Emerging wine destination for South America!
– Our small, escorted wine tour groups give you a very intimate experience: a maximum of 12 clients per group ensures our customary high quality.
– Get to know Peruvian wine and Pisco … with plenty of tastings of course!
– Visit local vineyards and wineries, both rustic & industrial.
– Get an insight into local customs, through its people.
– Peru is a foodie paradise: enjoy the superb, local food.
– Learn a lot about this complex and historic country.
– Add on a trip to Machu Picchu & Cusco, or some other wine regions in South America, if you wish?
Day 1 – Arrival in Lima: Welcome to Peru
At whatever time you arrive in the Peruvian capital, one of our representatives will be waiting for you at Lima’s Jorge Chavez Airport to drive you the 40 minutes in a private vehicle to your hotel, in the upscale neighborhood of Miraflores.
Our “go-to” hotel in Miraflores is the excellent Casa Andina Private Collection, well-located with great facilities and nice staff. Now settle in and rest after your international flight before a welcome meeting with your tour leader / guide around 7pm.
Your guide will give you some extra information, chat through the itinerary and options, and answer any questions you might have. You can then all go out to dinner together at a local restaurant, just a short walk from your hotel for a first taste of Peruvian cuisine and, of course, wine.
Day 2 – Lima from many angles!
After breakfast, you will be picked up by your local guide and taken on a four-hour sightseeing trip to the Colonial center of Lima.
Lima is located on the coastal desert strip between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains. Founded in 1535 as the “City of Kings”, Peru’s capital is now a semi-modern, bustling metropolis of nine million people. The old colonial center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has many historic churches and buildings famed for their traditional, ornate balconies.
You will visit the Plaza San Martin and the Plaza de Armas – home to the Presidential Palace and the impressive Colonial Cathedral among other Colonial structures.
After your sightseeing tour, you will need some lunch to re-charge so around 2pm we will take you to a famous up-scale Peruvian buffet restaurant, where you will be able to try many of Peru’s signature dishes. We will give you information explaining the main dishes you can try here, such as Ceviche, Lomo Saltado, Rocoto Relleno, Tiradito, Aji de Gallina, Escabeche, Chaufa … the list is a long one! Moreover, there are many fusion and international dishes, as well as classic Peruvian desserts such as Suspiro Limeño. Of course you should try a Pisco Sour or a Chilcano, if you didn’t last night.
After a lunch of this magnitude, a rest might be in order! We will take you back to your hotel to put your feet up … or maybe you would like to use the hotel’s facilities and spa. In any case you are free to as you wish until the early evening when you will be met by your guide and travel out to explore the bohemian area of Barranco.
Barranco has undergone a transformation over recent years, with the continued growth of the Peruvian middle classes and their disposable income. Historic buildings which were falling into dis-repair have been salvaged and fitted out as restaurants and bars, restoring them to former glories.
We will visit one of these micro-breweries and enjoy a tour of the small facility and an explanation of the process involved in making the beer. Then of course we need to try some!
After the brew-pub we can go for a Pisco cocktail at one of the most emblematic and historic bars in Lima. Juanitos has been a fixture in Barranco since 1937 and is a real piece of Lima nostalgia, which appears to be almost frozen in time. The place has been a source of inspiration to writers and artists over the years, and today a wide range of people can be seen cramming in from tourists, through politicians and celebrities, to regular local people. Try one of the famous Jamon del Norte sandwiches and you are taking a bite out of history.
Day 3 – Ica, Queirolo Vineyard and Vineyard Hotel
After around 45 minutes we will make a stop at the Queirolo Winery in Pachacamac. This winery is where the Queirolo family, who arrived in Peru from Italy in 1877, have been producing wine since 1880. Obviously technology has changed over the last century and a half, and the plant is now very modern, with a capacity of over five million liters.
You will be taken on a guided tour of the facility and see where the grapes you will soon get to know are processed, bottled and shipped to customers. In 2002, Queirolo moved its vineyards to where they currently are in Ica, and in 2011 it became the first company in Peru to have a hotel within its vineyards. This excellent hotel is where you will be staying for the next 3 nights.
After an hour tour of the Queirolo winery, you will board your vehicle again to continue the drive along the sandy highway.
On this drive you will see plenty of disorder, ramshackle houses and witness regular Peruvians doing what they do. One of the main problems that Peru has, in common with all under-developed countries, is economic inequality and this will become obvious to you on the journey. We will stop en-route, if there is something that catches your eye.
We will continue on to Ica for a late lunch at your hotel or local restarant. After checking in and having lunch we will meet the resident sommelier for a tasting of the Queirolo flagship line, Intipalka.
After a tasting of around Intipalka wines and a visit to the winery viewpoint you will be free for dinner.
Day 4 – Artisan Pisco, La Caravedo and sunset over the vines
This first place is very “old school” and slightly bizarre, with the small-scale production of Pisco being done almost completely by hand. Over the years methods will have been refined somewhat but basically the process has remained the same for centuries.
Our local guide will show you the old-fashioned stills, an array of traditional fermenting bottles and explain the process, including showing us the different grapes and/or vines (according to season, of course).
If the timing is right, then we may be able to come back to this winery later in the day to join in treading the grapes in the traditional way. This is done at night to avoid the heat and too many insects.
After you have explored, you will have a tasting of the numerous products sold here … and maybe take a small souvenir for your home bar.
Around 11am, we will drive a short distance to the La Caravedo Pisco Porton distillery, said to be the oldest, and ironically now probably the most modern winery in Peru. Again we will be shown around the original traditional equipment, some of which is planned to be re-introduced into artisan production, and then tour the impressive modern facility.
After the technical tour, we will enjoy a Pisco tasting in the winery, direct from the storage vats, if filled; and if not, from the finished product in the bottles. This tasting will be accompanied by an extensive Peruvian tapas selection to keep you going until you have dinner in the hotel later in the evening.
When we get back to the hotel we will have a cocktail-making class, using Pisco as the base, what else!
While moving between winery visits on one or more of the days, we should be able to stop at a local food or products market, so you can see and feel what regular life is like here, and see some of the bizarre forms of transport that Peru has along its desert coast.
Day 5 – Vista Alegre, Tacama and huge sand dunes
The first visit is to Vista Alegre only 15 minutes or so from the hotel. This winery is semi-industrial, not equipped on the scale of Queirolo or La Caravedo, so it makes a nice contrast: things are not quite so pristine and seem a little more “rustic”. Saying that, Vista Alegre does produce a wide range of wines and Piscos that have won awards, as has the second vineyard, Tacama.
After a look around the winery and its equipment you get a chance to try some of the products of course. There are some great photo ops around the place with the old and new equipment, plus the cellar with large oak barrels.
After Vista Alegre, it is off to Tacama which has wines that are very popular in the local market: you find Tacama in most supermarkets and restaurants.
This visit includes a look at the nursery area for the vines, and a climb of the bell tower for a panoramic view over the vineyard. Then you can enjoy another tasting of what Tacama produces.
On the way to our next stop, we will try something different and stop at a small chocotejas factory to see how these delicious local chocolates are made … and try some, of course.
If there is interest, we can also visit the small, but excellent Ica Museum to learn about the history of the Inca and pre-Inca inhabitants of this area.
Our last stop today is the surreal environment of the Huacachina oasis. Huge sand dunes surround this natural oasis, and a small community has grown up around it catering to locals who want to swim or row small boats.
There are plenty of foreigners and locals who go out into the dunes on exciting sand buggy rides. You can also sand board while out in the dunes on the buggy ride, if you wish … or simply enjoy the scenery and watch others slide down the dunes.
Depending on what the group wants to do, and how we are for time after previous visits, we will have time to either eat at one of the restaurants here in the oasis, or wait until we get back to the hotel.
If there are people who wish to fit in either a flight over the Nazca Lines or a trip to the Ballestas Islands, this can be done during the schedule (local conditions permiting). It would mean missing one of the mornings of the regular tour. This can be arranged on site through your guide.
Day 6 – Tabernero, Chincha & Afro-Peruvian Culture
Tearfully it is time to leave the Ica wine region and head back to Lima … but not without visiting another winery (and more) on the way.
Chincha is home to Tabernero which was established in 1897 some 200km south of the Peruvian capital. You will enjoy a short tour of the facility and have the customary tasting of the Tabernero wines and Piscos. We will then visit a historic local hacienda with its own chapel which has been restored into a nice hotel. We will have lunch here and see a dance performance.
Chincha has historically been the center of the Afro-Peruvian community, populated by the descendents of African slaves bought over by the Spanish conquistadors. In many communities they still hold on to old traditions such as dance and music. Today we get chance to see a little of this before we head back to Lima.
In Lima you will be staying in Miraflores again and have a night to indulge your taste buds even more.
Day 7 – Continue to Machu Picchu or off home?
If today is your last day with us in Peru, then we will take you back to Lima Airport for your flight home.
Alternatively you might be extending your time with us by making a visit to the “navel of the Inca Empire” – Cusco – and the spectacular Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. We are also able to connect you to trips in other wine regions in South America such as the Colchagua Valley in Chile or Mendoza in Argentina also, should you wish to combine. Just let us know where you want to go.