Wine Tasting with a Toddler

Marianne Perez

Wine tasting with a toddler… Yes, it is possible!

Having just moved to Argentina and being wine lovers, it’s not like we were going to pass up the chance to go to a vineyard. So when we headed up to Salta Province, we had to make a stop in Cafayate, home of Torrentes wine. And of course we had our toddler in tow. With the summer travel season, we thought we would share a few tips based on our experiences not just in Argentina, but also in taking our son to vineyards in France and in South Africa since he was 6-months old!

DON’T LET YOUR KID DICTATE YOUR WHOLE TRIP

Our philosophy has always been to include him in things that interest us (travel, wine…) and not let our “adult” interests atrophy since we had a baby. Yes, we’ve adjusted our pace a little and maybe don’t get to do quite as many things as we did previously, but with the frantic pace of our regular lives, slowing down while on vacation is a welcome respite.

With that in mind, our first stop in Cafayate–per the recommendation of our wine marketing manager friend–was Piattelli. Surprisingly, they’ve only been making wines for the past dozen years.  A Minnesota construction magnate bought up all the vineyards from the Piattelli family who had been growing and selling grapes in the region for over 100 years.

 

Piatelli Vineyard Argentina  Father and son at Argentine vineyard

 

MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS WELL FED

As we had just come off a long morning of driving, our first stop once we got to Piattelli was to head straight to the restaurant. Had we known there was going to be a half hour wait, we would have called ahead to book a table! The restaurant overlooks a rose garden and the vineyards, so between courses, we could enjoy the views. And, with it being Argentina, they were very kid-friendly and had a kids menu, crayons and “treasure chest” available for Simon.
wine tasting with a toddler at restaurant with kids menu
peach colored roses
toddler walking in vineyards
After everyone was well fed and stretched out their legs, we visited Piatelli’s very modern installations.
modern wine vats
father and toddler in vineyards
After the tour, we took part in a wine tasting with a toddler and wrapped up our day before Simon got antsy. His stuffed animal helped keep him company while we were comparing notes and terroirs. We headed to our hotel, overlooking more vineyards, so that we could give him time to unwind and just be a kid.
boy with stuffed animal in vineyards

EL ESTECO VINEYARD

The next day, after a morning of hiking around pre-Colombian ruins, we headed to El Esteco vineyard, per the recommendation of our wine importing friend. While the vineyard itself doesn’t have a restaurant, there is a luxury hotel next door which serves lunch out on its patio, overlooking their lawn… you might even see a llama wander by!

 

little boy following llama across a lawn

 

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and took time to check out the parts of the hotel grounds that most interested our toddler, like the mushrooms growing on the lawn and the horse paddock.

 

mushrooms on lawn from above

boy looking at lying horse in paddock

 

Once he’d done enough of what he wanted to do, he was willing to do what we wanted to do… visit some of the oldest wine making cellars in the region and learn about how they’re blending traditional and modern techniques…. Not to mention testing the products of these barrels!

 

mother and son with wine barrels

 

Going wine tasting with a toddler in South Africa? You might also want to know how to take a baby on safari.

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