Journey through South America’s desert, jungle, ice fields and soaring peaks you’ll discover vast swathes of land dedicated to wine production. Introduced to the continent in the 1500s by Jesuit priests, modern wine production in South America is taken extremely seriously. The combination of year-round sunshine, mineral-rich terroir and high mountains provide ideal natural conditions for grape growing.
Here is a sample of our favourite smallscale bodegas in Chile, Uruguay and Argentina:
Casa Silva, Chile
Situated in the Colchagua Valley, Casa Silva is a family-owned estate stretching back to 1892. It was only in 1997 that father and son realised their dream of producing wine under their own label. Each new wine has to be approved by a specialist panel, debating its merits before releasing it to market. Those who visit won’t simply be pursuing the exquisite vintages nor the cuisine on offer at the restaurant. They will visit because of what the estate represents: commitment and passion towards the land, respect for nature and pride in its heritage.
Boasting a recently restored Boutique hotel located in the Casa Silva Polo, Rodeo and Riding Club House. At the restaurant try the estate’s various wines and vintages.
Bodega Garzon, Uruguay
This is a family-owned enterprise that excels in quality at every level: winery, agriculture and hospitality. Substantial environmental strategies are used throughout the entire process of creating premium wines for high-end customers, making it the first sustainable winery built outside North America. Travel a few kilometres from the ocean and enjoy a personalised tour of Bodega Garzon’s extra virgin olive oil Boutique Production plant, complete with panoramic views and a wide range of wines and oils.
Solo Contigo, Argentina
The founders of this winery, Terry and Noel Neelands, have successfully created a range of premium and super premium wines. Solo Contigo in Spanish means, ‘only with you’. What started as a private hobby for personal consumption, grew into so much more. The Valle de Uco is regarded as one of the top wine yielding regions in Mendoza, given its high altitude, the right seasonal climates, excellent soil conditions and an optimal variety in temperatures, from crisp cool nights to long hot days.