When it comes to holidays, that deserved and limited free time in our hands, many variables can be use when choosing what to do or where to go. Now, if you’re a wine enthusiast, it’s probably easier to choose a destination. Wine-producing countries usually have regions or wineries oriented towards tourism, some more developed than others, of course, but the offer is wide. The question is, are you in a relationship? And then, does your partner enjoy wine as much as you do? Regardless of the answer, this is a selection of three destinations that will not disappoint either of you. Take note.
Sicily: an island and a volcano
It is the largest island in the Mediterranean, the one that continues the famous Italian boot, and without a doubt one of the most romantic destinations that exist. Well, magic is perhaps the best descriptor of this land where history emerges from all sides. Inhabited since prehistoric times, it was occupied by the Phoenicians, colonized by the Greeks, reconquered by the Roman Empire, attacked by the Normans and finally recovered by the Italians. All this is evident when walking through any corner of this island full of archaeological sites and that it is better to discover by car, to stop at its beaches with turquoise waters and enjoy dishes based on fresh fish. Among the must-see cities are Taormina, Catania, Syracuse, Noto and Cefalú, but if it’s about wine, it’s worth heading to Marsala. From there comes the fortified wine that bears his name, made in the style of Jerez, as well as approaching the Etna volcano. Thanks to the volcanic soils of the island, the native white grape such as Catarrato, Grecanico and Grillo are a feast for the palate. While in reds, Nero d’Avola, Frappato and Nerello Mascalese varieties are ideal to accompany pastas and pizzas that thrive in any restaurant on this magical island. Where the influence of the sun, the sea and the soil seem to give rise to the tastiest ingredients: pistachios, almonds, ricotta, olive oil, sesame, tomatoes and fresh fish are part of its unmissable gastronomy.
Santiago: a capital at the foot of the Andes
Santiago de Chile with its five million populations may sound somewhat chaotic as a tourist destination. But do not be scared, because in summer (between January and the beginning of March), this city is practically empty. In addition, its airport is an obligatory stop to connect with incredible destinations such as San Pedro de Atacama (the driest desert in the world, in the north of the country) and Torres del Paine (in the extreme south, the most beautiful national park in Patagonia and Chilean Antarctica). Both are exceptional options to escape as a couple, disconnect from the world and enjoy nature.
The great thing about Santiago is that less than 30 kilometres away, even taking the subway, it is possible to reach the famous Maipo Valley, recognized worldwide for its great Cabernet Sauvignon. An unmissable tour offer to which you can dedicate a whole day to go calmly and explore, is #ExperienciaConchayToro. It is a tour of the Concha y Toro´s touristic center in Pirque, at the foot of the Andes Mountains, where Melchor de Concha y Toro lived and began the history of the Concha y Toro. Surrounded by centuries-old vineyards and a garden of 24 grape varieties, this incredible park is also home to a restaurant, tasting rooms, a shop, a wine bar and the wine cellar where the legend of Casillero del Diablo was born. There are different tours that include wine tastings and also transfers, to drink in peace and without driving. The perfect plan to do as a couple and walk through the gardens of this spectacular winery. Now, if you or your partner practice skiing, it is recommended to make this trip in the winter months, when various ski centers in Santiago are open. Thus, you can also enjoy #ExperienciaConchayToro but admiring the totally snowy mountain range while drinking a glass of Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon. Does anything sound more romantic than this?
Mendoza: relaxation and wine
If you are not too push for the sea or the city, perhaps the leisurely pace of a city that has urban comfort but stands out for its rural surroundings is a better option. On the other side of the Andes Mountains, in Argentina, the city of Mendoza appears as an ideal destination to enjoy the weekend. To stay, Chacras de Coria is a very picturesque neighbourhood and an emblematic malbec area that is located 25 minutes from the airport and just over an hour from the famous Uco Valley, the land that gives rise to Terrunyo Malbec 2016. Here you can choose among various boutique hotels, as well as cafes, first class restaurants and small vineyards to visit and taste their wines. There are also tours available at the Delegation Office located in the central square of San Jerónimo, which could take you on a tour from historic mansions in the old town to vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo.
Also, if you want to do something different and relax, only 28 kilometers away are Las Termas de Cacheuta. A thermal water complex in the middle of the Andean foothills and on the banks of the Mendoza River, which offers spa services. Undoubtedly a destination to slow down, drink good wine and rest.