Archivo de la categoría: English

Visit to Merced del Estero Winery, in San Juan

When you visit Argentina, you know that there are good wines to be tested. For sure you will think about Mendoza, the most famous region producing wines in the country. Maybe you also know about Cafayate, in the North. But the truth is that most of the provinces of the Andes area are producers of very good wines.

The province of San Juan is one of them. There you will find the tourist circuit called «The Wine Route»: A group of wineries located in different areas of the province. The Valley of Tulum is one of those areas, and it’s very close to the city center: just 20 minutes by car. There you will find the Winery Merced del Estero.

Merced del Estero is a family winery, which produces high quality wines since ending the 19° Century. They own currently two terroirs, located at 800 and 1200 meters above see level, approximately. The grapes used to produce the Mil Vientos wines come from there.

The winery basically produces two kind of wines: The Mil Vientos are younger wines. And the Mil Vientos Criado en Barrica are slowly aged in wooden barrels wines, with stronger flavors. Additionally, the winemaker is in charge of mixing the best wines each year, to create a very special mix called Merced del Estero Gran Corte.

How to visit the winery is your choice. The standard visit includes a tour of the facilities and a Mil Vientos wines tasting. If you choose the high end tour, the wines you will be tasting are the Mil Vientos Criado en Barrica and the Merced del Estero Gran Corte, accompanied by French cheeses. Other tasting options are accompanied by regional products and even with chocolate.

If you want to visit the winery, you may need to book a tour To do so, you can check the following link to the official Instagram profile, where you will be able to find the right contact information.

The winery address is: Av. Morón 432 (sur), Rivadavia, San Juan.

I hope you enjoy the visit (and the good wines from San Juan)!

A Stop at Puente del Inca, Mendoza

Puente del Inca (Inca Bridge in English) is an amazing geological formation located near the border between Chile and Argentina, and it is one of the most famous natural tourist attractions in the province of Mendoza.

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This rock formation is so particular because it forms a natural bridge over the Las Cuevas River. The real explanation for that is unknown, but there are many theories about it. Two of them are the most feasible.

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The first theory states that this was an old ice bridge which solidified. The other probable theory says that it was formed during the collapse of the south wall of the Aconcagua. No matter which is the right hypothesis, all of them have a common point: the bridge was formed long time ago and is still there today due to the action of the salts contained in hot springs.

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The hot springs rise to the surface at a temperature of between 34°C and 38°C, and with a high concentration of salts and carbon dioxide. There are those who believe they have healing powers. Among them were the Incas, who frequented the area bringing people to heal. And that’s the reason of the name.

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In 1917 a luxury hotel was built here by the english Compañía Hotelera Sudamericana. After the inauguration many people began to frequent the place, which became the most important station for the Trans-Andean train in this area.

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The hotel had access to the hot springs through an underground tunnel specially build for that purpose. Different diseases were treated there with the natural properties of hot springs. But a flood destroyed part of the building in 1965 and the hotel was abandoned from that moment.

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Some years ago people was able to walk across the bridge and visit the hotel ruins. You were able to do it even by car! But the river was partially diverted to use the water in the manufacture of handcrafts (as if you immerse an object in the water, it is petrified). As a result, the amount of salts needed to maintain the bridge does not longer reach it, and it is at risk of collapsing. That’s why you are not longer allowed to visit the hotel.

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Nor the chapel…

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The chapel was built next to the hotel in 1929 by French architect Joseph Giré and the Argentine engineer Juan Molina Civit. Both of them worked for free.

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In the past, Inca Bridge was a mandatory stop for travelers who were looking for a health treatment. Now it remains the same, but for tourists who visit Mendoza.