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The booming cuisine and wines of Patagonia

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Patagonia offers a culinary tour de force extending from Neuquen to Tierra del Fuego, 2,500km of unforgettable flavours and wines.

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Patagonian dishes

Every year, millions of visitors from all over the world come to Patagonia to explore its geography and tour its forests, lakes and snow-capped mountains in search of relaxation or adventure. But Patagonia has much more than beautiful postcards to offer. Its cuisine has become a tourist magnet and can often be found in food festivals of international stature, along with a brand new wine route. And now tourists can discover a cuisine that is in full creative ferment.

The best kept secrets are the excellent lamb and rainbow trout, while the cold waters of the sea provide crab, shrimp and black hake. In addition to this are internationally renowned fruits, such as pears and apples from the Alto Valle of Rio Negro, plus forest fruits, cassis, elderberry, blueberries which make delicious sauces, dressings and desserts.

These products and flavours are celebrated at food festivals in the most important cities in the region, events that are attracting more and more international visitors. The most popular of these are Comodoro Invita and Madryn al Plato, both in the province of Chubut, Cocina por los Siete Lagos, in Neuquen, Bariloche a la Carta, in Rio Negro, and Ushuaia a Fuego Lento, the southernmost food festival in the world.

Wine Roads

The provinces of Neuquen and Rio Negro on the north border of Patagonia not only have recognised ski resorts and leisure activities, but also the greatest number of wineries in the region. Its viticultural poles, Alto Valle de Rio Negro and San Patricio del Chañar respectively, have created a wine route that can be covered in two days.

San Patricio del Chañar owes much of its reputation to Bodega del Fin del Mundo which has been in Neuquen for less than two decades. With over 800 hectares of vineyards and an annual production of eight million litres, it is the largest winery in the region, and its modern facilities are an ideal place to start for visitors. They offer various visitor programs including tours of the winery and vineyards, and tastings. As for the wines, the intensive, expressive Malbec and the modern, deep Pinot Noir stand out as international ambassadors of the province.

Only forty minutes separates Neuquén from the Alto Valle del Río Negro, the cornerstone of Patagonian wine making. Humberto Canale settled here and started up the industry a little over a century ago. Today his family keeps his legacy alive in the original bodega, a place that invites you to discover the history of Patagonian wine. In this province, wine is steeped in tradition, and made from old vines of Pinot Noir, Semillon, Merlot and Malbec.

So for a truly unforgettable experience, sit back, relax and enjoy the sunset on the nearby waters of the Rio Negro with a glass of wine. As far as experiences go, they don’t come much more perfect than Patagonia, food, wine and scenery, in vast, dreamy virgin territory.

Written by Alejandro Iglesias, for Wines of Argentina.

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