Tag Archives: experience

TASTING NORTHERN WINE IN SALTA

A special location and terroir makes of this winery the first to harvest in the Calchaquí Valleys.


The winery Estancia Los Cardones is located in Tolombón, province of Salta. This is the northernmost wine-growing area in Argentina, located south of the city of Cafayate at 1,700 masl, located at the top of the eastern slope of the Calchaquí Valleys.

The facility, inaugurated in early 2017, was built entirely of stone extracted from the quarries of the same estate. In fact, if you look at the drawing of the walls in the cellar you can easily have a notion of the soil that makes up the vineyard.

We propose you to visit this particular winery taking a guided tour following the path that makes the grape until it becomes a wine that reflects the unique characteristics of this terroir of Tolombón.

Starting with the vineyards, we will learn everything about this peculiar soil. The terroir of Estancia Los Cardones is unique in the valleys as it is rocky, very shallow, with abundant chipped slate stone on the surface and full of disintegrated mica.

The mostly planted strain is the Malbec, however you can also find lots with Petit Verdot, Grenache, Cabernet and Marsanne.

Another curious fact that makes this winery special is that the orientation of the vineyards, the intense sun and the stony soil favour the earliest maturity of the grape, being the first farm to harvest in all the Calchaquí Valleys.

We will continue into the winery to learn about the production process and end up in the cellar, where we will take in how the wine is aged to become the exquisite final product.

To finish the visit, we will go to the tasting room to taste three wines from the winery and check on our own the characteristic flavor of this special terroir from the north.

The golden clasp, it is possible to enjoy a lunch with empanadas, barbecue and a regional dessert!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Duration: 2-2.30 hours
  • Operates: Wednesday to Saturday from 10 to 18 hs (last tour at 17 hs). Sunday from 9 to 13 hs (last tour at 12 hs). Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Includes: guided tour of the vineyard and winery facilities, wine tasting and lunch as described.
  • Not included: transfers.

 

PATAGONIAN RANCH EXPERIENCE IN EL CALAFATE

Experience the rural life of an authentic Patagonian estancia in the lands of the Perito Moreno Glacier.


Far from mass tourism and 55 km from El Calafate, we find the historic ranch Estancia Nibepo Aike. Initially called La Jerónima, Nibepo Aike covers an area of ​​more than 12,000 hectares, delimited by the South Arm of Lake Argentino and the border with Chile, framed by the Andes Mountains. Dedicated to bovine and sheep production as livestock activities, it is an ideal place to immerse yourself in rural life.

Nowadays you may spend the day visiting the ranch, to experience the life of an authentic estancia located in one of the most impressive settings in Argentina.

Every morning and afternoon, it is possible to enjoy the traditional countryside day. Upon arrival, the host guide will receive and take you to the quincho for a hot drink (tea, coffee or mate) and homemade pastry.

Then, we will set forth on an easy walk to tour the facilities of the farm, which was formerly dedicated to sheep production only, and which today has been transformed into the most prestigious Hereford cabin of these latitudes that also maintains a sheep herd.

The hike will take us to excellent views of the South Arm of Lake Argentino, discovering various rocky outcrops eroded by glacial action and changes in lake levels. Through trails, we will discover a forest of lenga and ñir trees, where caranchos, cachañas, hares, woodpeckers, eagles and an abundant variety of native flora and fauna live.

We will arrive at the shearing shed and current historical museum of the stay. Here we will learn about this peculiar rural work, from the shearing of the animal to the assembly of the bundle of wool; the way in which the wool is stowed and transported.

Next, a “reins test” of riders will be carried out or, depending on the rural activities of the day, farm work will be done in the pens near the main house. In the morning, visitors can also participate in the milking and sheep grazing, concluding with a typical day of work in the ranch.

On the way back, the guide will reveal the history of the place, telling anecdotes and stories of the first settlers. Crossing through the orchard where most of the vegetables in the ranch come from, we will arrive to the quincho, where they will wait for us with an exquisite barbecue, ready to delight us with a delicious Patagonian lamb while enjoying the imposing view of the Cordillera.

For those who choose the extended countryside day option, after lunch or before dinner and rural activities, will take a three hour guided horseback ride on different paths that will allow you to learn more about the corners of Nibepo Aike.

And for those who do not have enough time for a full day experience, you may visit the estancia only for lunch or dinner at the quincho. Taste the homemade delicacies, a barbecue of Patagonian lamb, beef steaks and sausages, with various salads, homemade dessert and one drink per person. This culinary experience is ideal before or after the Perito Moreno Glacier excursion, if you rented a car. It is important to clarify that this option does not include other rural activities.

Another brief but more adventurous option to not miss this incredible Patagonian ranch is to only take a guided three-hour horseback ride, touring the coast of the lake and ascending to the Cerro de los Cristales hill. With its 1282 meters, despite not being the highest in the area, its privileged view allows you to appreciate Lake Argentino, the Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine, from a single point.

Returning to El Calafate, having experienced the life of a typical Patagonian estancia will give you a new perspective, finding more meaning in the immense Patagonian landscapes characterized by the infinite and the remote.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Countryside Day, morning or afternoon: Traditional option to visit the ranch. 

  • Schedule: AM Pick up 8.30 – Drop off 15:30 / PM Pick up 16.30 – Drop off 23.30. The schedules are estimates and subject to modification. 
  • Includes: Welcome reception with tea/coffee/mate and fried cakes/homemade puddings. Walk around the old main house. Stories of the first settlers of the Estancia and the cattle ranching. Brief historical review on the breakdowns of the Perito Moreno Glacier and their consequences in the area. Milking in the morning (depending on the time of calving of the animals), feeding of lambs or calves with a bottle and sheep herding. Demonstration of shearing and test of reins. Visit to the orchard. Lunch/Dinner: Roast Lamb with salads and dessert. A glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink per person during meal. Bilingual English/Spanish guide during rural activities. 
  • Not included: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the meal, outside the stipulated. Transfers. Tips. Horseback ride. Bilingual guide for the horseback ride.

Extended Countryside Day: a 3 hours horseback ride is added to the traditional Countryside day.

  • Schedule: AM Pick up 8.30 – Drop off 19:30 – Horseback ride after Countryside day and lunch /  PM Pick up 13.30 – Drop off 23.30 – Horseback ride before Countryside day and dinner. The schedules are estimates and subject to modification. 
  • Includes: Welcome reception with tea/coffee/mate and fried cakes/homemade puddings. Walk around the old main house. Stories of the first settlers of the Estancia and the cattle ranching. Brief historical review on the breakdowns of the Perito Moreno Glacier and their consequences in the area. Milking in the morning (depending on the time of calving of the animals), feeding of lambs or calves with a bottle and sheep herding. Demonstration of shearing and test of reins. Visit to the orchard. Lunch/Dinner: Roast Lamb with salads and dessert. A glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink per person during meal. Bilingual English/Spanish guide during rural activities. Horseback riding of approximately 3 hours duration. 
  • Not included: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the meal, outside the stipulated. Transfers. Tips. Bilingual guide for the ride

Patagonian barbecue: Lunch or dinner at the quincho

  • Schedules: Lunch at 12 pm. Dinner at 8 pm. 
  • Includes: Lunch/Dinner at the quincho: Roast Lamb with various salads and homemade dessert. A glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink per person during the meal. Ask for alternative menu. 
  • Not included: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the meal, outside the stipulated. Transfers. Tips.

Horseback ride: 3 hours to explore the corners of Nibepo Aike in more depth, crossing the coast of the lake and ascending to the Cerro de los Cristales. 

  • Schedules: From 3 to 6 pm. Please check in 30 minutes in advance. 
  • Includes: Horseback riding with guide authorized by National Parks. 
  • Not included: Transfers. Bilingual guide.

PENGUINS UP CLOSE & PERSONAL

This full day excursion provides wildlife sightings and an authentic experience of the Atlantic Patagonia from the eyes of the pioneers who populated the area in the last century.


Only 70 km from Puerto Madryn and along Patagonian steppe, we reach the southern end of the mouth of the Golfo Nuevo where we find the Punta Ninfas lighthouse, a valuable reference for navigators entering the gulf. From the cliff we can see the breeding grounds of elephants and sea lions on the surrounding beaches.

We continue on our way to El Pedral, an authentic Patagonian farmhouse built at the beginning of the 20th century. The materials and furniture were brought from Europe by boat and landed on the shores of the estancia itself. The house was inaugurated in 1923 and still keeps the aesthetics and style of those times. 

Minutes away, there’s a Magellanic penguin colony established on the shores of El Pedral. There were 13 couples in 2008 and today there are more than 5000 penguins. We’re lucky to take a guided walk between their nests and learn a bit more about these curious animals while standing really close to them.

El Pedral takes care of a beach control and cleaning scheme, collaborating with the GPS Foundation (Global Penguin Society), which monitors the Magellanic penguin colony of Punta Ninfas.

After the walk, we taste a typical barbecue with a variety of salads, dessert and coffee. Lunch includes drinks and house wine.

In the afternoon -if the weather is right- we can enjoy the pool or the small football field, as well as walk around the property or have a tea accompanied by a typical Welsh cake before leaving the estancia. The way back to Puerto Madryn provides the right time for a nap.

This full day excursion is an excellent option for those who want to avoid long journeys to visit a colony of Magellanic penguins; an ideal family experience!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Full day regular excursion. Departs from meeting point in Puerto Madryn at 8:30 am and returns at 5:00 pm.
  • Departs every day from September 15th to April 15th.
  • Includes: Visit to the Punta Ninfas Lighthouse and sea elephants and lions observation. Guided walk to the Magellanic penguin colony at El Pedral reserve. A Patagonian lunch in the quincho of the old part of the estancia (wines included). Tea and coffee service with Welsh cake. Transfers to and from Puerto Madryn.
  • Free of charge for children up to 4 years old. 

 

A GOURMET CORNER IN USHUAIA

Down in the Valley of Andorra, 4 km from Ushuaia, you get to an exclusive gourmet corner in a cozy log and stone cabin. 


Ariel Ruiz Díaz -house owner and head cook at Rincón Gourmet- is a renowned local and celebrity chef. With extensive experience, Ariel trained in culinary arts at Gato Dumas school for cooks and at the Ritz-Escoffier school in Paris. He also cooked with renowned chefs such as Pablo Massey and Ramiro Rodríguez Pardo among others. He currently conducts a tv program in Ushuaia and writes a gastronomic column for USH Magazine.

But beyond his resume, Ariel surprises in the city with an original and different gastronomic concept, since it is the only home that opens its doors to local people and tourists, where everyone can share a moment with friends or a personalized intimate dinner.

Rincón Gourmet offers a very exclusive and private but familiar atmosphere, with few tables. All diners can watch the chef cook, ask him questions and make the most of this close and intimate encounter with Ariel’s kitchen.

Offering two appetizers, three main courses and two desserts, the menu is short but exquisite and gourmet. The dishes are simple and with a lot of variety according to the local and artisan products that are obtained during the day.

With the idea of ​​making the traveler feel like a local, Ariel’s food seeks to merge typical products that foreigners look for with what the local people usually eat. All kinds of grilled meats, pastas, stews, tasty desserts with fresh ingredients from the area… no matter the day’s proposal, we guarantee that nothing will be left over!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Available with previous reservation only.
  • Rincón Gourmet opens only in the evening, from Thursday to Saturday from May to October, and from Tuesday to Saturday from November to April.
  • The price includes an appetizer + a main course + dessert + a glass of wine + a glass of water.