The Ruta del Vino Samaipata wine tours are a relatively new initiative and an exciting new adventure for tourists.
The “Ruta del Vino” nicely complements other attractions in the area and is a great option, especially for foodies, as Samaipata is known for it’s wonderful and varied international cuisine due to the many foreign-owned restaurants and cafes in the town, most of which offer locally grown organic food as well as vegetarian and vegan options.
The idea for a wine tour came about in 2017 as an initiative by the Santa Cruz state government and vineyards owners to promote the wine industry in the region and make known the history behind these rather new, but excellent high altitude wines.
The Samaipata wine tour began with a tour of just one bodega, the highly acclaimed Uvairenda Winery. The LandSua and Viña de Vargas wineries were added soon after. The three wineries, the largest in the valleys of Santa Cruz, are all located in Samaipata, the second most visited destination in the department (state) of Santa Cruz.
Visitors can watch or participate in the winemaking process, from cutting grape clusters in the vineyards, to crushing (pressing) the grapes, and learning about the processing, quality control, bottling, and marketing, all ending with a wine tasting on site. You can visit all 3 wineries as part of a single tour, or visit them individually.
The first stop is the LandSua Winery, owned by the Landívar Suárez family, and is located 6 kilometers (3.75 miles) from the town of Samaipata. It is 25 hectares in size and 12 different types of grapes are grown there. The cost to visit Landsua is Bs. 50 and includes a guided tour of the plant and a wine tasting with 2 types of wine. Most of the wines produced by LandSua are sold regionally in Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. The owners hope to soon reach La Paz, Cochabamba, Sucre and Tarija with their wines and foresee exporting them to Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Portugal.
The Fuerte de Samaipata (Samaipata fort) is just 2 Kms. (1.5 miles) away.
The next stop is the Bodega Uvairenda Winery, which produces wines it markets under the “1.750” brand, in reference to the number of meters above sea level at which its vineyards are located.
The cost to visit Uvairenda is Bs. 35 and includes a guided tour of the winery and vineyards, which cover a total of 20 hectares. Uvairenda produces 11 varieties of grapes. The tour ends with a wine tasting of 2 house wines. Currently this winery exports its wines to Switzerland, Luxembourg, France, Holland, Germany, the United States, and Chile, and in the future will export to Brazil and Venezuela. Their wines are also sold nationally in Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Tarija, Sucre, Oruro and La Paz.
The El Pueblito Eco Resort is located next to this winery. Here you can visit a cemetery and chapel where Bolivians and foreigners like to get married. On site there is also an overlook with a beautiful view of the valley.
The third winery is Viña de Vargas, which produces both high quality wines and Singani, a Bolivian beverage made from grape alcohol. 80% of this winery’s products are sold throughout Santa Cruz and the remainder is sold in Cochabamba, La Paz, and Tarija. The cost to visit is Bs. 35 and includes a vineyard tour, explanation of the wine-making process, and wine tasting.