Food + Wine

The Dream List: Once-in-a-Lifetime Trips

by Brook Wilkinson

Argentina: Wine in Mendoza, photos in Buenos Aires

The specialist: Vanessa Guibert-Heitner, Limitless Argentina; Buenos Aires

The Dream Trip: "The Catena family owns the most prestigious winery in the country, in the famed Mendoza region. Nicholás Catena-Zapata transformed the Argentine wine industry from a mass-production model to one that makes high-quality, low-production wine. His daughter Laura allows a select group of people to attend a 'Malbec Camp' to work in the fields (you'll prune, test ripeness, or harvest, depending on the season) and create their own personal wines. The Catenas maintain their privacy, but you'll be able to spend several days at their private estancia, which has never been opened to the public. In between working with an oenologist in the lab to add the proper amounts of petit verdot and syrah to give depth and spice to the malbec, you'll enjoy traditional meals, cooking classes, and horseback rides. And at the end, you'll get to bring home some of the wine you helped make. How's that for a souvenir? [Three-day Malbec Camp, $5,900 for two, including lodgings, meals, and activities.]

"Then, while you're in our cosmopolitan capital of Buenos Aires, we can try to set up an appointment with Virginia del Giudice, an internationally recognized photographer whose works have appeared in Elle and Forbes. Assuming she's in town, you'll sit for a portrait shot by her, perhaps at a polo estancia or in a famous tango hall. If Del Giudice isn't available or you'd like to spend a bit less, I have connections to plenty of other extraordinary photographers who live here [portrait session, $2,850 for up to four people, including one mounted 12- by 16-inch print]."

Vanessa Guibert-Heitner
Tel: 202 536 5812

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