Tag Archives: asado

Lunch with The Enemy in Mendoza

We’ve been recommending this experience in Mendoza for some time now, but it’s so good that we want to give it a refreshed view. Enjoy a culinary proposal now included in the Michelin Voyage guide.


Alejandro Vigil is a wine expert at Aleanna Winery, one of the most prestigious wineries in Argentina. Together with Laura, the youngest daughter of the renowned Ernesto Catena, he indulged himself by introducing his own wine: “El Enemigo”. From its very first impression, the name speaks for itself and plays opposite to the other wineries that want to bind together wine and friendship. However, the name given to this wine, has conquered the market due to its antagonism: “The Enemy”.

Maybe that’s not the picture we have in mind about what happens behind closed doors at Aleanna Winery, but that’s how Alejandro Vigil is. He understands his work that way because he is as passionate for the grapevines, the bottles and the beautifully designed labels as for his own restaurant: Casa Vigil (formerly called El Enemigo), where his guests can savour exquisite local cuisine and its emblem wine.

Located in Chachingo, Maipú, only half an hour away from the city of Mendoza, Casa Vigil was recently included in the prestigious French guide Michelin Voyage, which stands out the best touristic and gastronomic places to visit outside France. The guide has remarked not only the well thought dishes that you will find on its menu to pair its wines, but also praised the place itself for its originality and exhibited local art. “An attractive and atypical place”, the Michelin Voyage calls.

This is not the only international mention to Casa Vigil. In 2017, the Great Wine Capitals network awarded it as the best cellar restaurant in Argentina, and Decanter magazine called it one of the best restaurants in Mendoza.

With so many good reviews, surely you´re curious and eager to see and taste for yourself what all this is about. This is definitely an experience that you can’t miss on your visit to Mendoza.

When in town, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to Casa Vigil, where you´ll meet Alejandro and his wife Maria. You´ll visit the cellar where El Enemigo and El Gran Enemigo are made, and also be welcomed into the Vigil´s family home, where they´ll share anecdotes, stories and tell you about their passion for wine.

The visit includes and exquisite asado (barbecue) with gourmet salads and grilled vegetables. Of course, you won´t leave without tasting some of the house´s internationally prized wines, joined by one of the best wine experts in the world: Alejandro himself will guide you through a “Great Enemy” wine tasting experience.  


 

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Lunch with “El Enemigo” menu: Barbecue with gourmet salads and grilled vegetables along with the seven labels of “El Enemigo”.
  • Min. 2 pax required
  • Tour to the cellar is subject to availability.
  • Included: Round-trip transportation to and from the winery – “Gran Enemigo” wine tasting experience – 4 step lunch with wines included.
  • Not included: Tips – Accommodation – Extra wine tastings – Guide.
  • 7 step dinner service is also available. Contact your Kallpa Executive for pricing.

Horseback riding at Estancia Rio Mitre

Get closer to nature and live a rustic countryside riding experience at a traditional Patagonian estancia looking over the Lago Argentino.


Estancia Río Mitre is a working family ranch and farm located 40 minutes from El Calafate and only 30 km from the Perito Moreno Glacier. Alighted on an area of risen ground and overlooking the Lago Argentino, Río Mitre provides breathtaking views all around.

Estancia Rio Mitre_Calafate
Estancia Rio Mitre

So close but yet so far from modern technology, this is the place to visit to get away and make yourself unreachable for a while: no WiFi, no 3G, no mobile signal. You will surely relax visiting this far off land, spending the day or stopping by for tea on the way back from the Perito Moreno.

Animals run free here…guanacos, dogs, chickens, sheep, lambs and horses. Even a grey fox visits from time to time; you may be lucky and meet him. All of them are very friendly and are used to pose for pictures with the visitors. Take as many selfies as you like with all of them!

Free sheep!
Free sheep!

Besides animals and landscapes, the main attraction in Río Mitre is the horseback riding experience. The estancia offers different options, even longer rides for 10 days, but brief travellers may spend half day in the morning or in the afternoon and ride too.   

Riding the steppe
Riding the steppe

In the morning, around 9 am, the estancia staff will pick you up from your hotel in Calafate and drive you for almost 60 km. Part of the road is on gravel, so the adventure begins before arriving. On the way, the Patagonian steppe at its peak will offer a unique scenery with a far away horizon and wide lands, passing by several ranches. This is also a good opportunity to observe diverse bird species in the wild.

Once arriving to Río Mitre, a warm welcome by Esteban Echeverría -the estancia´s owner and a natural storyteller- and other attentive staff members that will invite you with coffee or the traditional mate and delicious tortas fritas (homemade fried pastries).

Gaucho riding at lake shore
Gaucho riding at lake shore

After settling in, a guide that will join you during the whole horseback riding will take you to the stable to meet your horse for the ride. Once everyone is comfortable with the assigned steeds, the journey will begin.

Ready to ride
Ready to ride

Always surrounded by dreamy landscapes, the ride will take you crossing the valley and, for starters, to the first settlement of the Echeverría family at early twentieth century. Then, a visit to an ancient indigenous camp. The way back to the stable will be by the shore of the Rico arm of Lago Argentino, watching and learning about flora and fauna along the whole valley.

Into the wild
Into the wild

The significant beauty of nature and the feeling of freedom riding through these vast lands is overwhelming and hard to explain; it´s only possible to describe through the experience itself. This is a place to fall for unforgettable sunsets and long summer days in close contact with nature, feeling at ease and free.

The mighty Patagonian steppe
The mighty Patagonian steppe

Certainly the ride will make you hungry, but not to worry! Lunch will be waiting for you: taste a delicious Patagonian country asado and share a table full with conversation and stories. Once you’re finished, at around 2 pm we will get back to El Calafate town.

After an exhilarating morning outdoors and a fulfilling meal, the drive probably will make you fall in and out of sleep, blending the Patagonian steppe outside and the memories of a fun and unique experience at almost the end of the world.

For more information about this horseback riding experience and other options at Estancia Río Mitre, please contact your Kallpa Tour executive.

Sunset at Estancia Rio Mitre
Sunset at Estancia Rio Mitre

GENERAL INFORMATION
  • This excursion may be shared with other guests.
  • Includes transfers, infusions with fried pastries, 2 hs horseback riding with guide, barbecue with salads for lunch.
  • Drinks not included.
  • Rides available in the afternoon also, different itinerary.