After spending a glorious five days wandering around the lovely city of Salta enjoying the sunshine and delicious food, we took a four hour bus trip to the cute little town of Cafayate, Argentina. Cafayate sits at an elevation of 1,683 meters above sea level and has the highest vineyards in the world. It’s dry climate, altitude and hot sunny days with cool nights, makes it the perfect environment to grow excellent grapes which of course produces some of the countries best wine. Since I love wine so much and love a good wine tasting I was very excited to come here.
We arrived around 11am and checked into our bed and breakfast. It’s owned by a lovely Argentinian couple in their 30’s who have an adorable little girl. The cleanliness, homely feel and friendliest owners made it one of the best places we’ve stayed so far. Should you happen to find yourself on this side of the world, I definitely recommend you stay here!
We had heard a lot about the Quebrada de las conchas and decided to organise a tour for that afternoon. We hopped in the mini bus and set off to see some of the most amazing landscapes imaginable. Cactus deserts, insane rock formations, coloured mountains and wild llama, what else could you want?! After five hours we were starving and had seen enough rocks for one day. We were eager to get back and have some dinner!
The crazy windy rode we drove on. Beautiful scenery!
We got back into town and went to find somewhere to eat. Everything was shut!! Dinner doesn’t start until at least 10pm over here. Insane!
The next day we set off to visit some wineries. After getting a map and some advice from a lovely man we set off on our adventure. Our first stop was the lovely Bodega (winery) called Nanni. We got a half an hour tour of the winery and was told of the process to make the wine (in Spanish). Nanni is the highest, certified organic winery in the world and has some of the most delicious wine I have ever tasted. It was only 15 pesos for 5 tastings. It’s the first time during a tasting, I could actually taste what she was explaining. Usually I’m just like whatever there’s no hint of this or that it just tastes like wine!
Next up was El Transit which was just across the road. There was no tour and the lady was far less friendly, but we got to taste three wines for free. The Malbec was absolutely to die for!!
We then walked a little out of town to the beautiful Bodega Domingo. It had a beautiful view of the vineyard out the back.
Pity the vines aren’t in bloom, it still looks pretty though.
This tasting was a little awkward since it was just Tom and I in this little room with a man who just told us the name of the wine then stared at us while we sipped away in silence. The wine was very delicious though and his servings were very generous (we were pretty tipsy by this stage). He also gave us a platter of cheese which he told us was made from half cow cheese and half GOOSE cheese. I took a piece out of politeness and nearly gagged on it at the thought of eating cheese of a goose. When the man left the room Tom informed me that a goose can’t make cheese…hmmm good point. We asked the man when he returned what the animals were called in Spanish, turns out he meant goat, not goose. Bless him!
We then walked about 2km to another Bodega called La Banda. We got another free tasting of two wines, again really nice! I didn’t have a single wine all day that I didn’t like. The vineyard here was also very impressive.
We staggered back into town to our final stop, Helarderia Miranda. I had heard so much about this place on the Internet which is famous for its wine ice cream. I couldn’t wait to try it! We opted to get one Torrontes (white wine from this region) and one Cabernet. They really tasted like wine and had a strong alcoholic kick to them. I loved them both but preferred the Torrontes. Tom hated them both, more for me!
We finished off our sunny, wine-soaked day with a delicious meal from a local Parillada. No tourists and no menu here, you just walk up to the grill and choose which meat you want. It was so delicious and such a great experience. A good end to a great day.
Cafayate really is a little slice of heaven. Our two days here turned in to four and I could honestly stay here even longer, but the rest of Argentina is calling our name!