If travel, just for the sake of travel, seems too decadent for you, how about this excuse: I have to pop down to Argentina to visit my vineyard and check on my wine. OK, I might be overstating things just a bit, but with the Algodon Wine Estates Barrel Ownership program you can combine your love of travel with your love of wine.
Algodon Wine Estates is located in Mendoza, Argentina, an area known as the Napa Valley of South America, and home for production of some top wines. Now, you can get a barrel of your own. Purchase it solo, or get together a group of friends, then choose your grape or varietal preference: malbec, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, bonarda, or chardonnay.
Here’s how it works —
You choose your grape or varietal, and then choose a French or American Oak wine barrel. Both are middle toasted to yield a medium oak flavor on the wine. A winemaker is available for guidance and advice, but ultimately it will be up to you to decide when the wine has aged long enough and it’s time to be bottled. Of course, you can taste the wine at any time, or many times, during the aging process. The wine will be bottled and branded with a personalized label.
A barrel will yield about 290 bottles of wine and can be used up to three times. Generally, the second use yields the highest quality wine.
Now, for the travel part!
Each barrel owner gets a complimentary 2-night stay for up to two people at a local resort in order to taste the wine at the end of its first aging period. Additional stays for tasting will be at your own expense. What a perfect excuse for an annual trip to Argentina!
Prices for this personal wine barrel ownership start at around $4,500 for the first year, depending on the type of grape(s) and barrel. This price includes the barrel, wine, labor, bottling, and labeling, but does not include US tax and shipping (estimated at another $1,500). Barrel refills are currently priced at $2,600, bringing prices down considerably in subsequent years.
Algodon can accommodate barrel partnerships or groups, so if you want to go into partnership with your friends on a barrel, you’ll just have to decide who gets the taste testing trip! 21 and older only.
What a delicious reason to plan a trip to Argentina!
Photo credit: SXC