New World wines have long been gracing the aisles of your local supermarket and you’re familiar with famous Argentinean wines, such as Malbec, and Chilean brands like Casillero del Diablo and Concha y Toro; but did you know that, despite an unfortunate reputation for overpriced French or Australian imports, you can actually find great wines in other parts of Latin America too? Here we list some of the places offering world-class wines in Latin America:
Acclaimed film director Francis Ford Coppola owns the Francis Ford Coppola and Virginia Dare Wineries in Sonoma, California, and at his luxury beach retreat, Turtle Inn
, on Belize’s Caribbean coast, you can enjoy wines from both estates as well as many other vintages from Chile, Argentina, Italy, France and the USA. The 1,200-bottle wine room showcases these wines, ensuring they are stored in an optimal environment (no mean feat in the tropics!). Guests here can experience a “walk-through” the wine room, wine tastings and small events in the garden next to the wine cellar can be arranged.
Another Belizean property offering fantastic wines is Ka’ana: with the largest cellar in Western Belize (1,000-bottle cellar), here you can find small-batch wines from around the Americas.
Baja California, Mexico
This region of Mexico has been nurturing a steadily growing wine industry over recent years and its maverick approach to wine-making has not gone unnoticed. The climate here is almost Mediterranean with Pacific coast breezes bringing down the often desert-like temperatures; this means that most varietals can be grown here and producers have been creative and experimental when combining different grapes. You can learn about the rich history of wine in this region and sample some of the distinctive local wines at Esperanza, a luxury property overlooking the Sea of Cortes, with their “Mexican Wine Journey” experience.
Compared to its larger and better-known neighbour, Uruguay’s wine industry might seem like little more than a drop in the ocean, however, this quiet nation actually produces wines to rival those produced in Argentina. Its signature red wines are made with Tannat grapes and there are some fantastic vineyards dotted throughout the country that visitors can either stay at or tour. One such place is the Narbona Wine Lodge
, a charming Relais & Châteaux property brimming with history and relics of a previous wine-making era and where there are plenty of wine tasting activities on offer. Only reds – Tannat, Pinot Noir and Tempranillo varieties – are produced here and the harvest begins mid-February, lasting up until the end of March.
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