One of my most memorable trips to *Ica occurred last year while traveling with a lovely group of people from Belgium. Our adventure took us out of Lima in direction south, about 4 hours away by bus to the amazing Hotel Vinas Queirolo, a luxury-style accommodation in the middle of a plantation field with an air of a country house, a great place to escape from the busyness of the big city and the routine, to get the best climate of the south coast of Peru, and to try the best selection of local wines and Piscos (local brandy). This trip promised to be an unforgettable experience, and so it was.
*Ica is 1 of the 24 existing departments in Peru, the country is divided into departments, each department in provinces and each province in districts.
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The very hotel is in the middle of a huge vineyard. The solid walls and big door at the main entrance looked a lot like the doorway into a colonial residence in the middle of a sugarcane field. When doors opened we had an enormous plantation in front of us and a dusty road ahead, at the end of the road a 17th-century style house… It was a picture taken away from a history book.
The hotel Viñas Queirolo gives you a very elevated experience related to a country-style design, wine tasting, and elegant accommodations. Once we were at the house and after checking in, we all when to our rooms, they all had wooden furnishing and ceilings, and a clear pallet of colors in the decoration.
At the front desk, one can find information about several alternative excursions offered by the hotel such as exploring the nearby dunes by buggy and practicing sandboarding, or overflight mysterious Nasca lines on an aircraft departing from the nearby airport. Other activities could be : walking on the vineyard, enjoying the pool, Going to the hotel’s look-out to taste a glass of white wine at the sunset, shopping the house vine, pisco, and spumante at the gift shop (with uncomparable prices), and then drink a bottle by the fire in the chimney section near the pool, what can be more romantic?.
My favorite activity of all was the wine tasting, I learned a lot about Peruvian wines, specially Queirolo brand which is actually one of the oldest Peruvian brands existing nowadays. We went to the cellar and with guessing games, we learn to identify the flavors in each type of wine. I finally learned to ENJOY a glass of wine after understanding the whole tasting process starting with serving a bit of it on the glass, spinning it to ventilate the product for some seconds , observing its color through the light, zipping it into my mouth and living it there for couple of seconds , the breath in and out exercise to identify notes of fruity flavours, OMG! …the whole tasting ceremony change my perspective about this wine forever.
Wine tasting lessons
The story of this brand is a great example that hard work and perseverance gives good fruit. It goes back in time to the Italians immigration to Peru in the last half of the 19th century, the Queirolo family came from Genova in 1877, they started a small business, to decades after, create an empire made of wine and pisco. Now with more than 30 products available in the market, I’m sure there is at least one perfect product for you.
Hotel Vinas Queirolo is the perfect place if you love wine and brandy. Making plans to visit the always-sunny Ica city? This hotel is a great choice.
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