As any visitors to Argentina will discover, this is a nation of individuals with a very sweet tooth.

Coke, not water or wine, is the default drink when eating out of an evening: quite how people manage to tuck into a full barbecue without a good Malbec or Tannat to ease it down still mystifies me.

And when you visit Argentina, you’ll pretty quickly discover the dubious virtues of dulce de leche.

This is the ubiquitous breakfast spread for your pan and tortillas: it’s the same colour as Nutella, but much sweeter, perhaps more akin to caramel.

It’s actually made by boiling condensed milk until it turns into a sloopy gunk, and is as Argentinian as… well, football and tango.

But hang on. Football came from the British, and Carlos Gardel, the most famous exponent of tango, was born either in France or Uruguay.

Wiki it if you don’t believe me: born on the 11th December either in Tacuarembo, Uruguay in 1887 or Toulouse, France, in 1890, but certainly not Argentina. Admittedly, he grew up in Buenos Aires and took Argentine nationality in 1923.

Legend has it that dulce de leche was invented in 1829 when a cook heating up milk (with sugar added, naturally) for the traditional afternoon mate forgot all about it and returned to the stove to discover a sweet, sticky mess. Accidental dulce de leche: literally the sweetness of the milk.

Apparently (though this is surely too good to be true), the cook was preparing tea for the leaders of the two rival factions in post-Independence Argentina, the Federalist Rosas, and Unitarian Lavalle, who met near Buenos Aires for a political powpow.

Sadly, their mutual love of the newly discovered dulce de leche was insufficient glue to seal an agreement and avoid the violent civil war that followed (ending with Lavalle’s death in San Salvador de Jujuy in 1841).

Whether the story is true or not, dulce de leche is definitely Argentinian.

At least that’s what I thought until a Russian guest of ours told me about Sgyschennoe Moloko, or Skyschlenka for short: which is actually Russian dulce de leche.

Surely this can’t be true? More information, please!

(My thanks to our Russian guest Nelly Logar for the information about her native dulce de leche)

Duration
5+ days
Group Size
1-4 people

Wine and History: Mendoza to Salta

Take the long and winding road from Mendoza to Salta, visiting lesser known boutique wineries in San Juan, La Rioja, and Catamarca along the way.

This deep immersion into the wine and culture of Argentina is perfect for those who want to combine an exploration of the rich history of the region with some of its best off the beaten track wineries, through some breathtaking scenery close to the Andes.

Our journey begins in the hub of Argentine wine production, Mendoza, taking the iconic Route 40 north, through the emerging wine regions of La Rioja, Catamarca, and Tucuman.

from
US$500 pp
Duration
3 Days
Group Size
1-4 people

Classic Wine Route

Explore the varied landscape of the Valles Calchaquies, and its excellent boutique wineries, in this Argentine wine tour par excellence.

Our Classic wine route combines Salta's superb boutique wineries in the highest altitude wine region in the world with the breathtaking landscape of north west Argentina.

Apart from the ubiquitous Malbec, this area is known for its fine Torrontes and Tannat.

from
US$300 pp
Duration
6+ days
Group Size
1-4 people

Wine and History: Salta to Mendoza

Take the long and winding road from Salta to Mendoza, visiting lesser-known boutique wineries in Catamarca, La Rioja, and San Juan along the way.

This deep immersion into the wine and culture of Argentina is perfect for those who want to combine an exploration of the rich history of the region with some of its best off-the-beaten-track wineries, through some breathtaking scenery close to the Andes. Apart from Argentina’s classic red Malbec, we’ll be sampling lesser-known varieties like Tannat, and discovering the Argentine take on classics like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Pinot Grigio.

Our journey begins in the highest altitude wine region in the world, the Valles Calchaquies in Salta, famous for its production of Torrontes, a white grape variety that is unique to Argentina. From Salta’s principal wine town of Cafayate, we take the iconic Route 40 south, through the emerging wine regions of Tucuman, Catamarca, and La Rioja, before arriving in the provinces of San Juan and Mendoza, producers of 93% of the nation’s wine.

from
US$600 pp