Known also as “the slow Argentina”, in Salta there is no such thing as being in a rush. Aptly recognized as the fifth most beautiful city in South America, Salta is charmed by pristine Colonial architecture, rich history and amiable weather. In addition, it has become a respected wine making region. It is home to some of Argentina’s most sought after wines and boasts the highest vineyards in the world. The climate is generally warmer than that of Mendoza due to Northern latitude but higher elevations bring cooler climates that are more suitable for the Torrontes grape, the most notable grape of the region.
- Getting to Salta
Buenos Aires is the only direct connection to Salta and is a 1 hour flight. If coming from Mendoza you can fly through BA and onto Salta.
Located in the heart of the Salta winemaking region, Condor Valley has legitimate viticulture potential, offering an array of expositions, climate patterns and soil types. Duncan Meyer of Arnot-Roberts, one of California’s most revered wineries, traveled to CV four years ago to conduct a terroir study. He studied the geography, analyzed soil samples and installed a Davis weather station to collect data. Additionally, he established a line of communication and connection for clonal material with Jose Luis Munier, one of the most notable producers in Cafayate.
Since Duncan’s visit, Martin’s son Bruno and Carlos Rodriguez, of Animani winery, have planted several varietals in various locations around the Valley, most notably Torrontes, Malbec and Criolla, and are working to turn this experiment into an actual operation. In addition, they are working toward establishing a wine research, development and preservation institution on the property
Condor Valley is a viable resource for prospective winemakers and investors alike who are interested in leasing or purchasing parcels of land at a fraction of North American price points. The opportunities are endless and open for negotiation.
We invite you to come visit Condor Valley and see for yourself!
- Wine Orientation Package [2 days] (contact us for booking)
- Preliminary overview and tour of the Valley
- Seminar with Guest Winemaker
- A Formal Tasting: Wines of Salta
- Traditional Asado + Wine Pairings
- 2 Night Stay at La Bodega (meals included)
- Cafayate Wine Tour [2 days] (contact us for booking)
- Transportation from CV to Cafayate
- Guided Outing through Cafayate
- Tasting and Tour of Local Wineries
(Recommended Accommodations Listed Below)
Located in the Valles Calchaquíes, Cafayate is an old-fashioned, artisanal town that also happens to be recognized as the wine capital of Salta. This wine growing region benefits from its high desert climate where the humidity is low, the rainfall is scarce and the elevation can reach up to 6,000 ft. True to Salta, it is recognized for its Torrontes but also produces excellent Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat. Arnaldo Etchart is the most renowned producer.
Getting to Cafayate
Cafayate is a 4 hour drive SW of Salta City/Airport. You drive through tropical microclimates before arriving in the desertic valley. If heading North from Mendoza, this is a perfect pit stop.
“Arriving in Cafayate is dramatic, no matter which direction you come from”
- Patios de Cafayate: An extraordinary Colonial home, now a Starwood resort, where you can relax in an oasis of luxury amidst Salta’s raw landscape.
- La Casa de los Vientos: A rustic Inn in the heart of the Calchaqui Valley, 23 miles from Cafayate, where you receive an honest and heartfelt sneak peak into Salta living.
- San Pedro de Yacochuya
- Bodega Jose L. Mounier
- Felix Lavaque
- El Esteco
Valle de Uco
The Uco Valley is located southwest of Mendoza, is closer to the Andes and feels much more remote. The town of Tupungato, recognized for its orchards and vineyards, boasts warm days and very cold nights at an elevation that ranges between 3,000 and 5,000 feet. Named after the dormant Tupangato Volcano, the beautiful snow-capped mountain is iconic to this district and can be seen from almost every point in Mendoza. From a wine-lover’s perspective, the Valle de Uco is assuredly one of the most exciting regions in Argentina as it is not only beautiful but boasts great wines from high altitude vineyards; much of Argentina’s Chardonnay comes from this sub-region. Here you will enjoy a wide variety of cuisine: freshly caught fish, wild game and an overwhelming array of high-quality fruits and vegetables.
Getting to Valle de Uco
Located 120 miles southwest of Mendoza City, it takes just over an hour to reach Tupungato by car and the high desert scenery makes for a beautiful drive.
- Finca Ogawa: A collection of six beautiful private casitas in a quiet farm setting, driving distance to all desirable attractions.
- Rutini Tupungato
- Finca Sophenia
Wine bars/accommodation recommendations to come.
The Grapes of Argentina
This grape is the most widely planted varietal in the country. It is a grape with Muscat-like aromas of yellow peach, mango, papaya, orange zest, and honeysuckle. This grape can achieve good acidity, depending on the altitude at which it is grown and is typically round and supple in texture. Though some make Torrontés in a sweeter style, well-known producers vinifiy it dry.
Also knwon as the Mission Grape or Pais in America and Chile, respectively, this is a thick-skinned pink grape that arrived in South America with the Conquistadors. Primarily used for simple white or rosé table wines, it is also used in blending.
The most widely-planted varietal in Mendoza, Malbec is Argentina’s flagship varietal.
French in origin, Malbec was one of five grapes permitted in Bordeaux blends and is often blended in South America, as well. This concentrated, full-bodied red retains good acidity and firm tannins. It is characterized by dark fruits such as blueberries, black currants and plums. Secondary notes include ground coffee, oregano and mesquite.
Unlike Malbec, this late ripening grape thrives at lower altitudes and warmer temperatures. Often blended with Syrah, Bonarda is a fairly full-bodied grape with moderate acidity, substantial tannin and dark primary fruit aromas.
Said to have originated in the Basque region of Spain, this varietal was brought to Uruguay by Basque settlers in the 19th century. Contrary to the tannat wines in Europe, the wines in the Southern Hemisphere are more elegant and tend to have softer tannins. With a strong blackberry fruit profile, this wine is often blended with merlot or even pinot noir in some instances.