There are a number different ways to visit Tarija’s vineyards, most of which are situated just outside the city in a spot known as Valle de Concepción. The cheapest method is to flag down a bus and make a beeline straight for your favorite bodega (winery). The downside is that many vineyards open and close sporadically, and there would be a lot of waiting around involved. Those looking to combine excessive day-drinking with a little exercise can hire a bike and map out their own route. Most people, however, just cough up the 100 BOB (US$15) it costs for a private minivan tour, which visits two industrial and one boutique vineyard over the course of four hours.
Another big Bolivian player, Aranjuez make the best mass-produced wine in the country. Particularly good at tannats, the company offers three pricing tiers, which have raked in numerous awards over the years. Be sure to take home a bottle of Duo – half tannat, half merlot; at only five bucks a pop it’s an absolute steal. Visitors are currently not allowed on-site, although that should change midway through 2017.
Milcast Corp. Vinos Aranjuez, Tarija, Bolivia, +591 4 664 2552
Campos de Solana is a large, premium brand with a tourist-friendly vineyard where staff do their utmost to promote the product. Try the rosé, which goes down a treat in the warm Tarija sun. Their big claim to fame, however, is the Trivarietal, winner of numerous international awards and arguably Bolivia’s finest drop.
Campos de Solana, Bolivia, +591 7295 3613
Casa Real actually make Singani, a type of distilled-grape brandy, rather than wine. Be sure to get stuck into their free sample of Chuflay, a delicious cocktail consisting of top-shelf singani, 7-up and lime served in a tall glass. Singani is the national liquor of Bolivia and is traditionally consumed in large quantities at every possible opportunity.
Casa Real, Wine Road, Tarija, Bolivia, +591 4 664 5498
More popular for its colonial-era charm than the wine itself, Casa Vieja is a 400-year-old adobe compound that still makes wine the same way it was done back in the good old days. The boutique vineyard only produces vino paterno (foot-crushed wine), which is interesting but might not be to everyone’s taste. On the plus side, the tasting portions are enormous and there is a nice restaurant out the back which serves hearty Bolivian fare to soak up all that booze.
Casa Vieja, Valle de la Concepción, Tarija, Bolivia, +591 4 666 2605