"Exploring Wines and Dinosaurs" Neuquén by acoco

Neuquén Travel Guide: 30 reviews and 50 photos

The Objective

We have planned this journey to the Argentinian Patagonia to visit the new frontier of wineries, since it is one of the most southern wine regions in the world.
But we were also aware that, in the past, the desertic Patagonia was populated by dinosaurs and some of the most preserved fossils can be found there.
So we head down south of Argentina!
By the way, just for curiosity, the word neuquen is a palindrome, that is, reading backwards you have neuquen!

The Dinosaurs

On the first morning of our stay in Neuquen, we left the hotel in a private tour to visit the Centro Paleontologico Lago Barreales (www.proyectodino.com.ar) were the archeological works are being conducted. It's about one hour drive in the middle of nowhere but don't get fouled by the boring trip, the desertic suroundings or the very simple premisses of the archeological camp.
The guided tour is outstanding in all aspects! The quality of the young guide that works for food, lodging and the opportunity to work in the project.
The unique opportunty to see and almost touch dinosaurs bones in the ground and a tour in the modest but very rich museum we some of the most precious dinosaurs fossiles.
The project has been sustained by private companies and voluntary work ,so the admission ticket is absolutely worth to pay.
If you happens to be in Neuquen, don't miss the dinosaurs!

The Wines

The Patagonia is totaly desert but with some very important and perenial rivers, like the Neuquen River and the Negro River. Summers with hot and sunny days and cold nights, no rain but abundant water for irrigation makes the region very appropriate for vineyards and wine.
We visit three wineries in the Rio Negro Department, where vineyards are very old. The pioneer Humberto Canale is celebrating its 100 aniversary this year and the others, although recently established are based in vineyards dating from the 30's, 40's and 50's, abandoned for a period and being recovered now. We visit Humberto Canale, Noemiaa and Chacra wineries.
But we also visit three other wineries in the Neuquen department, where a brand new development took place based on the construction of a 20 miles water channel to allow irrigation. We visit the Bodegas del Fin del Mundo, Familia Schroeder and NQN wineries.
The quality of the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Merlot calls our attention. If you are a wine lover it's worth to pay attention to the wines fro the Argentinia Patagonia.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The wines, the archeological site
  • Cons:It's very hot on summer, very cold on winter and far way!
  • In a nutshell:An oasis to be discovered
  • Last visit to Neuquén: Feb 2009
  • Intro Written Mar 14, 2009
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acoco

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