Although we might start with the apparent wine locales across South America, you may be surprised by some regions that produce wine and the ingredients that they use for their signature concoctions. Palm wines of Africa and rice and plum wines of Asia will open your eyes to the palette of flavors and wide varieties that winemakers around the world lovingly craft.
The fifth-largest producer of wine in the world and praised for its rugged scenery, glaciers and food (delicious steaks!), Argentina is the perfect destination for a food and wine tour.
Yampu usually begins their Mendoza wine tours with cultural city tours of Buenos Aires accompanied by gaucho shows and tango dancing shows topped off with an evening of fine wine and dinner. Learn about the history and culture of the city before visiting its internationally renowned wineries.
Of all of Argentina’s wine regions, Mendoza is the most famous and most significant producer of wine. Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu and Uco Valley are notable areas within that feature sandy soil and surrounding mountains. The vineyards here are known for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Tempranillos, and more red varieties.
Fabre Montmayou Winery
This family-run winery was established in the early 1990s, founded on the potential Mendoza had for producing a great Malbec. Founder Herve Joyaux Fabre made his vision come to life by purchasing old Malbec vineyards that were planted in 1908 and built a charming boutique winery. Here, you can take tours and tastings on a romantic property with a long history of delicious wine.
Due to its very unique terroir and the long, dry and mild fall season, Fabre Montmayou is considered one of the best areas for growing grapes in all of Mendoza. The family also owns vineyards in Patagonia- which is one of the most romantic places to visit and a beautiful place to do wine tastings in a resort setting.
Lagarde is one of the oldest wine producers in Mendoza with Malbec vines first planted in 1897. The Pescarmona family took over the vineyards in 1969 and is only the second family to run Lagarde. The winery has focused on producing exciting varieties that sometimes depart from tradition, including Viognier and Moscato Bianco.
In addition to providing visitors with wine that demonstrates exquisite taste and character, the winery is on a beautiful property and operates with a mission for sustainability. The family ensures that water is used responsibly with a water recycling program for irrigation purposes, conserving clean water for the community and the vineyard. They also use eco-friendly bottles and consistently work to reduce their ecological footprint while also continuing their mission to produce high-quality wines.
Northwest Wine Region
The vineyards in the northwestern provinces of Argentina feature vineyards at some of the highest elevations in the world, planted a few thousand feet higher than most European vineyards. The result is higher acidity wine, which demonstrates a balance and depth of flavors.
Well-known areas within this region include Catamarca, Salta and sub-region Cafayate. Time spent here will consist of a spectacular drive through the Calchaqui Valleys with views of quaint little towns, snow-capped mountains, and a cactus-covered plateau. In Cafayate enjoy tours of the historic Molinos village, the Moon Valley, Gorge de las Conchas and more.
Located in the city of Salta, Bodega Nanni follows more than 100 years of family tradition winemaking. Four generations of family producing wines in the Cafayate Valley demonstrate this winery’s understanding of the land they work, the grapes they produce, and quality finished product.
Now, you can tour the winery’s new state-of-the-art technology that helps them in their mission to produce excellent wine with as little waste as possible- sustainably. It is one of the first wineries in Argentina to receive organic certification. Bodega Nanni is known for its red and white varieties.
See one of our favorite Argentina wine tours here.
Taste Uruguay and experience a charming stay at local estancias, many of which have their own small vineyards. This diverse country will offer you gorgeous and sunny beaches, delicious cheese and wine, adventurous activities such as horseback riding, and drives through the quaint countryside. The wine in Uruguay is not to be missed!
This is the largest winery in all of Uruguay run by four generations of family after being founded in 1913 by Don Lorenzo Irurtia. Guided tours of this beautiful winery are offered, along with access to the family museum and wine tastings. While here, you can also taste delicious local cheeses and bread.
The union of the Uruguay River and Parana River creates the Rio de la Plata estuary with fertile soil and warm winds from the north. Here the family grows a combination of vines originating from France and Italy.
Try a deliciously scenic tour of Uruguay here.
Romantic, diverse landscapes and some of the most delicious wine you will ever taste, Chile’s wineries are perfect travel destinations. Learn all about the new wineries implementing environmentally friendly techniques and producing some of the world’s most excellent wines.
Colchagua Valley is the agricultural hub of Chile, also boasting a rich history. A beautiful countryside at the foothills of the Andes mountains, it is a calm, quaint, and sophisticated destination with some of the world’s best wines.
In the late nineteenth century, during the era of immense mining wealth in Chile, prominent families introduced excellent wine varieties of French origin – primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Merlot, and Malbec – to the long, thin country. Since then, and especially during the mid-1990s during Chile’s rebirth as a quality wine producer, this area has developed into one of the most important wine regions in South America.
This narrow and fertile agricultural valley begins from the Andean Mountain and extends to the west of the Pacific Ocean. Historically, this valley has been used for winemaking and currently consists of more than 15 vineyards. Each vineyard produces different varieties of red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, Syrah, and Malbec.
Viu Manent Winery
Viu Manent winery has been family-run since its founding in 1935. Viu Manent’s core philosophy is centered in attention to detail, respect for the environment, and honoring history and tradition while embracing innovation and modernity to support continued excellence.
The winery became a certified sustainable company by the Sustainability Code of the Chilean Wine Industry for implementing practices such as using lighter weight glass to bottle the wine, recycling, and efficient use of electric energy.
While there, relax in a beautiful setting and enjoy tasting signature wines such as ViBo, a Mediterranean-style wine blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah; Secreto de Viu Manent, secret blends of grapes that intrigue; or El Incidente, a Carmenere considered to be the country’s emblem variety.
Casa Silva Winery
Casa Silva is Chile’s most awarded winery of the 21st century and has been family-run for five generations. The vineyard tour will begin with a short film highlighting the vineyard’s history, followed by a tasting of three reserve wines. Casa Silva has sold its wines across the globe since 1997, getting the attention of the most sophisticated palates in over 50 different countries, earning the title as the Best Carmenere producer in Chile. The winery has vineyards stretching across areas from the Andean foothills to the coast.
Often hiding behind the fame of its neighbors, Maipo and Colchagua, this beautiful valley a Mediterranean climate with a warm, dry summer that provides for a long growing season. Many of its best-known vineyards grow fruit on the low slopes of the Andes, where they specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere.
Lopostolle emphasizes using French knowledge and expertise to produce their wine with the incredible Chilean terroirs. The result is world-renowned wine. In addition to a long family tradition of producing wine, spirits, and liqueur (the family is responsible for Grand Marnier!), Lapostolle Winery implements high-standard environmental practices. This includes organic vineyard management, biodynamic vision, ecological and environmental conservation, recycling, and more.
The Anakena Winery was founded in the late 1990s by two childhood friends who wanted to create elegant and innovative New World wines that would represent Chile. With a colonial-style winery incorporating stylish modern elements, and state-of-the-art technology, their laboratory allows them to manage all quality indicators with the utmost precision.
Visit the wineries in Casablanca Valley, one of Chile’s most important regions for cultivating the grapes that produce crisp white wines, most notably Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Enjoy tours, tastings and meals set amid lush gardens. Stay at the newly established Vina Vik; an art-filled 22-suite avant-garde retreat and wine spa.
Beautiful Casablanca Valley, Chile’s mecca for cool-climate viticulture. Renowned for wines with great freshness and significant aromatic potential, the Casablanca Valley has a diverse profile of excellent white and red varietals.
Visit Matetic Vineyard in the Casablanca Valley of Chile, where its proximity to the ocean creates cool, foggy mornings ideal for top quality Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Experience the vineyards on horseback or trek the valley all while enjoying the exceptional wine made right at the vineyard using biodynamic principles.
Stunningly modern, this new all-organic winery has named their wine “EQ” which stands for “Equilibrio,” the Spanish word for balance as in the harmony of soil, climate, and vine. Farm animals are used as part of pest control, so it’s not unusual to see llamas roaming the vineyards.
Loma Larga Winery
Named Winery of the Year in 2011 by Wine & Spirits magazine, Loma Larga sets the bar for quality cold-climate red wines with several award winners and consistent 90+ point ratings by such prestigious publications as Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
Enjoy gardens, orchards, and vineyards on a walk around the property, or on horseback. If you are feeling adventurous, you may take a guided helicopter tour of the property.
The Rosario Valley offers an ideal climate for the cultivation of grapes that produce popular red and white varietals. Despite being new to wine-making in the country, Rosario Valley offers much promise of success. Some vineyards here are less than three miles from the ocean, making it a stunning place to tour. Pack a bottle of wine from the vineyard and head to the Pacific Coast for a scenic day.
We operate numerous food & wine tours in Chile, offering the best in the country. See one of our favorites here.
For an extraordinarily well-rounded and unique wine experience, South Africa is a top-choice destination. View Table Mountain, an iconic natural marvel; lush botanical gardens; migratory whales, dolphins or maybe even orcas and big game before finishing the day with a delicious food and wine experience in the winelands.
Full of vineyards, you could make a day of winery tours alone. Franschhoek Valley is home to some of the country’s finest winemakers, who are pleased to give private cellar tours. The Valley itself is striking, offering views of vineyards woven between impressive mountain ranges.
Elephant Pass Vineyards
The coastal airs of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans lend to the success of the vineyards in this valley. Soak in the Mediterranean feel while sipping their new world wines from this vineyard named after the old migratory game pass through the mountains. Enjoy the scenery and keep an eye out for baboons!
A lovely town in the Cape Wine region, this town features a golf course, museums, and fertile valleys home to some of the grapes that produce much-loved South African wines. Surrounded by rugged mountains and lush scenery, it is a beautiful town to visit.
Mooiplaas Wine Estate
A wine estate and nature reserve rolled into one; the Mooiplaas property is a magnificent one to visit while in South Africa. Nestled amongst the majestic mountains and valleys of Stellenbosch and between two oceans, Mooiplaas produces environmentally friendly wines to encourage biodiversity while producing premium wine.
Mooiplaas’ philosophy is to produce excellent grapes that will give their wine characteristics of the place it was made with its own distinctive flavor profile.
Enjoy a fantastic wine tour of South Africa here.
Surprised? Southeast Asia’s winery market is on the rise! Vietnam currently has several notable vineyards on the rise that you can check out while you are touring the country for a taste of something new.
Dalat is the capital of Lam Dong province, located 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level in the southern parts of the Central Highlands. The area around the city is reached by twisting roads and surrounded by tree marigold blossoms. Nearby Nha Trang is located on Vietnam’s central coast and is considered to be Vietnam’s premier beach resort destination. It is now also home to more and more wineries.
Vang Dalat uses grapes from Vietnam’s primary grape-growing region: Phan Rang. Since the French introduction of wine culture in the 1950s, Vang Dalats aim to produce European-style wines with a more traditional Vietnamese twist. Grape and mulberry blends and sparkling white wines are among their offerings, making the winery worth a stop on your way through the beautiful country.
Another country in Southeast Asia is bringing a new world twist on wine- as if you needed one more reason to visit Thailand!
GranMonte Asoke Valley Winery
Founded in 1999 by Khun Visooth, GranMonte was inspired by a desire to do something different in the Thai wine industry. He began by producing Syrah, Tempranillo, and Chenin Blanc and later switched in Cabernet Sauvignon and other varieties. It’s a romantic setting, and proximity to other natural wonders of Thailand make this a must-see.
Other Varieties of Wine
Made in the Caribbean, Asia, parts of South America, and most famously, Africa. Palm wine is made from the sap of certain varieties of palm trees. Some versions are served fresh, and some are set to age for up to two years with other additives. For more on the different traditions and styles of palm wines, including culinary, and medicinal benefits across the world, visit here.
Primarily a product of China and Japan, plum wine has a sweet and sometimes sweet and sour flavor profile. It is a form of liqueur made with ripe and unripe ume plums. In Yampu’s new tours to Japan and China, consider taking part in a plum wine and sake tasting along with the culinary marvels of these countries or try a sip of plum wine at a local hibachi restaurant! Learn more about trying plum wine here.
Sake is a Japanese fermented rice wine that can have diverse flavors and uses but is typically clear and light. In the states, Sake is often used in combination with other liquors to create cocktails such as martinis. In Japan or China, try a good sake by itself for a new experience. Some have a sharp flavor like spirits, and others have a smoother flavor more reminiscent of traditional wine. Keep an eye out for upcoming tours of Japan featuring Sake tasting and brewery tours.
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