The Homestead of Argentina – Estancia Los Potreros Córdoba
Date August 8th1825. William Grierson sailed up the Rio de La Plata in Argentina aboard the ship Symmetry and landed at Buenos Aires. His voyage of over seven-thousand miles had endured two and a half months from distant Leith in Scotland. He, and two hundred and nineteen compatriots, had a mission to lay foundation for the first Argentine colony of Scottish farmers. Those intervening centuries were fraught with immense challenges, but today in the rolling campestral hills of the Sierras Chicas Córdoba Argentina lies Estancia Los Potreros. The family provenance of this homestead stretches back to that fateful Grierson disembarkation in 1825 and today is under the stewardship of his descendants Kevin and Lou Begg.
This multi-generational working farm creates a sense of place, groundedness and a heartfelt welcome. You arrive to the estancia to become involved in the daily life of what it means to be an Argentinian ranch dweller. This refuge is different; with the excursions you will find your passions shaped around them, not vice versa. The seasons and patterns of farming dictate the best activities, it radiates authenticity. All is done in and open and welcoming environment which is reflected in their estancia raison d’être of “Nil Sine Amicitia – Nothing Without Friendship”. Forget your Wi-Fi and yield up your redundant iPad, life has a true purpose here.
Location of Estancia Los Potreros
Estancia Los Potreros is located less than an hour’s drive from Córdoba Airport. The airport in Córdoba is readily accessible from many national and international destinations in South America including Peru, Brazil and Chile. The estancia is a traditional style 18th century building set on lands of 6,500 acres in the provincial reserve of the Sierras Chicas. This is not an opulent lodge and never seeks to be. It is a working ranch where you become a part of that family on your stay. Los Potreros is an organic farm and home to a stock of in excess of 700 Aberdeen Angus cattle along with 140 horses which consist of Argentina Criollo, Peruvian Paso and Argentine polo ponies. The ranch is an ideal destination for solo travellers, couples, or small groups and hosts a maximum of twelve guests. The rooms are comfortable and simple in design, heated with wood fired stoves, receiving maid service three times per day. Young or old, there is much to nourish your soul in any visit here in this homestead of Argentinian bucolic life.
A Tavola Non S’Invecchia
The Italian’s have a saying, A Tavola Non S’Invecchia (At the table nobody grows old) and it defines much of what this Argentine estancia exudes. A sense of timelessness amid spirited conversations set about the dining room table. At Los Potreros there is a love of great food and wine and sharing a homestead table is sharing everything. Friendships are built on storytelling of the past and tomorrows activities are dreamt and created. You may ask, why is Los Potreros different? Why not make a more scheduled itinerary? It would be easier for sure but that would not be an authentic way of living for the Begg family. The homestead consists of what I believe would be described as existentialist people, and so their actions reflect their very nature and must be congruent with their true inner beliefs. That authenticity is their belief in making their estancia the very best it can be, and they offer hands of friendship to those that join them upon that journey. You too must be prepared for that journey and we recommend you have some special traits to truly live this experience. The requisite traits are; a love of nature and country life. If that includes horses so much the better. This will allow you to live and understand the essence of estancia life at this unique accommodation of Argentina.
Kitchen & Food Sourcing
The kitchen is an open venue at Los Potreros where you are welcome to learn the secrets of Argentine cooking. The kitchen is colloquially known as “Los Pots”. Many guests enjoy learning how to make and savour a mate tea, discover the secrets of getting the best flavours from our beef, or indulging in samples of delicious cakes fashioned with love. Without doubt the kitchen contains the soul of this homestead.
There is a true farm to fork practice in operation here with a waste minimisation practice. It is about simplicity to supply the kitchen and using local resources at hand to their maximum. Of course, there is home-reared beef, free-range eggs, fruit and vegetables, and a wine-cellar with some of the finest Malbec and Torrontes varieties. Even the wine bottles are brought back to the vineyard for refilling with the ranches very own brand. This estancia is not about carbon credits and grandiose schemes to save the planet. It is about working with what nature provides from season to season, harvesting the bounties and storing for future use. Example are the smoked beef and many chutneys which the family love to experiment in creating.
This word of activities is central to any stay at Los Potreros. It is most likely not like anything you have experienced before and for that reason you would do well to be prepared. Think of it somewhat like this, coming to a new country and staying with a family. You learn from them and they learn from you. Kevin or Lou will chat about your own likes and dislikes, impart insights to the pressing chores of the estancia and give ideas of the country life to explore. Together you all paint the scene for the coming day and rest assured that will be a palette of many new colours. It is always exciting and always fun.
Activities as we say are not cast in stone but do include the following and more:
- Routine of the estancia- anything is possible! Even 4x 4 trips to the cattle station to live the life of the gaucho
- Gaucho games including barrel racing and corrida de la sortija
- Horse trekking- no experience is necessary
- Hiking- day and half day options- wild pasturelands, woodlands and waterfalls
- Mountain biking
- Birdwatching, all year round. Species include hummingbirds, condors, eagles, vultures and burrowing owls
- Discovering the secrets of Argentine food & wine. Chef’s specialities, cooking and wine tastings to your heart’s content
- Relaxation- let the hours unwind sipping a gin and tonic or a heady red wine from Cafayate. Grab a hammock for your favourite book and converse with your hosts
Beyond the estancia there are also three golf courses, paragliding options, numerous Jesuit churches and the city of Cordoba itself.
It is a truly unique place not just for the destination but for the Begg family and their loyal crew that carry the human inspiration and endeavours which serve to set this estancia apart. Rest assured any journey to Los Potreros will be an epical event with lifelong memories.
Best Time to Visit
The lodge is open for ten months of the year. October to April are the prime months to consider. The only months when Kevin and Lou take a rest are May and June.
- Minimum three-night stay (five nights over Christmas and New Year)
- The maximum number of guests is twelve
- Ten bedrooms are available, 3 of these rooms are allocated for single occupancy.
- Children of ten years and older are welcome
- Wi-Fi is not considered a part of the estancia offering
- Guests must provide their own insurance to cover all of the estancia activities and will be asked to sign a riding waiver which is available in advance on request
- Hard hats are not obligatory (except for polo and children) but are strongly recommended. There are a number available to use at the estancia but for safety and fit we recommend guests bring their own
- The pool at the estancia is open from mid-October until mid-April
“A Tavola Non S’Invecchia” (At the table nobody grows old)
708 total views, 7 views today