Uco Valley, Argentina

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It’s remoteness is part of its charm. Head into the foothills of the Andes to explore the back-to-nature delights of Argentina.

Uco Valley fact file:

Planted area: 24,000ha
Main grapes: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Barbera, Bonarda, Merlot, Tempranillo for reds; Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Torrontés for whites.
Average temperature: 14°C
Co-ordinates: 33°37S 69°08W
For more information:www.valledeuco.com and www.turismovinalto.com.ar

Introduction:

Take a stroll through a Tupungato vineyard at sunrise and you may just catch a glimpse of a silvery moon sinking as a dazzling golden sun rises to strike the snowcapped volcano’s peak. Accompanying the crunch of gravelly vineyard soil underfoot, the only sounds are birdsong, the occasional bark of a dog or neigh of a horse and the whispering of vine leaves in the breeze. This is the gentle, beating heart of the Uco Valley.

With desert to the south, small hills to the north and dry riverbed country on its eastern border, this picturesque valley is self-contained. But it’s no Napa. Rather, it’s an unspoiled fruit and vegetable garden whose secret lies in its tranquil, back-to-nature feel along with scant regard for mass tourism. If you’re looking for ‘bijou charm’, the T-shirt to go with it and a stay at a Hilton or Sheraton, look elsewhere.

If, on the other hand, you love wine and the outdoor life, you will discover it all here. The Uco Valley is a dramatic landscape, with big skies, charming posadas and estancias, small hotels and enticing restaurants. Any time of the year is good to visit, although winters can be cold and summers hot. Autumn is particularly beautiful as the vines and trees turn to 50 shades of amber, russet and gold.

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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