When we travelled to Argentina in December and January, one of the things I was most looking forward to was the Argentinian wines. I knew that Mendoza was famous especially for Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. To be honest – that was actually all I knew. So I was happy to discover the wine region of Cafayate in the province of Salta, with some of the highest elevated vineyards in the world. Cafayate is famous for Torrontés, a white Argentinian grape, producing fresh, fruity and very aromatic wines. Not to be confused with the Spanish Torrontés grape. There are three types of Argentinian Torrontés. The Torrontés Riojano is the most aromatic and comes from the province of La Rioja and Salta.
Cafayate has 360 days of sunshine each year and I learned that the temperature difference between the hot days and cold nights favors a unique acidity profile of the wines. I am an amateur wine taster but I was well impressed by the refreshing taste of Torrontés. I think that the Torrontés white wines are starting to build international reputation.
Apart from the great wine, Cafayate is a beautiful place, surrounded by a spectacular mountain scenery. The town itself is also quite nice. There is a square in the town center, surrounded by a few restaurants to enjoy a nice dinner with a good glass of wine. It is worthwhile to explore the little side streets where you can find craft shops and places to enjoy homemade empanadas.
The vinery Bodegas Etchart offers free daily tours, ending with a small wine tasting. The tour was quite informative. We stayed at a lovely hotel outside the town surrounded by vineyards called Vinas des Cafayate. A very peaceful place.