Mountain, Vineyards & Blue skies at the Uco Valley

An intimate and relaxing gourmet & wine experience awaits in the Uco Valley.


Finca La Azul represents the story of a family business venture well taken care of. Francisco Hinojosa arrived to the Uco Valley in Mendoza almost 100 years ago, to find cheap, arid and stony unoccupied grounds. The Hinojosa family believes that he was the visionary man that started the winemaking culture in this area, given that today is one of the most coveted zones in Mendoza for the growth of special quality grapes destined to fine wine production. The thermal amplitude of the Uco Valley makes a perfect terroir for these grapevines.

Nowadays, Francisco´s heirs run the business and it was his daughter Shirley who decided to open the House of Guests almost three years ago. Finca La Azul´s main house was originally her home for more than 20 years. After taking care of the wine family business, she thought that she wanted to have interesting people to talk to once she grew old and to share her time, cooking and life anecdotes.

For this matter, the 50 mt2 main house was remodeled and expanded to reach 1000 mt2 and host six rooms. Keeping in mind sustainable details, it was decided to protect the house both from cold and heat by building thick stone and sand walls (materials from the very own finca), installing double glass windows and convection heating with wood stoves.

The ranch also works with sustainable agriculture, controlling the use of water and using eco-friendly products to grow peaches, plums and grapes for refined and sparkling wines.

In the very words of Tomás, one of Shirley´s sons, the same soil that in 1991 was an empty open field, today is a long grown land inhabited by plants, families and technological elements and tools (such as an avant-garde irrigation system) for an intensive care of the crops, a handy aid for the finca staff´s daily work.

As for the House of Guests, Shirley´s idea is for the visitors to feel pampered and at home. To share and cook for them and show how the Argentine people life is.

Within an intimate environment between vineyards and fruit trees, right next to the Hinojosa family home, any of the six rooms provide breathtaking views of the Andes and coziness. All rooms are equipped with a private bathroom with bath tub and views, hi-tech TV, Netflix and the best wines.

Being a multicultural family, the gastronomic proposal is a mixture of aromas and flavours. Spanish, Italian and Arabian influences originate intense and traditional creole dishes prepared with seasonal fresh ingredients grown in their very own garden. Of course, always perfectly paired with the wines of this land.

Depending on the season, Finca La Azul offers different activities such as harvesting or cooking. Wine tastings at the wine cellar are always present and a vast collection of classical literature books is available for guests to read and relax at the library. Enjoy cocktails at sunset watching the mountains, a romantic dinner at the vines under the starry sky or a summer lunch at the quincho.

At this homey and friendly space, Shirley and her family will be waiting for you to talk about wine, taste and drink it, show you around this wonderful scenery and enjoy with you its tranquility, gladly offering you their home.

For more information about this marvelous House of Guests, please contact your Kallpa Executive.


 

Andean Flavours & Refined Wines in Cafayate

Salta´s wines are a true reflection of the colorful andean scenery, history and ancestral traditions. Such are the ones produced by Finca Quara in Cafayate. This is their story.


It is well known that Cafayate is one of the most important wine production areas in Argentina, where the special weather conditions and terroir originate high quality and refined wines. Warm sunny days, cool nights, dry climate and low rainfall make of this town the home to 70% of the vineyards in the Calchaqui Valleys.

José Fortunato Lavaque arrived from Lebanon towards the end of the 19th century and decided to settle in Cafayate, the most prosperous town in Salta at that time. Attracted by the Valley’s´ unique landscape, he begun his new life here and started his own winery, which was kept on going during the next century.

In the 80s, Rodolfo Lavaque (4th family generation) took over the family business and a few years later acquired a piece of land from another winery, where he established Finca Quara. Rodolfo is known for being one of the main characters in the reactivation of the wine industry in the North of Argentina in the 90s and the years to come.

Nowadays, inspired by their father’s example and vision, the 5th family generation makes world famous high quality wines: Alpaca, Quara Single Vineyard and Quara Reserva.

Finca Quara is open to visitors to enjoy different activities to learn about wine production, the winery and vineyards and the Finca’s history. In their own words, Quara designs experiences to combine rural tourism, culture, regional cuisine and wine.

The winery itself is a genuine architectural monument worth of visiting; one of the oldest and best preserved building in the region and inspired by the Renaissance style developed by Andrea Palladio in the Cinquecento.

The wine cellar, surrounded by French oak barrels, creates a unique and mysterious environment with toasted aromas, which makes the perfect place to know and taste Quara’s refined wines.

Under the Glorieta (arbor), it is possible to explore regional flavours paired with the perfect selection of wines, whilst enjoying the delightful mountain scenery.

Wine tasting is always present at any of Quara’s proposals. Even if it is just the guided tour around the finca or including the “Picoteo Salteño” with empanadas or the special Finca Quara Lunch. There are options for every palate!

To find out more about Finca Quara and its visiting and wine tasting alternatives, please contact us. Cheers!


 

Self Bike through the Vineyards in Mendoza

Ride a bike and wander on your own through the vineyards in Mendoza. Enjoy the scenery & taste the secrets of our wines.


This wine journey takes you to Mendoza, where you will ride in the vineyards of renown wineries and learn about what makes this region so special for this industry. The idea is to enjoy the landscape, the excellent wines and also to learn their secrets.

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The meeting point is in Chacras de Coria town (16 km far from Mendoza), where the bikes are delivered. After an introductory briefing and suggestions about the wineries available in the surroundings, you can select the ones you want to visit according to your interests. The guide will make the reservations at the chosen wineries before you start biking. Then, start cycling!

You will make three stops according to the grapevine produced in this region: Chardonnay, Syrah and Malbec. At every stop there’s a wine tasting and an expert leads you through the different varieties, irrigation systems, and the benefits of different vine training systems. Each tasting is paired with a regional cheese and cold cuts platter so the flavours of the different grape vines are accentuated.

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The last winery to visit usually also has a restaurant, so you may have a regional or gourmet tasting lunch (depending on the place), also paired with the most excellent local wines.

You must be back at Chacras de Coria’s meeting point by 4 pm to return the bikes, so after lunch there’s still some time left to visit a couple of wineries more to complete the vineyards experience.

Bikes are sustainable vehicles and in combination with a must-see landscape this becomes a very entertaining outdoors activity. Travelers are more and more focused on experiencing and not collecting destinations, therefore this bike tour offers a fun option and the certainty of a unique experience in its style, in contact with nature and good wine, so typical of this region.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Departure time: 9.30 am
  • Estimated arrival time: 4.00 pm
  • Days of operation: Mondays through Saturdays.
  • Includes: bike with helmet, map and a bottle of water.
  • Not included: roundtrip transfers to the meeting point, entrance fees to the wineries, meals, tips, extras.
  • Some of the suggested wineries for visiting are Clos de Chacras, Nieto Senetiner, Alta Vista, Vistalba, Lagarde, Kaiken, Carmelo Patti.

 

Harvest experience in Cafayate

Making the most out of the harvest season in Argentina, the Cafayate region in the north offers a unique experience to learn about the winemaking process and have fun in the meantime.


The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia is the popular and national harvest festivity in Argentina, very important specially in Mendoza and Salta provinces -both renowned wine regions. The harvest celebrations are a part of the folklore that brings together wine-producers, anyone else who works with the vine and soil, and the rest of the people.

The Cafayate region in Salta, within the heart of the Calchaquí Valleys, is surrounded by a beautiful natural sunny landscape that blends mountains and vineyards.

Vineyard in Cafayate Dry alluvial grounds, sunny mornings, warm afternoons and chilly nights during the summer that allow a long aging period and also a wide thermal amplitude make of Cafayate an excellent terroir. Vineyards are located up to 3.000 meters above sea level and rain is very scarce, which permits an exceptional growth for grapevines. This microclimate and the unique characteristics of the area originate different and original wines, with a strong personality and of a long-lasting fruity and savory taste.

If you happen to visit Salta during the harvest season – from late February to the end of March – make sure to pass by Cafayate to take part of the festivity and also try a fun experience in this wine region.

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Joined by wine specialists, visit a selected local vineyard to learn about the harvest and production techniques, from the grapevines to the final wine. They will explain the differences between the grape varieties, what are their characteristics and how they are trimmed and harvested. Also you will find about the work at the vineyard, who works there and what are their tasks.

Once you have learn the basics and harvesting techniques, it´s time to get your hands dirty! You will be provided with the tools required for the task: trimming scissors and a basket to keep the grapes. Now you may walk around the vineyard and relax to carry on with the task in hand. It is important to observe the fruits to pick the right ones, those that have better coloring and no visible insect bites or marks. Using the scissors, gently proceed to cut the selected bunch and place it carefully in the basket, trying not to squeeze them.

Harvesting in Cafayate

If you’re in the mood for a bit of competition, the guides will organize a game for the visitors and compete for a prize to be the one that collects the most grapes in a time frame.

After the fun harvest practice, you will enjoy a wine tasting to try the different varieties obtained from the grapevines. Generally -depending on the vineyard you visit- these are Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Torrontés, the typical fruity and dry fine white wine from this zone that currently makes of Cafayate a world famous wine region.

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La Vendimia has become an annual ritual, reaching more and more fans worldwide. What was born behind doors inside every winery, in the end got the support of the government and several prestigious local institutions, becoming today an important national event and celebration and bringing together wine lovers from all over. An excellent cultural and gourmet opportunity to visit vineyards, meet local people and -of course- taste flavourful fine wines.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Available only from February 24th to the end of March (harvest period).
  • 3 hs private service, min. 2 pax required.
  • Operates daily am or pm, previous reservation required. Activity subject to availability
  • Includes harvest practice, wine tasting and souvenir pictures of the experience.
  • We recommend dressing comfortably for a day outdoors, wear sporty shoes, sunscreen & hat/cap.
  • Transfers from hotels in Cafayate only and up to 4 people are included. For more than 4 pax and/or from Salta city, transfers should be requested separately.