sipping wine from the wineries nearby and dining on the carefully paired cuisine from the lodge, try the Moorish spa with its wine-inspired therapies.
Cavas Wine Lodge, Costaflores s/n, Cobos, 5507 Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, +54 261 456-1748.
As with most Vik hotels, you’ll find that the Estancia Vik José Ignacio in Uruguay is modern with a penchant for striking art pieces and design. A great time to visit is in February and March, where there will be fewer guests but still with lovely weather. Other than horse riding and cycling activities within the resort, you can also hone your polo skills and drink wine on the side.
Estancia Vik José Ignacio, Camino Eugenio Saiz Martinez, 20402 Departamento de Maldonado, Uruguay, +598 94 605 212.
Yet another creation of Norwegian billionaire Alexander Vik, the Viña Vik Hotel in Chile is a stunning piece of modern art disguised as a building, made obvious by the titanium swirl of a rooftop. There are 22 suites in the hotel, each designed by a mix of Chilean and foreign artists. When you’re not visiting the state-of-the-art winery, bathe in it with the vinotherapy bath treatment.
Viña Vik Hotel, Millahue s/n, San Vincente de Tagua Tagua, VI Chile, +569 6193 1754.
At The Vines of Mendoza, don’t just sip your wine unwittingly — you can be a part of the process too by picking, sorting, and crushing the grapes in the vineyard. If the time of the year permits, that is. Otherwise, you can try your hand at wine blending too. Who knows, you might just discover a hidden talent. When it’s time to relax, we suggest lounging by the pool with a stunning view of the mountains.
The Vines of Mendoza, RP 94, M5663AHA Los Sauces, Mendoza, Argentina, +54 261 461-3800.