A South American Vacation For Wine and Food Lovers
Floralis Genérica, architect Eduardo Catalano's aluminum flower on Avenida Figueroa Alcorta in Buenos Aires, opens its petals by day and closes them at night.
Photo: stuckincustoms / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Thinking about a South America trip that combines great wine and food, charming hotels, and shopping? Readers Michelle and Rick are. Here's their question:
"I recently signed up for The Perrin Post and think this is an outstanding tool for travel tips. I have been reading about South America and it sounds like somewhere my husband and I should visit. We are 56 years old, very active, and live in Cleveland, Ohio. We would like to plan a 10- to 12-day trip this winter, but are not sure of the best places to see. We love wine, shopping, good cuisine, and nice hotels. We do not speak Spanish. We would love to use your expertise in hopes of making the best of our trip. Thank you in advance for your help!"De nada. Argentina and Chile strike me as a good solution for you, so I e-mailed Vanessa Guibert Heitner of Limitless Argentina. Vanessa, who lives in Buenos Aires, is an Argentina and Chile travel specialist on my annually updated list of the world's best travel agents. Vanessa has designed and booked flawless, custom-tailored itineraries for several Conde Nast Traveler staffers, as well as dozens of the magazine's readers, not to mention our 2007 Dream Trip Winner's South American extravaganza. She was kind enough to suggest the following possible itinerary for you in an e-mail yesterday:
Argentina is the perfect place for a vacation during the Ohio winter. It is summer in Argentina and the weather is fantastic. For a 10-12 day trip with wonderful properties, shopping, food and wine, and beautiful scenery to boot, I would recommend combining Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Chilean wine country (with a visit to Santiago, as well). Late January or February are perfect, just after the crowded holiday season and before the harvest.You'll be in great hands with Vanessa. Also check out "Buenos Aires in Bloom," an article that ran in Condé Nast Traveler a couple of years ago. Buen viaje!
Buenos Aires offers sophisticated properties and excellent, varied, and affordable shopping, as well as a broad range of cultural and culinary venues. Mendoza, home of the Malbec and now officially one of the world's seven great wine regions, has lovely properties (my favorite is Cavas Wine Lodge), as well as an impressive array of wineries (from garage to international), restaurants, and Andes-related excursions.
The Colchagua valley just outside Santiago offers a different perspective on wine, with the Carmenère as the central grape in some of their most prized wines, such as Clos Apalta which won best wine of the year in 2008 from the Wine Spectator. I love Casa Lapostolle - it is a small, truly unique and beautiful property."